The Object of Labor explores the personal, political, social, and economic meaning of work in the context of art and textile production. The ubiquity of cloth in everyday life, the historically resonant relationship of textile and cloth to labor, and the tumultuous drive of globalization make the issues raised by this publication of special interest today. The seventeen essays cover topics ranging from art-making practices to labor history and the effects of globalization as seen through art and labor.
Bernd and Hilla Becher's almost fifty-year collaboration constitutes the most important project in objective and conceptual photography today. With this volume, grain elevators join the list of building types documented by the Bechers in their book-length studies: water towers, blast furnaces, gas tanks, oil tanks, mineheads, frame houses, and cooling towers.
Bernd and Hilla Becher's lifetime project of documenting the industrial landscape of our time secures their position in the canon of postwar photographers. Their work—at once conceptual art, typological study, and topological documentation—has influenced German photographers of a younger generation, including Thomas Struth, Thomas Demand, Candida Höfer, Thomas Ruff, and Andreas Gursky. This compelling, exhaustively documented biography describes the Bechers' life and work and offers a critical assessment of their place in the history of photography.
With her Untitled Film Stills of the 1970s, Cindy Sherman became one of the era's most important and influential artists. Since then, her metamorphosing self-portraits and appropriation of genres can be seen as a continuous investigation of representation and its complicated relationship to photography. Sherman and her work are often discussed in terms of postmodern theories and ideas that were coming to increasing prominence as her career began—feminism, subjectivity, mass media, new forms of mechanical reproduction, and even trauma, among others.
For the past two decades Louise Lawler has been taking photographs of art in situ, from small poignant black-and-white images of art in people's homes to large format glossy color pictures of art in museums and in auction houses. In addition she has produced a variety of objects—paperweights, etched drinking glasses, matchbooks, gallery announcements—all of which cleverly describe how art comes to accrue value as it moves through various systems of exchange.
The island of Borneo is a place of great natural beauty and rich biodiversity. From the peaks of the majestic Mount Kinabalu to the enchanting coral-fringed islands that lie offshore, with vast tracts of lush rainforest in between, Borneo's landscape is as varied as it is magnificent. In Wild Borneo, author Nick Garbutt embarks upon a fascinating investigation into the wonders of this island, exploring every aspect of Borneo's terrain, from its rainforest-covered lowland areas to its mountain ranges, highland areas, and winding rivers.
Bernd and Hilla Becher's photography can be considered conceptual art, typological study, and topological documentation. Their work can be linked to the Neue Sachlichkeit movement of the 1920s and to such masters of German photography as Karl Blossfeldt, August Sander, and Albert Renger-Patzsch. Their photographs documenting the architecture of industrial structures, taken over the course of forty years, make up the most important body of work to be found in independent objective photography.
The old dream of social belonging and political sovereignty—the dream of nation—was fraught with anxiety and contradiction for many artists and intellectuals in the 1950s. On the one hand, memories of the Second World War remained vivid and the chauvinism that had enabled it threatened to return with the growing tensions of the Cold War. On the other hand, the need to bind together into a new global identity—into a world nation or "family of man"—seemed ever more pressing as a bulwark against the rapidly expanding threat of a nuclear World War III.
Jaroslav Rossler (1902-1990) was one of the Czech avant-garde photographers of the first half of the twentieth century whose work has only recently become known outside Eastern Europe. Czech photography in the twenties and thirties produced radical modernist works that incorporated principles of abstract art and constructivism; Jaroslav Rossler was one of the most important and distinctive artists of the period.
In 1994, an interim government in Rwanda orchestrated one of the world's worst mass crimes: a 100-day extermination campaign that took half a million lives. At the time, Rwanda's genocide went largely unnoticed by the outside world. Today there is growing interest in the Rwandan experience as many discover the horror that took place and seek to understand how and why violence of this character and magnitude could have happened in our time.