PRINT November 2017



View of Xavier Veilhan’s Le monstre (The Monster), 2004, Tours, France. Photo: Tomoyoshi Noguchi/Flickr.

Reclaiming Art/Reshaping Democracy: The New Patrons & Participatory Art, edited by Estelle Zhong Mengual and Xavier Douroux. Paris: Les Presses du Réel, 2017. 432 pages.

UPON ITS PUBLICATION in 2012, Nato Thompson’s exhibition catalogue Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991–2011 was duly recognized as a landmark roundup of the participatory, dialogic, and relational experiments of the preceding twenty years. Reclaiming Art/Reshaping Democracy: The New Patrons & Participatory Art—a productively expanded English edition of an anthology that appeared in French in 2013—stands as both a follow-up and a response to Living as Form, elucidating a model of socially engaged practice that remains underknown among anglophone audiences. The phrase “new patrons” is a less-than-perfect translation of “Nouveaux Commanditaires,” a program of community-driven artistic production

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