Art & Art History ETDs


Tijen Tunali

Publication Date



In this dissertation, I look at the changing praxes of contemporary art and culture vis-\xe0-vis neoliberalism. With examples from the Americas, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, I acknowledge, but trespass the visible effects and outcomes of globalization with regard to art and culture. In current literature they often are interpreted as straightforward and homogeneous developments, but in this dissertation, I show the complexity, heterogeneity and inequality of new social, political, and cultural relationships wrought by and against the neoliberal ideology and processes that affect all corners of the world. My main focus is on the dialectics of contemporary art and neoliberalism: Are pluralization and dissemination of contemporary art an indication of a new democratic consciousness or the outcome of a rapidly expanding neoliberal market? In postmodernist theory, the political dimension of the aesthetic experience has been the key to understanding contemporary forms of art. I argue that, at present, in this era of global revolt, the aesthetic dimension of the political experience is the key to understanding contemporary society, as well as radical politics. I offer a novel approach to understanding the relationship between aesthetics and politics that challenges greatly what is accepted as political in society and what is accepted as aesthetics in art. My aim is to bring the art history discipline closer to radical politics by showing how contemporary cultural, artistic, and activist activities are entangled in forming a new politics of resistance that envisions renewed forms of democratic life.

Project Sponsors

Latin American and Iberian Institute at UNM



Document Type


Degree Name

Art History

Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Department of Art and Art History

First Committee Member (Chair)

Lumpkin, Olivia Libby

Second Committee Member

Bastea, Eleni

Third Committee Member

Cornejo, Kency

Fourth Committee Member

Hall, Linda

Fifth Committee Member

Zurmskis, Catherine


Contemporary Art, Neoliberalism, Globalization, Artworld, Aesthetics and Politics, Radical Art, Activism and Art, Dicalectics