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Let’s Entertain: Life’s Guilty Pleasures

Let’s Entertain: Life’s Guilty Pleasures

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Published on the occasion of the exhibition Let's Entertain, organized by Philippe Vergne for the Walker Art Center and coproduced by the Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris. Edited by Karen Jacobson

Celebrity. Desire. Seduction. Transgression. Welcome to the pleasure zones of today's entertainment-driven consumer society. From the development of urban entertainment districts like Times Square and experiential retail environments such as Nike Town to the cult of celebrity surrounding politics today, all aspects of everyday life are being transformed into an endless series of spectacles in which we participate with both pleasure and guilt.

Let’s Entertain: Life’s Guilty Pleasures examines this 'spectacularization" of everyday experience through the twin lenses of contemporary art practice and cultural criticism. This book brings together more than 50 contemporary artists, critics, and theorists whose work engages diverse social phenomena such as the advent of gaming and sports culture, the "celebrification" of politics, the branding of bodies and products, the fantasy associated with themed entertainment destinations and tourism, the blurred boundaries between art and fashion, and the rise of cinematic experience. No longer observers of the spectacle but participants in it, these contributors challenge us not to simply renounce entertainment per se, but to understand how its strategies can be used to tell a different kind of story. The story that unfolds is sweet, amusing, and, like a fairy tale, often cruel.  

  • Walker Art Center, 2000
  • Paperback, 7 x 9.25 in.
  • 320 pages, color
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