In Joshua Decter’s new book, Art Is a Problem: Selected Criticism, Essays, Interviews and Curatorial Projects (1986-2012), examines contemporary art in relation to its various ideological, public, discursive, and social contexts. The book encompasses seven chapters: Institutional Critique® and its Discontents; Aporia (art as politics, the politics of art); Everything is Social (Platforms, Participations, Publics, Constituencies, Networks, Spaces, Sites, Situations, Collaborations, Cooperations, Conflicts, Interventions…); Convoluted Cities; The (Un)De-definition of Art; What Do We Want from Exhibitions?; On the Curatorial Road. Decter examines art’s paradoxical condition: art problematizes, and is intrinsically a problem. From this standpoint, he analyzes art’s definitions, functions, ethical entanglements, societal aspirations, and cultural contradictions.
Decter is a New York-based writer, curator, art historian and theorist who has contributed to Artforum, Afterall, Texte zur Kunst, Flash Art, The Exhibitionist, Mousse, and other international periodicals. He has organized exhibitions at institutions such as PS1 (now MoMA PS1), The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Apex Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Kunsthalle Vienna, and The Santa Monica Museum of Art. Decter has taught at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, The School of Visual Arts in New York, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, New York University, UCLA, and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. From 2007 to 2011, Decter was Director of the Master of Public Art Studies Program at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Fine Arts in Los Angeles, where he founded the new graduate program, M.A. Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere.
Decter is the co-author of a forthcoming 2014 book, Exhibition as Social Intervention: ‘Culture in Action’ 1993, volume 3 of Afterall Books Exhibition Histories series.
John Miller is an artist and writer based in New York and Berlin. His work is featured in the Hammer Museum's "Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology." In 2015, Afterall Books will publish his "Educational Complex," a study of Mike Kelley's eponymous piece, as part of its One Work series. Miller is a Professor of Professional Practice in Barnard College's Art History Department.