Edited by Amelia Jones
Part of the acclaimed Documents of Contemporary Art series of anthologies which collect writing on major themes and ideas in contemporary art.
It has been argued, most notably in psychoanalytic and modernist art discourse, that the production of works of art is fundamentally driven by sexual desire. It has further been argued, particularly since the early 1970s, that sexual drives and desires also condition the distribution, display and reception of art. This anthology traces how and why this identification of art with sexual expression or repression arose and how the terms have shifted in tandem with artistic and theoretical debates, from the era of the rights movements to the present. Among the subjects it discusses are abjection and the ‘informe’, or formless; pornography and the obscene; the ‘performativity’ of gender and sexuality; and the role of sexuality in forging radical art or curatorial practices, in response to such issues as state-sponsored repression and anti-feminism in the broader social realm.
Artists surveyed include Vito Acconci, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Gerard Byrne, George Chakravarthi, Judy Chicago, Vaginal Davis, Wim Delvoye, Elmgreen & Dragset, Valie Export, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Harmony Hammond, Claudette Johnson, Mary Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Legorreta, Lee Lozano, Paul McCarthy, Sarah Maple, Shirin Neshat, Lorraine O’Grady, Yoko Ono, Catherine Opie, Orlan, William Pope.L, Miriam Schapiro, Carolee Schneemann, Joan Semmel, Barbara Smith, Annie Sprinkle, Alina Szapocznikow, Del LaGrace Volcano, Hannah Wilke, David Wojnarowicz and Ming Wong.
Writers include Malek Alloula, Norman O. Brown, Judith Butler, Douglas Crimp, Angela Dimitrakaki, Michel Foucault, Daniel Guérin, Eleanor Heartney, Jonathan D. Katz, Rosalind Krauss, Julia Kristeva, Pawel Leszkowicz, Herbert Marcuse, Kobena Mercer, Laura Mulvey, Lawrence Rinder, Jacqueline Rose, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Susan Sontag, Trinh T. Minh-ha and Stephen Whittle.
Amelia Jones is Grierson Chair in Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University, Montreal. Her books include Self/Image: Technology, Representation and the Contemporary Subject (2006) and Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification in the Visual Arts (2012).
Paperback, 240 pages, 210 x 145 mm
First published 2014
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