Is there such a thing as contemporary art history? The contemporary, after allas much as we may want to consider it otherwiseis being made history as it happens. By what means do we examine this moving target? These questions lie at the center of Jane Blocker’s Becoming Past. The important point is not whether there isor should becontemporary art history, Blocker argues, but how.
Focusing on a significant aspect of current art practice in which artists have engaged with historical subject matter, methods, and inquiry? Blocker asks how the creation of the artist implicates and interrogates that of the art historian. She moves from art history to theater, to performance, and to literature as she investigates a series of works, including performances by the collaborative group Goat Island, the film Deadpan by Steve McQueen, the philosophies of science fiction writer Samuel Delany and documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee, the film Amos Fortune Road by Matthew Buckingham, and sculptures by Dario Robleto.
Many books have sought to understand the key directions of contemporary art. In contrast, Becoming Past is concerned with the application of art history in the pursuit of such trends. Setting the idea of temporality decisively in the realm of art, Blocker’s work is crucial for artists, art historians, curators, critics, and scholars of performance and cultural studies interested in the role of history in the practice of art.
|Publisher:||University of Minnesota Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Jane Blocker is professor of art history at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Seeing Witness:Visuality and the Ethics of Testimony and What the Body Cost: Desire, History, and Performance (both from Minnesota), as well as Where Is Ana Mendieta?: Identity, Performativity, and Exile.
Table of Contents
Introduction: History as Prosthesis1. Wooden Legs: Goat Island's Acts of Repair2. Houses Falling Down: Archival Violence in Steve McQueen's Deadpan3. Incorrect and Incomplete: Ross McElwee's Fictions and Samuel Delany's Lies4. The Empty Stage: A Story About the Past by Matthew Buckingham5. Stupid Birds: Temporal Dissidence in The Lastmaker6. Transitional Objects: Dario Robleto's SpoolsConclusion. Wooden Feet: Francis Alÿs and Syncopated TimeAcknowledgmentsNotesBibliographyIndex