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What has become of the so-called West after the Cold War? After the tripartite division of the world into first, second, and third has been superseded? Why hasn't the West simply become "former," like its supposed counterpart, the "former East"?
Former West: Art and the Contemporary After 1989 is a culmination of Former West (www.formerwest.org), a collective and nomadic project of inquiry initiated and developed by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht from 2008--2016. The project undertook a research trajectory that was brought to life through a series of congresses, exhibitions, publications, educational platforms, and discursive programs realized in various solidarity constellations with artistic and educational institutions worldwide.
To propose a "former West" puts a conceptual challenge to artists, thinkers, and activists to inquire into the repercussions of the political, cultural, and economic events of 1989 as they have shaped both art and the contemporary. This book comprises the rich array of critical approaches and positions both imagining and inhabiting -- with, along, and through art -- a world beyond our immediate condition.