To mark the 50th anniversary of the institutional origin and now the global discipline of Cultural Studies, this publication and the exhibition it accompanies explores the continuing and persistent influence of Birmingham’s now defunct Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies on artist’s practicing today.
Representing the relevance of the Centre’s vast body of work, this publication examines the key areas of study – class, gender, race and style – through the work of contemporary artists including Trevor Appleson, Mahtab Hussein, Sarah Maple, Sarah Silverwood and Nick Waplington. In addition, it includes a series of never-before-seen works in Britain by alumni students David Batchelor and Janet Mendelsohn.
A foreword by former Director of the Centre, the acclaimed theorist Stuart Hall, is published here posthumously. In it he states: ‘The artists featured in this collection are not working in ‘cultural studies’ – not formally at any rate. Like all good artists, however, they are engaged with the political and cultural contexts of their time. A great deal has changed since we began our experiment [at the Centre] five decades ago but as the work of these artists demonstrate, the kind of questions that we were interested in remain pertinent.’
Published on the occasion of the exhibition 50 Years On: The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at mac birmingham, 10 May – 29 June 2014.