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Ruins (Documents of Contemporary Art) Paperback – 1 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Whitechapel Art Gallery (1 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085488193X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0854881932
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.4 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"A useful primer on a subject of perennial interest. Each generation finds something new among the ruins, and this is a good guide to the ruin in contemporary art." - Amy Trendler, "Library Journal" "Under Brian Dillon's inspired editorial guidance, this survey of the moods and meanings of ruin and dereliction is as thought-provoking and perceptive as it is intrinsically poetic. It will offer its riches to anyone who has pondered what might be termed the mortality of materials, and read in their demise new and strange accounts of our own condition." - Michael Bracewell, Writer, novelist and cultural commentator "Here the ruin is not the end of an artefact but rather the beginning of an investigation. From the forensic analysis of the physicality of fragments revealing the relations that go into the making and unmaking of objects and commodities to the virtual debris of philosophy, it is in its ruined form that a thing reveals its fossilized forces; and from this scattered mess we can start to assemble the connections of a new reality." - Eyal Weizman, Architect; Director of the Centre of Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London

About the Author

Brian Dillon is the UK editor of Cabinet and the author of In the Dark Room, Sanctuary, and The Hypochondriacs. He is an editorial board member of TATE Etc. and Art Review, and a regular contributor to numerous journals including Artforum and frieze. Since 2008 he has been AHRC Research Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Kent, Canterbury.

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Artsreadings on 9 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The back cover explains the book as follows:
"This anthology offers a guided tour of the modern ruin as a portal onto what is of vital interest to artists in the culture and politics of the recent past. Among its subjects are the signifying roles of entropy and decay, 'non-places' and 'drosscape' in a critical environmental art, and the disorienting character of the relic and the spectral in contemporary artworks - an involution of perspectives and timescales that addresses not just the past but the future."

All texts are divided in four main parts more or less chronological:
Modernity in ruins, 20
The military-industrial sublime, 100
Drosscape, 138
The future now, 186

It reads more or less easily depending on the style of the source author, and the interest of any single reader. Every text is given the full reference of the original publication, and its original notes, where appropriate.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judy Harrison on 24 Feb 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent book. The essays are varied and extremely valuable for any visual practioner or theorist interested in this area of study.
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