History in Contemporary Art and Culture  book cover
1st Edition

History in Contemporary Art and Culture





ISBN 9781032137360
Published July 29, 2022 by Routledge
258 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This unique book offers guidance for contemporary art practices in dialogue with history, story, memory, and tradition.

Artist and lecturer Paul O’Kane uses innovative and creative means, informed by a storytelling tradition as well as academic research, to make connections between contemporary art, history, and the past. The aim of this book is to give readers a sense of the profundity of historical questions, while making the challenge inviting, welcoming and manageable. It is designed to set out an expansive, inclusive and diverse range of potential directions, and speculations from which students can develop personal paths of enquiry. This is achieved by writing and designing the text in an accessible way and providing a range of ‘ways-in’. A series of carefully chosen references, examples, key texts, and possible essay questions are chosen and pitched at various levels and can be close-read, discussed, digested, and responded to either verbally or in the form of a presentation or essay.

Written primarily for a broad range of fine arts students, this book encourages readers to reconsider their studies and art practices in light of a historical perspective, enhanced by creative contributions from artists, imaginative philosophers, and influential cultural commentators.

Table of Contents

Introduction: how to use this book, Part I Shorter Essays, 1. Country Life, 2. Folkert de Jong: serious history and black comedy, 3. Jimmie Durham: spoof museologist, ahistorical dreamer, 4. Progressive Tradition: Ariella Azoulay and Chloé Zhao (post-modernisms and Earthrise), 5. Sigrid Holmwood: history performed as a radical gesture, 6. Tacita Dean: seeing and believing (altermodern and veracity), 7. Robert Smithson and George Kubler: a bus ride in geological time, 8. Charles Baudelaire’s Salon of 1846: modern life and modern art as history, 9. Cao Fei, Yu Hong, Tie Ning, and Jia Zhangke: memory, return, and afterimage, 10. John Akomfrah: hauntological history and costume drama, 11. Pablo Bronstein: critiquing neo-Georgian aesthetics in a lingering postmodern paradigm, 12. Walter Benjamin’s Theses: history’s mental gymnasium, 13. Exploring the Outmoded: a fragment of Benjamin’s Surrealism, 14. Beguiling Memories: memory palaces, wunderkammers, Proust, and La Jetée, 15. A Melancholic Past-Present Tense: the novels of Kazuo Ishiguro, 16. Folk-Tales and Fairy-Tales: Calvino, cunning, and high spirits, hearts, chains, and liberties, 17. History or Dreaming: Wade Davis on Jared Diamond, 18. ‘I don’t believe in things’: Gilles Deleuze, history, and event, Part II Longer Essays, 19. Dark Horses and Hollow Men: Hew Locke and the monument – Part 1, 20. Dark Horses and Hollow Men: Hew Locke and the monument – Part 2, 21. A Personal History of New School Hip-Hop - Part 1, 22. A Personal History of New School Hip-Hop - Part 2, 23. Giving Form to History: History and story, Johannes Phokela, and the Soweto museums, 24. Forever Young: Elizabeth Price and the popular past, amateurism, fetish, and juvenilia – Part 1, 25. Forever Young: Elizabeth Price and the popular past, amateurism, fetish, and juvenilia – Part 2, 26. Reverb: a passion for the past in popular music – Part 1, 27. Reverb: a passion for the past in popular music – Part 2, 28. A Selfie Stick in the Charity Shop: history and the self, photography, video, and technology, 29. The Incident at Modane: what have we learned?, 30. Conclusion: what have I done?

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Author(s)

Biography

Paul O'Kane is a lecturer in Critical Studies at Central St. Martin's College, University of the Arts, London. He specialises in histories and theories of art and popular culture.