Alana Jelinek, "Between Discipline and a Hard Place: The Value of Contemporary Art" (Bloomsbury, 2020)

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Some fields have an easier time describing themselves than others. "History is the study of past events." "Biology is the study of living organisms." But art? Is art a discipline? Is it a practice? Who gets to answer this most fundamental of questions, and why do we prefer not to try? Between Discipline and a Hard Place, written from the perspective of a practising artist, proposes that, against a groundswell of historians, museums and commentators claiming to speak on behalf of art, it is artists alone who may define what art really is.

Between Discipline and a Hard Place is a passionate treatise arguing for a new way of understanding art that forefronts the role of the artist and the importance of inclusion within both the concept of art and the art world.

Alana Jelinek speaks to Pierre d'Alancaisez about a disciplined and disciplinary approach to thinking about art and its value outside the current preoccupation with economic considerations and the great potential of interdisciplinary working.

Alana Jelinek is an artist and a researcher at the University of Hertfordshire.

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