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By Anita Chari

Anita Chari revives the idea that of reification from Marx and the Frankfurt tuition to highlight the resistance to neoliberal capitalism now forming on the point of political financial system and on the extra sensate, experiential point of subjective transformation. analyzing artwork by way of Oliver Ressler, Zanny Begg, Claire Fontaine, Jason Lazarus, and Mika Rottenberg, in addition to the politics of Occupy Wall road, Chari identifies practices by which artists and activists have challenged neoliberalism's social and political logics, exposing its inherent tensions and contradictions.

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Extra resources for A political economy of the senses : neoliberalism, reification, critique

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Undoubtedly, forms of politics are alive and well in the contemporary moment. My goal, however, is to displace existing understandings of the political, in order to push beyond the limits that the neoliberal configuration of the economy-politics relation tends to impose. As Dean perceptively argues in her critique of communicative capitalism, we are confronted with a surplus, rather than a surfeit of so-called democratic communication, but the forms of communication we are bound to utilize in the hypertechnologized public sphere have little critical effect.

For a moment, postbailout, neoliberalism revealed, transparently, its political logic. The bailout and political responses to it illuminated the contours of the neoliberal relationship between economics and politics in the starkest terms. That relationship, as I will discuss in this chapter, is a fluctuating relationship characterized by a deep ambivalence toward economic issues on the part of the neoliberal state. In this chapter I argue that an effective analysis of neoliberalism demands an understanding of the ambivalent relationship between the neoliberal state and the economic sphere in contemporary society and of the forms of depoliticization generated by this ambivalence.

Indeed, my main preoccupation is not with liberal political theory as such, but with radical democratic theories of the left that unintentionally adopt key dimensions of a liberal social ontology. 42 N EO LI B ER AL SY M P TO M S The dimension of liberal critique that I want to draw attention to is its formalism. 74 Liberal formalism operates by working the form of normative concepts, such as liberty, against their social content. In addition, liberal formalism is based upon a sociological premise that also has normative implications: the separation of the economic and political spheres.

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