Bojana Kunst

The Life of Art
Transversal Lines of Care

First published in Slovenian by Maska, Ljubljana, 2022 ➝ Življenje umetnosti: prečne črte skrbi

Das Leben der Kunst. Transversale Linien der Sorge, transversal texts, 2023

Život umjetnosti - poprečne linije brige, Maska, MaMa, Booksa, 2023

Translated by Urban Belina
Proofread by Jana Jevtović

Table of Contents


The Life of Art
1. The Proximity of Art and Life
2. Micropolitics: Abandoning the Scenes of Power
3. Intervening in Reality: Micropolitics and Art
4. Fugitive Dimension of Being: Micropolitics and Precariousness
5. Cultural Struggle: Beyond Duality
6. The Capabilities of Bodies

Lines of Care
1. Submerging Ourselves in the Crises of the Sustainability of Life
2. What Is Care?
3. Feminist Struggles: Care Is Not a Trait
4. Noise in the Background: Ecologies of Care
5. The Crisis of Care: Emergence of Mediation
6. Artistic Litters

Kinships of Care
1. The Life of Artists
2. Care as a Shadow of Dispossessions
3. The Gender of Care: Change or Abolition
4. On Ecofeminism and Kinships
5. Care as Attention
6. Forensic Work: Care as Presence
7. The Transfer of Care: Discomfort of Artistic Freedom

Conclusion: Transversal Lines of Care

The Life of Art: Transversal Lines of Care is a work on the problems art encounters with care. The author writes about the processes, work, and creating art, the need for changing the values existing in the field of art. The book describes the numerous paradoxes of the life of art, especially art dealing with the state of the world, the ecology crisis, and the contemporary precarious lives, and art testifying to the suffering of others. Care does not thwart material practices, does not question the production and economic processes of art; it is often only maintained as a flexible rhetorical and performative power that keeps the existing values by only slightly improving them.

Many artworks and artistic environments have trouble with the disproportionateness of worry; this disables them from facing their own empathic and bodily privilege, or the place from which they can enunciate and show their care. Such disproportions are closely tied to contemporary colonialism which is ongoing, but also to the capitalist managing and valuing of art.

Through feminist and decolonial thought, the new book by Bojana Kunst analyses these paradoxes, giving case studies of artworks and art actions to show and imagine how art can live a life different to the one we know. The interconnectedness of life and art also means a reshaping of economic, structural, and institutional backing of art - not just by enabling a greater representation, but also by a different poetic sharing and privatisation of art, by the processes of expropriation and appropriation, by the circulation of art and art parties. This is a fugitive life of art where terms, practices, and gestures must constantly be abandoned, while they have already been taken away from precarious lives.