Allan Sekula

  • Geography Lesson

    Geography Lesson

    Canadian Notes

    Allan Sekula

    Examining the iconography found in images of the landscapes of Canada's resource-based economy, of bank architecture and its messages of cultural stability, and of the land as it appears on Canadian money.

    Photographer and writer Allan Sekula constructs narratives that define land and its political, social, and economic demarcations. He has described Geography Lesson: Canadian Notes as a conjectural comparison of imaginary and material geographies in the advanced capitalist world. In the book, which is based on a 1986 exhibition, he examines the iconography found in images of a landscape altered by mining, of bank architecture and its messages of cultural stability, and of the land as a source of economic wealth as it appears on Canadian money.

    The seventy-six photographs form a narrative sequence augmented by captions and by the text, which is written in the subjective voice of a single investigator and storyteller. The photographs link two sites: the Inco mine and smelter in Sudbury and the Bank of Canada in Ottawa. The deep roots of their existence—the creation and distribution of wealth—are far more intimately connected than appearances would suggest. Canadian bills bear images of industry that draw resources from the land, contributing to the myth of national independence and self-determination. Issues of national identity and independence acquire a heightened poignancy in light of Sekula's underlying subject, the relationship between Canada's resource-based economy and U.S. capital.

    In essays following Sekula's text, Gary Dufour discusses Canadian Notes as an examination of social and economic discourses that shape perceptions of the land, and John O'Brian discusses the dynamics of a resource-based economy, relations between Canada and the United States, and photography's ability to regulate appearances and therefore to control reality.Distributed for the Vancouver Art Gallery

    • Paperback $27.00 £18.95

Contributor

  • Michael Asher

    Michael Asher

    Jennifer King

    Essays and criticism that span Michael Asher's career, documenting site-specific installations and institutional interventions.

    During a career that spanned more than forty years, from the late 1960s until his death in 2012, Michael Asher created site-specific installations and institutional interventions that examined the conditions of art's production, display, and reception. At the Art Institute of Chicago, for example, he famously relocated a bronze replica of an eighteenth-century sculpture of George Washington from the museum's entrance to an interior gallery, thereby highlighting the disjunction between the statue's symbolic function as a public monument and its aesthetic origins as an artwork.

    Today, Asher is celebrated as one of the forerunners of institutional critique. Yet because of Asher's situation-based method of working, and his resistance to making objects that could circulate in the art market, few of his works survive in physical form. What does survive is writing by scholars and critics about his diverse practice. The essays in this volume document projects that range from Asher's environmental works and museum displacements to his research-based presentations and reflections on urban space.

    Contributors Michael Asher, Sandy Ballatore, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jennifer King, Miwon Kwon, Barbara Munger, Stephan Pascher, Birgit Pelzer, Anne Rorimer, Allan Sekula

    • Hardcover $19.75 £14.99
    • Paperback $19.95 £14.99
  • The Archive

    The Archive

    Charles Merewether

    The significance of the archive in modernity and in contemporary art; writings by Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, Hal Foster, and others, and essays on the archival practice of such artists as Gerhard Richter, Christian Boltanski, Renée Green, and The Atlas Group.

    In the modern era, the archive—official or personal—has become the most significant means by which historical knowledge and memory are collected, stored, and recovered. The archive has thus emerged as a key site of inquiry in such fields as anthropology, critical theory, history, and, especially, recent art. Traces and testimonies of such events as World War II and ensuing conflicts, the emergence of the postcolonial era, and the fall of communism have each provoked a reconsideration of the authority given the archive—no longer viewed as a neutral, transparent site of record but as a contested subject and medium in itself.

    This volume surveys the full diversity of our transformed theoretical and critical notions of the archive—as idea and as physical presence—from Freud's "mystic writing pad" to Derrida's "archive fever"; from Christian Boltanski's first autobiographical explorations of archival material in the 1960s to the practice of artists as various as Susan Hiller, Ilya Kabakov, Thomas Hirshhorn, Renée Green, and The Atlas Group in the present.

    Not for sale in the UK and Europe.

    • Paperback $24.95 £16.95