New Books from MIT and Whitechapel

Colour (N7432.7 .C63 2008)

This unique anthology reflects on the aesthetic, cultural, and philosophical meaning of color through the writings of artists and critics, placed within the broader context of anthropology, film, philosophy, literature, and science. Those who loathe color have had as much to say as those who love it. This chronology of writings from Baudelaire to Baudrillard traces how artists have affirmed color as a space of pure sensation, embraced it as a tool of revolution or denounced it as decorative and even decadent. It establishes color as a central theme in the story of modern and contemporary art and provides a fascinating handbook to the definitions and debates around its history, meaning, and use.

Artists surveyed include: Joseph Albers, Mel Bochner, Daniel Buren, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Jimmie Durham, Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Gauguin, Donald Judd, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Yves Klein, Kazimir Malevich, Piero Manzoni, Henri Matisse, Henri Michaux, Beatriz Milhazes, Piet Mondrian, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Hélio Oiticica, Paul Signac, Ad Reinhardt, Gerhard Richter, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Bridget Riley, Mark Rothko, Yinka Shonibare, Jessica Stockholder, Theo van Doesburg, Vincent van Gogh, Victor Vasarely, Rachel Whiteread.

 

The Archive (CD971 .A715 2006)

This volume surveys the full diversity of our transformed theoretical and critical notions of the archive—as idea and as physical presence—from Freud’s “mystic writing pad” to Derrida’s “archive fever”; from Christian Boltanski’s first autobiographical explorations of archival material in the 1960s to the practice of artists as various as Susan Hiller, Ilya Kabakov, Thomas Hirshhorn, Renée Green, and The Atlas Group in the present.

Contents: A note upon the mystic writing-pad, 1925 / Sigmund Freud — Research and presentation of all that remains of my childhood 1944-1950, 1969 / Christian Boltanski — The historical a priori and the archive, 1969 / Michel Foucault — The philosophy of Andy Warhol (from A to B and back again), 1975 / Andy Warhol — The man who never threw anything away, c. 1977 / Ilya Kabakov — The archive and testimony, 1989 / Giorgio Agamben — Working through objects, 1994 / Susan Hiller — Survival : ruminations on archival lacunae, 2002 / Renée Green — A short history of photography, 1931 / Walter Benjamin — Archives, documents, traces, 1978 / Paul Ricoeur — The body and the archive, 1986 / Allan Sekula — Archive fever, 1995 / Jacques Derrida — Interview with Jürgen Harten and Katharina Schmidt, 1972 / Marcel Broodthaers — Gerhard Richter’s Atlas : the anomic archive, 1993 / Benjamin H. D. Buchloh — Against the camera, for the photographic archive, 1994 / Margarita Tupitsyn — The model of the sciences, 1997 / Anne Moeglin-Delcroix — Politics of cultural heritage, 1999 / subREAL (Cãlin Dan and Josif Kiraly) — Interview with Okwui Enwezor, 2000 / Thomas Hirschhorn — A language to come : Japanese photography after the event, 2002 / Charles Merewether — “The camera made me do it” : Nicole Jolicoeur, female identity and troubling archives, 2004 / Patricia Levin and Jeanne Perrault — An archival impulse, 2004 / Hal Foster — From enthusiasm to the creative commons : interview with Anthony Spira, 2005 / Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska — A triptych (abc), 1976-80 / Eugenio Dittborn — Archives of the fallen, 1997 / Charles Merewether — The Rani of Sirmur : an essay in reading the archives, 1985, 1999 / Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak — First information report, 2003 / Raqs Media Collective — Archigraphia : on the future of testimony and the archive to come, 2002 / Dragan Kujundzic — The secrets file, 2002 / the Atlas Group Archive — The operator # 17 file, 2000 / the Atlas Group Archive — Let’s be honest, the rain helped, 2004 / the Atlas Group — Photographic documents : excavation as art, 2006 / Akram Zaatari — Sans titre/untitled : the video installation as an active archive, 2006 / Jayce Salloum.

The Gothic (NX650.H67 G68 2007)

This collection of writings examines the pervasive and influential role of “the Gothic” in contemporary visual culture. The contemporary Gothic in art is informed as much by the stock themes of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic novel as it is by more recent permutations of the Gothic in horror film theory, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Goth subcultures. This reader from London’s Whitechapel Gallery brings together artists as different as Matthew Barney, Gregor Schneider, Louise Bourgeois, and Douglas Gordon; its intent is not to use “the Gothic” to group together dissimilar artists but rather to shed light on a particular understanding of their practice. Anthony Vidler looks at ideas of the uncanny to explore Rachel Whiteread’s House, and Jeff Wall uses the motif of vampirism to analyze fellow artist Dan Graham’s Kammerspell; Hal Foster considers Robert Gober’s recent work—laden with Christian symbolism, criticism of America as a nexus of power, and fragmented bodies—as an updated American Gothic, and Kobena Mercer examines the Gothic’s depiction of the Other in relation to Michael Jackson’s pop video Thriller. Texts by artists including Mike Kelley, Damien Hirst, Tacita Dean, Jonathan Meese, and Catherine Sullivan are complemented by extracts from Walpole’s genre-establishing gothic novel The Castle of Otranto, William Gibson, Bret Easton Ellis, and Stephen King, among others, and theoretical writings by such key thinkers as Carol Clover, Beatriz Colomina, Julia Kristeva, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Marina Warner, and Slavoj Zizek.

The Artist’s Joke (NX650.W58 A78 2007)

The texts collected in this new reader from London’s Whitechapel Gallery examine what André Breton called the “lightning bolt” of the unsettlingly comic, as seen in the anarchic wordplay of Duchamp, Picasso, the Dadaists, and Surrealists; Pop’s fetish for kitsch and the comic strip; Bruce Nauman’s sinister clowns and twisted puns; Richard Prince’s joke paintings; art ambushed by feminist wit, from the Dadaism of Hannah Höch in the 1920s to the politicized conceptualism of Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger in the 1980s; the serenely uncanny in Mike Kelley’s installations and the risibly grotesque in Paul McCarthy’s; and the strangely comic scenarios of artists as various as Maurizio Cattelan, Andrea Fraser, Raymond Pettibon, and David Shrigley. Artists’ writings are accompanied and contextualized by the work of critics and thinkers including Freud, Bergson, Hélène Cixous, Slavoj Zizek, Jörg Heiser, Jo Anna Isaak, and Ralph Rugoff.

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