Documents of Contemporary Art: The Object


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Documents of Contemporary Art: The Object


Edited by Antony Hudek

Part of the acclaimed Documents of Contemporary Art series of anthologies which collect writing on major themes and ideas in contemporary art.

'This exciting collection is a pleasure to read from beginning to end...This is a welcome introduction to, and provocative rethinking of the object, in all its many formal and theoretical formations.'


- Jo Applin, author of Eccentric Objects:
Rethinking Sculpture in 1960s America

 The object is this thing that refuses to go away. Virtual reality, conceptual art and numerous philosophical and psychological traditions have sought to de-thingify the world, but the object, in its many forms, persists. This anthology surveys reappraisals of what constitutes the ‘objectness’ of production, with art as its focus. Among the topics it examines are the relation of the object to subjectivity; distinctions between objects and ‘things’; the significance of the object’s transition from inert mass to tool or artefact; and the meanings of the everyday in the found object, repetition in the replicated or multiple object, loss in the absent object, and abjection in the formless or degraded object. It also explores artistic positions that are anti-object; theories of the experimental, liminal or mental object; and the role of objects in performance. The object becomes a prism through which to re-read contemporary art and better understand its recent past.

Artists surveyed include Absalon, Art in Ruins, Iain Baxter, Louise Bourgeois, Marcel Broodthaers, Lygia Clark, Claude Closky, Brian D. Collier, Jimmie Durham, Fischli & Weiss, General Idea, Isa Genzken, Gruppe Geflecht, Eva Hesse, Mike Kelley, John Latham, Sherrie Levine, Allan McCollum, Gustav Metzger, Hélio Oiticica, Gabriel Orozco, Katrina Palmer, Adrian Piper, Falke Pisano, Issa Samb, Gregor Schneider, Kenneth Snelson, Song Dong, Josef Strau, Alina Szapocznikow, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Éric Watier and Erwin Wurm.

Writers include Arjun Appadurai, Karl Beveridge, Bill Brown, Ian Burn, Jack Burnham, Lynne Cooke, Gillo Dorfles, Jean Fisher, Ferreira Gullar, Charles Harrison, Paulo Herkenhoff, Yacouba Konaté, Rosalind Krauss, Julia Kristeva, Bruno Latour, Jean-François Lyotard, Lev Manovich, Ursula Meyer, Kristie Miller, Bruno Munari, Georges Perec, Dieter Roelstraete, Marcus Steinweg, Hito Steyerl, Amie Thomasson, Gérard Wajcman and Slavoj Zizek.

Antony Hudek is Senior Lecturer at Liverpool School of Art and Design, Liverpool John Moores University. He is a translator of works by Jean-François Lyotard, a writer on contemporary art, independent curator and co-publisher of Occasional Papers.

Paperback, 240 pages, 210 x 145 mm

ISBN 978-0-85488-218-2

First published 2014

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