Object of Labor: Art, Cloth and Cultural Production

The Object of Labor: Art, Cloth, and Cultural Production
Co-edited by Joan Livingstone and John Ploof; Designed by Ann Tyler; with Managing Editor, Susan Snodgrass; Assistant Editor, Judith Leemann; and Prepress, Kathi Beste.

The essays and art in The Object of Labor explore the personal, political, social, and economic meaning of work in the context of art and textile production. The ubiquity of cloth in everyday life, the historically resonant relationship of textile and cloth to labor, and the tumultuous drive of globalization make the issues raised by this collection of special interest today. The seventeen essays cover topics ranging from art-making practices to labor history and the effects of globalization as seen through art and labor. The artists' projects and portfolios ? nineteen striking and beautiful, full-color spreads ? conduct parallel investigations into art, cloth, and work.

The contributors explore, from historical and personal perspectives, such subjects as the charged history of offshore garment workers; the different systems of production and consumption in factories, homes, studios, and exhibitions; the revelation of class, gender, and sexuality through cloth, costume, and textile images; textile production as commemorative acts in South Africa, the United States, and India; transnationalism, cultural hybridity, and race in the work of individual artists; lost histories of garment production and embroidery; the physical act of art-making as labor; and the value of handmade and "technologically improved" objects.

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Published by School of the Art Institute of Chicago Press and MIT Press, March, 2007, ISBN: 978-0-2262-12290-0 (Distributed by MIT Press: mitpress.mit.edu)

Essays by:
Ingrid Bachmann, Carol Becker, Andries Botha, Lou Cabeen, Helen Cho, Alison Ferris, Nancy Gildart, bell hooks, Alan Howard, Mary Jane Jacob, Janis Jefferies, Neil MacInnis, Margo Mensing, Kevin Murray, Sadie Plant, Maureen Sherlock, and collectively by Viji Srinivasan, Skye Morrison, Laila Tyabji, Dorothy Caldwell

Artist projects and portfolios by:
Susie Brandt, Nick Cave, Park Chambers, Lisa Clark, Lia Cook, Ann Hamilton, Brian Jungen, Kimsooja, Barbara Layne and Sue Rowley, Lara Lepionka, Merrill Mason, Darrel Morris, Pepón Osorio, J. Morgan Puett and Iain Kerr, Karen Reimer, Yinka Shonibare, SubRosa, Christine Tarkowski, Anne Wilson

Joan Livingstone is an artist, Chair of the Undergraduate Division and Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including Tokyo Dei Gai Museum, Japan; Daegu, Korea; Lausanne, Switzerland; and her work is in the permanent collections of museums including the Detroit Institute of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago).

John Ploof is an artist and Associate Professor in the Department of Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He works with his urban neighbors in Chicago on participatory public projects. As a member of the internationally acclaimed artists? collective Haha, his work has been shown at the Aperto, XLV Venice Biennale; Grimaldi Forum, Monaco; MASS MoCA; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.