Theodor Adorno once remarked that, “…every work of art is an uncommitted crime.” This book is a tribute to political artists who deviate from the mainstream and create art that engages with questions of societal oppression, survival, and resistance. It draws on interviews with transnational artists whose work is representative of emerging trends in art, visual culture, and political aesthetics. Uncommitted Crimes reflects on a new generation of artists whose creative praxis, sensibilities, influences, and frames of reference derive from multiple national, religious, and cultural genealogies, and an ambivalent relationship to Western and European nationalisms. Courageously, these racialized, Indigenous, and migrant artists straddle the divides of many categories of identity in regards to gender, sexuality, and ‘race.’ Their art challenges the silently imbibed worship of whiteness, heteronormative patriarchies, and colonial settler ideologies of “home.” These exceptional cultural producers enter into uncomfortable dialogues, creatively. Inspired by their visionary praxis, this book is an uncommitted crime, attempting to smuggle arresting artistic ideas into a site of intellectual imagi/nation. Artists whose works are explored in this book include: Andil Gosine, Syrus Marcus Ware, Elisha Lim; Amita Zamaan and Helen Lee; Shirin Fathi; Kara Springer; Rajni Perera; Joshua Vettivelu; Brendan Fernandes; Kerry Potts and Rebecca Belmore; The Mass Arrival Collective (Farrah Miranda, Graciela Flores Mendez, Tings Chak, Vino Shanmuganathan, and Nadia Saad.). The book includes 65 pages of artwork.
“This book is beyond timely. Not only does it document the artistic and political contribution of queer, two spirit and transgender people of colour in Turtle Island and transnationally, it is a testament to the crucial richness the critical analysis and contextualization that this work deserves. Atluri forces open the application of critical theory in a decolonizing gesture that is inclusive, reparative, hopeful, life giving, heartbreaking and leaves us wanting more. This book is a tool — create and mobilize!”
—Allyson Mitchell, artist, gender studies professor, and co-founder of FAG feminist art gallery
“While Tara Atluri’s Uncommitted Crimes delves deep into the form, field and thematics of contemporary art made by Black, Indigenous and diasporic people, its success is in the way that those works expose the mechanism of a settler state (known as Canada), white supremacy and the death of liberal multiculturalism.”
—Indu Vashist, Executive Director, South Asian Visual Arts Centre
“I am not an academic, but Tara Atluri’s work and passion around arts and activism has been inspiring and encouraging because so many of us who are in the “margins” bring these worlds of art and activism together. Brick by brick … we are creating, with Tara, something new. So many important voices, that are often not included, are welcomed. Uncommitted Crimes is brilliant and a necessary piece of writing.”
—Rosina Kazi, lead singer of the radical electronic duo lal and founder of Unit 2