Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
Sidestepping both identity politics and facile multiculturalism, this anthology argues for the embrace of social ambiguity through art
Multiculturalism and pluralism presuppose a shared culture with shared values and convictions about, for example, openness, democracy and equality. Multiculturalism therefore in fact presumes a monoculture of views and attitudes. Being able to deal with ambiguities, differences and paradoxes is the outcome of a learning process and thus of cultivation. Art has played a pivotal role in this process since the dawn of modernity; the contemporary artist is a bricoleur, shaman and charlatan who prepares peculiar blends and creates indigestible cocktails, who has to play with cultural conventions if she or he is to be called an artist anyway. The Aesthetics of Ambiguity gives stage to art and artists that dare to play with the rules of a broader society and adopt ambiguity and paradoxes, and explores their successes and failures.