The fine art of cycling:bicycles, modernity and political art

Bennett, Bruce (2021) The fine art of cycling:bicycles, modernity and political art. In: Cycling Societies. Routledge. ISBN 9780367336615

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This chapter discusses the history of bicycle art, examining how artists from the early twentieth century onwards have used the bicycle as a device for exploring issues of identity, injustice and inequality. The discussion considers work by a number of artists from around the world, but the principal case studies are contemporary artists Ai Weiwei and Rainer Ganahl. This chapter examines the way these artists have used the bicycle as the symbolic device through which to explore questions of contemporary capitalism and technology, political repression and freedom of movement, economic inequality and nationhood, as well as masculinity, sexuality and individual identity. Both artists have also used the bicycle as a tool with which to make art in a variety of media, and this chapter argues that their work invites us to reflect upon cycling cultures and the bicycle’s transformative political potential as a device that enables us to see and experience the world differently.

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21 May 2020 14:50
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21 Nov 2022 17:21