Francis Alÿs

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Boris Groys
Particular Cases

 

This collection of essays does not aim to illustrate a prefabricated theory of art, but rather follows the impulses given by artworks themselves. Philosopher and art critic Boris Groys writes about significant works and artists over the last century that have pushed his thinking in new directions. His compelling arguments do not try to replace the singular content or message of an artwork. Instead, his writings are inspired by art as a mind-changing practice—as if contemporary artists, completely secularized, can still produce a kind of conversion within the spectator. Particular Cases is an original exploration of pivotal concerns related to the development of contemporary art—originality and repetition, the valuation of artworks, materiality and production, historical and personal archives, and the language of power.

Featuring essays on Paweł Althamer, Francis Alÿs, Yael Bartana, Paul Chan, Olga Chernysheva, Marcel Duchamp, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Martin Honert, Rebecca Horn, IRWIN, Wassily Kandinsky, Piero Manzoni, Anri Sala, Thomas Schütte, Mladen Stilinović, Inga Svala Thorsdottir and Wu Shanzhuan, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol

Design by Chad Kloepfer

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Boredom
Edited by Tom McDonough

Without boredom, arguably there is no modernity. The current sense of the word emerged simultaneously with industrialization, mass politics, and consumerism. From Manet onwards, when art represents the everyday within modern life, encounters with tedium are inevitable. And starting with modernism’s retreat into abstraction through subsequent demands placed on audiences, from the late 1960s to the present, the viewer’s endurance of repetition, slowness or other forms of monotony has become an anticipated feature of gallery-going.

In contemporary art, boredom is no longer viewed as a singular experience; rather, it is contingent on diverse social identifications and cultural positions, and exists along a spectrum stretching from a malign condition to be struggled against to an something to be embraced or explored as a site of resistance. This anthology contextualizes the range of boredoms associated with our neoliberal moment, taking a long view that encompasses the political critique of boredom in 1960s France; the simultaneous aesthetic embrace in the United States of silence, repetition, or indifference in Fluxus, Pop, Minimalism and conceptual art; the development of feminist diagnoses of malaise in art, performance, and film; punk’s social critique and its influence on theories of the postmodern; and the recognition, beginning at the end of the 1980s, of a specific form of ennui experienced in former communist states. Today, with the emergence of new forms of labor alienation and personal intrusion, deadening forces extend even further into subjective experience, making the divide between a critical and an aesthetic use of boredom ever more tenuous.

Artists surveyed include:
Chantal Akerman, Francis Alÿs, John Baldessari, Vanessa Beecroft, Bernadette Corporation, John Cage, Critical Art Ensemble, Merce Cunningham, Marcel Duchamp, Fischli & Weiss, Claire Fontaine, Dick Higgins, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Ilya Kabakov, Boris Mikhailov, Robert Morris, John Pilson, Sigmar Polke, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Gerhard Richter, Situationist International, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Andy Warhol, Faith Wilding, Janet Zweig

Writers include:
Ina Blom, Nicolas Bourriaud, Jennifer Doyle, Alla Efimova, Jonathan Flatley, Julian Jason Haladyn, The Invisible Committee, Jonathan D. Katz, Chris Kraus, Tan Lin, Sven Lütticken, John Miller, Agné Narušyté, Sianne Ngai, Peter Osborne, Patrice Petro, Christine Ross, Moira Roth, David Foster Wallace, Aleksandr Zinovyev

About the Author
Tom McDonough is Associate Professor of Art History at Binghamton University, State University of New York. He is the author of “The Beautiful Language of My Century”: Reinventing the Language of Contestation in Postwar France, 1945–1968 (MIT Press)

From the “Documents of Contemporary Art” series.

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Explosion!
Painting as Action


After the second world war, a number of painters in different parts of the world began to attack painting’s fundamental assumptions in ways that were at once both aggressive and playful. The creative act itself was as important as the painting that resulted from it.

In this borderland between painting and performance, chance or the spectator were often recruited as co-creators of the work. In recent years, interest in performance art has increased, and with it interest in its roots.

Explosion! Painting as Action explores the connections and cross fertilisations between painting, performance and conceptual art. Featured artists include the Japanese Gutai group, Lynda Benglis, Cai Guo-Qiang, Allan Kaprow, Yves Klein, Rivane Neuenschwander, Jackson Pollock, Carolee Schneemann, Shozo Shimamoto and Yoko Ono.

Published to accompany the exhibition at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2 June – 9 September 2012.

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Animals
edited by Filipa Ramos


Animals have become the focus of much recent art, informing numerous works and projects featured at major exhibitions including dOCUMENTA (13) (2013), the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014), and the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). Contemporary art has emerged as a privileged terrain for exploring interspecies relationships, providing the conditions for diverse disciplines and theoretical positions to engage with animal behavior and consciousness.

This interest in animal nature reflects a number of current issues. Observations of empathy among nonhumans prompt reconsiderations of the human. The nonverbal communication of animals has been compared with poetic expansion of the boundaries of language. And the freedom of animal life in the wild from capitalist subordination is seen as a potential model for reconfiguring society and our relationship to the wider environment. Artists’ engagement with animals also opens up new perspectives on the dynamics of dominance, oppression, and exclusion, with parallels in human society. Animal nature is at the heart of debates on the Anthropocene era and the ecological concerns of scientists, thinkers, and artists alike. Centered on contemporary artworks, this anthology attests to the trans-disciplinary nature of this subject, with art as one of the principal points of convergence.

Artists surveyed include
Allora & Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Julieta Aranda, Brandon Ballengée, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Broodthaers, Lygia Clark, Marcus Coates, Jimmie Durham, Marcel Dzama, Simone Forti, Pierre Huyghe, Natalie Jeremijenko, Joan Jonas, Eduardo Kac, Mike Kelley, Henri Michaux, Robert Morris, Henrik Olesen, Lea Porsager, Julia Reodica, Carolee Schneemann, Michael Stevenson, Rodel Tapaya, Rosemarie Trockel, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Haegue Yang, Adam Zaretsky

Writers include
Giorgio Agamben, Steve Baker, Raymond Bellour, Walter Benjamin, John Berger, Jonathan Burt, Ted Chiang, Simon Critchley, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, David Elliott, Carla Freccero, Maria Fusco, Tristan García, Félix Guattari, Donna J. Haraway, Seung-Hoon Jeong, Miwon Kwon, Chus Martinez, Brian Massumi, Thomas Nagel, Jean-Luc Nancy, Ingo Niermann, Vincent Normand, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Will Self, Jan Verwoert, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro

About the Editor
Filipa Ramos is editor-in-chief of art-agenda and a Lecturer in Experimental Film at Kingston University and Moving Image at Central Saint Martins, London. She is the author of Lost and Found: Crisis of Memory in Contemporary Art (2009).

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