the cover of Realizing the Impossible book: Art Against Authority, which features a variety of hands holding up art supplies

Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority (book)

by Josh MacPhee Author and Erik Ruin Author

Inspiring, informative, and diverse, this book is a rare look at the intersection of art and anarchism. It touches on a broad range of topics not just pertaining to Anarchism, but also more broadly to anti-authoritarianism and the way these social movements have shaped their own art movement. And who better than current anarchist artists/authors to write the history of those that came before them?! Icky A. interviews "Anarchy: A Graphic Guide's" Clifford Harper. Erick Lyle takes a walk through the stenciled streets of Argentina. Meredith Stern contributes a wonderful series of interviews with over a dozen contemporary political artists, unfortunately cut down from the original 60 pages she collected. (hopefully, those will appear elsewhere before too long.) And there's more! And more and more! Each section is jam-packed with graphics. The result is not just a handy reference guide, but also a beautiful book.

Comments & Reviews


“Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority is an anthology of essays on political art, or should I say, the history and political implications of Leftist artistic practices (since not all the artists are self-proclaimed Anarchists, nor is all the art overtly political). The book is basically a primer that contains a wide range of artworks all presented by way of journalistic accounts, scholarly writing, and multiple interviews. Broken into three sections (‘In Print,’ ‘Moving Images and Interventions.’ And ‘Theories”), Realizing the Impossible succeeds in being a pretty straightforward attempt at germinating exlicity Anarchist art theory. … Realizing the Impossible is worth the buy.”

"I'm glad to see that someone is finally writing some theory around the long standing practice of anarchist political art. While no one can have the last word on anarchist aesthetics, I welcome the writing of some first words. I salute this effort."