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Weekend Reading List: The Class Divide that Plagues the Arts

Rereading Mark Fisher with the publication of his collected writings; Olivia Laing’s Crudo makes the NYT’s ‘100 Notable Books’

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Brook, O’Brien and Taylor, Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, 2018

Brook, O’Brien and Taylor, Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, 2018

New evidence emerged this week that further highlights arts funding’s class bias in the UK. We look back at Tom Jeffrey’s analysis of a report from April this year revealing the extent of the class divide in Creative Industries: ‘What emerges is an account of ‘a “creative class” quite distinct from the rest of society’, he writes.

k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher (20042016) is out now with Repeater books (read Paul Rekret’s review here). We revisit the late academic and author’s essay on ‘Anglo-Saxon common sense’ versus continental theory: ‘If only persons and physical things are real, what do buffoon empiricists think just happened in the global economy? Understanding the credit crunch and the recession demands the acknowledgement that abstractions are real.’ 

We reported on how Zoe Leonard released a new edition of her famous ‘I Want a President’ poem in aid of an HIV activist group earlier this week. Here’s a 2008 piece on the artist’s photographs and sculptures: ‘With her blunt imagery Leonard makes us feel a heightened awareness that all creatures, great and small, fight like hell to live.’

Representatives from Easter Island met with officials at the British Museum this week in a bid to restitute ‘Hoa Hakananai’a’, a spiritually important stone figure that was taken from the remote Pacific island in 1868. Read Paul Cartledge’s piece on why now is the time for the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.

Olivia Laing’s Crudo (2018) was included in The New York Times’s ‘100 Notable Books’ list this week. Read an exclusive extract from the frieze columnist's first novel: ‘Kathy, by which I mean I, was getting married. Kathy, by which I mean I, had just got off a plane from New York. It was 19:45 on 13 May 2017.

Finally, with Amsterdam Art Weekend running until Sunday (read our guide to the best shows over here), we revisit a feature on Gabriel Lester, whose show is on now at Galerie Fons Welter; and with a presentation of Shezad Dawood’s Leviathan, a longterm project investigating the links between mass migration and climate change, on view at HE.RO, here’s Kaelen Wilson-Goldie’s feature on the artist as anthropologist: ‘Dawood today locates “the salient edge of anthropology in documentary films that are taking a bold step back into the ring to make anthropology radical again.”’

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