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Student Showcase Archive

Chris Kraus on her new book: 'Social Practices' | Arts & Humanities Talk for AcrossRCA Week

29 October 2018 | 6pm – 8pm

Battersea, Gorvy Lecture Theatre

The Royal College of Art School of Arts & Humanities is pleased to welcome Chris Kraus for a presentation of her latest publication, Social Practices.

Mixing biography, autobiography, fiction, criticism, and conversations among friends, Social Practices sees Chris Kraus continuing the anthropological exploration of artistic lives and the art world begun in 2004 with Video Green: Los Angeles Art and the Triumph of Nothingness. Social Practices includes writings from and around the legendary Chance Event—Three Days in the Desert with Jean Baudrillard (1996), and Radical Localism, an exhibition of art and media from Puerto Nuevo's Mexicali Rose that Kraus co-organised with Marco Vera and Richard Birkett in 2012. Attuned to the odd and the anomalous, Kraus profiles Elias Fontes, an Imperial Valley hay merchant who has become an important collector of contemporary Mexican art, and chronicles the demise of a rural convenience store in northern Minnesota. She considers the work of such major contemporary artists as Jason Rhoades, Channa Horowitz, Simon Denny, Yayoi Kusama, Henry Taylor, Julie Becker, Ryan McGinley and Leigh Ledare. Although Kraus casts a skeptical eye at the genre that's come to be known as 'social practice', her book is less a critique than a proposition as to how art might be read through desire and circumstance, delirium, gossip, coincidence, and revenge. All art, she implies, is a social practice.

About the Author:

Chris Kraus is the author of four novels, three books of art and cultural criticism, and most recently After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography.  Her first novel, I Love Dick, was adapted for television in 2017.  Kraus is a co-editor of the independent press Semiotext(e), alongside Hedi El Kholti and Sylvere Lotringer.  She is a frequent contributor to Artforum, Bookforum and other magazines.  She lives in Los Angeles, and teaches part-time at Art Center.  

This event has been organised by the School of Arts & Humanities. For more information, please contact Anne Duffau.

Please note: this event is not bookable and places will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis.


  • Chris Kraus