Arrested Welcome

Hospitality in Contemporary Art

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Irina Aristarkhova

Amid xenophobic challenges to America's core value of welcoming the tired and the poor, Irina Aristarkhova calls for new forms of hospitality in her engagement with the works of eight international artists. In this first monograph on hospitality in contemporary art, Aristarkhova employs a feminist perspective to critically explore the artworks of Ana Prvački, Faith Wilding, Lee Mingwei, Kathy High, Mithu Sen, Pippa Bacca, Silvia Moro, and Ken Aptekar and asks who, how, and what determines who is worthy of our welcome.

Spanning a diverse range of contemporary art practices, Arrested Welcome shows how artists challenge our existing notions of hospitality—culturally, philosophically, and politically. From the role of “microcourtesies” in social change to the portrayal of waiting as a feminist endeavor, Aristarkhova looks deeply into topics such as gender stereotypes of welcome, ways to reclaim civility, and the means by which guests (sometimes human, sometimes animal) push the limits of our hosting traditions.

Blending a feminist analysis of hospitality with in-depth case studies on how contemporary artists stimulate personal reflection and political engagement, Aristarkhova initiates these important conversations at a critical time of national and international hospitality crises.

Background photo by Nathan Van Egmond on Unsplash

Who Is Welcome? Hospitality and Contemporary Art

Arrested Welcome Virtual Book Launch

In this video the Stamps Gallery of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, hosts a virtual book launch with Irina Aristarkhova in celebration of the publication of “Arrested Welcome: Hospitality in Contemporary Art.” For this event, Aristarkhova is joined in conversation with Ana Prvački, Faith Wilding, Lee Mingwei, Kathy High, Mithu Sen, Ken Aptekar, Jennifer Junkermeier-Khan and Srimoyee Mitra, who each share 5–10 minutes remarks before Q&A.


  • rights
    This book is freely available in an open access edition thanks to TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem)—a collaboration of the Association of American Universities, the Association of University Presses, and the Association of Research Libraries—and the generous support of the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the Provost Office. Learn more at the TOME website, available at:

    The University of Minnesota Press gratefully acknowledges financial support from the University of Michigan’s Office of Research and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design.

    Excerpts from Faith Wilding, Wait-With are reprinted with permission.

    Gabeba Baderoon, “I Cannot Myself” is reprinted with permission.

    Portions of chapter 2 were previously published as “The One Who Waits,” in Faith Wilding’s Fearful Symmetries, ed. Shannon R. Stratton with Faith Wilding (Bristol and Chicago: Intellect, 2018), 113–40; reprinted with permission. Portions of chapter 4 were previously published as “Thou Shall Not Harm All Living Beings: Feminism, Jainism, and Animals,” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 27, no. 3 (2012): 636–50; reprinted with permission. Portions of chapter 6 were published as “Baiting Hospitality,” in Security and Hospitality in Literature and Culture: Modern and Contemporary Perspectives, ed. Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridges (London: Routledge, 2015), 64–77; reprinted with permission.

    Copyright 2020 by Irina Aristarkhova

    Arrested Welcome: Hospitality in Contemporary Art is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0):
  • isbn
  • publisher
    University of Minnesota Press
  • publisher place
    Minneapolis, MN
  • restrictions
    Please see the Creative Commons website for details about the restrictions associated with the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.
  • rights holder
    Irina Aristarkhova
  • doi