Douglas Crimp

Douglas Crimp is Fanny Knapp Allen Professor of Art History at the University of Rochester. He is the author of On the Museum's Ruins and Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics, both published by the MIT Press.

  • "Our Kind of Movie"

    "Our Kind of Movie"

    The Films of Andy Warhol

    Douglas Crimp

    A celebrated writer on contemporary art and queer culture argues that Andy Warhol's films enable us to see differently, and to see a different world.

    “We didn't think of our movies as underground or commercial or art or porn; they were a little of all of those, but ultimately they were just 'our kind of movie.'”—Andy Warhol

    Andy Warhol was a remarkably prolific filmmaker, creating more than 100 movies and nearly 500 of the film portraits known as Screen Tests. And yet relatively little has been written about this body of work. Warhol withdrew his films from circulation in the early 1970s and it was only after his death in 1987 that they began to be restored and shown again. With Our Kind of Movie Douglas Crimp offers the first single-authored book about the full range of Andy Warhol's films in forty years—and the first since the films were put back into circulation.

    In six essays, Crimp examines individual films, including Blow Job, Screen Test No. 2, and Warhol's cinematic masterpiece The Chelsea Girls (perhaps the most commercially successful avant-garde film of all time), as well as groups of films related thematically or otherwise—films of seductions in confined places, films with scenarios by Ridiculous Theater playwright Ronald Tavel. Crimp argues that Warhol's films make visible new, queer forms of sociality. Crimp does not view these films as cinéma-vérité documents of Warhol's milieu, or as camera-abetted voyeurism, but rather as exemplifying Warhol's inventive cinema techniques, his collaborative working methods, and his superstars' unique capabilities. Thus, if Warhol makes visible new social relations, Crimp writes, that visibility is inextricable from his making a new kind of cinema.

    In Our Kind of Movie Crimp shows how Warhol's films allow us to see against the grain—to see differently and to see a different world, a world of difference.

    • Hardcover $29.95 £25.00
    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • Mixed Use, Manhattan

    Mixed Use, Manhattan

    Photography and Related Practices, 1970s to the Present

    Lynne Cooke and Douglas Crimp

    How New York artists have made use of the city's run-down lofts, neglected piers, vacant lots, and deserted streets.

    When the real estate bust of the 1970s hit New York City, artists found their own mixed uses for the city's run-down lofts, abandoned piers, vacant lots, and deserted streets, and photographers and filmmakers documented their work. Gordon Matta-Clark turned a sanitation pier into the celebrated work Day's End, and Betsy Sussler filmed its making; Harry Shunk made a photographic series from Willoughby Sharp's Projects: Pier 18 (which included work by Vito Acconci, Mel Bochner, Dan Graham, Gordon Matta-Clark, and William Wegman, among others); Cindy Sherman staged some of her Untitled Film Stills on the same city streets. Mixed Use, Manhattan documents and illustrates the most significant of these projects as well as more recent works by artists who continue to engage with the city's public, underground, and improvised spaces. The book (which accompanies a major exhibition) focuses on several important photographic series: Peter Hujar's 1976 nighttime photographs of Manhattan's West Side; Alvin Baltrop's Hudson River pier photographs from 1975-1985, most of which have never before been shown or published; David Wojnarowicz's Rimbaud in New York (1978-1979), the first of Wojnarowicz's works to be published; and several of Zoe Leonard's photographic projects from the late 1990s on. The book includes 70 color and 130 black-and-white images; a special section on visual documentation of performances and related activities, arranged by artist Louise Lawler; Glenn Ligon's text piece, Housing in New York: A Brief History, 1960-2007 (2007); “Losing the Form in Darkness,” an autobiographical story by David Wojnarowicz; and essays by prominent art historians.

    • Hardcover $54.95 £45.00
  • Melancholia and Moralism

    Melancholia and Moralism

    Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics

    Douglas Crimp

    Essays challenging the increasing denial of the AIDS crisis and the rise of conservative gay politics.

    In Melancholia and Moralism, Douglas Crimp confronts the conservative gay politics that replaced the radical AIDS activism of the late 1980s and early 1990s. He shows that the cumulative losses from AIDS, including the waning of militant response, have resulted in melancholia as Freud defined it: gay men's dangerous identification with the moralistic repudiation of homosexuality by the wider society.

    With the 1993 march on Washington for lesbian and gay rights, it became clear that AIDS no longer determined the agenda of gay politics; it had been displaced by traditional rights issues such as gay marriage and the right to serve in the military. Journalist Andrew Sullivan, notorious for pronouncing the AIDS epidemic over, even claimed that once those few rights had been won, the gay rights movement would no longer have a reason to exist.

    Crimp challenges such complacency, arguing that not only is the AIDS epidemic far from over, but that its determining role in queer politics has never been greater. AIDS, he demonstrates, is the repressed, unconscious force that drives the destructive moralism of the new, anti-liberation gay politics expounded by such mainstream gay writers as Larry Kramer, Gabriel Rotello, and Michelangelo Signorile, as well as Sullivan. Crimp examines various cultural phenomena, including Randy Shilts's bestseller And the Band Played On, the Hollywood films "Silence of the Lambs" and "Philadelphia," and Magic Johnson's HIV infection and retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers. He also analyzes Robert Mapplethorpe's and Nicholas Nixon's photography, John Greyson's AIDS musical "Zero Patience," Gregg Bordowitz's video "Fast Trip, Long Drop," the Names Project Quilt, and the annual "Day without Art."

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
    • Paperback $29.95 £25.00
  • On The Museum's Ruins

    On The Museum's Ruins

    Douglas Crimp

    On the Museum's Ruins presents Douglas Crimp's criticism of contemporary art, its institutions, and its politics alongside photographic works by the artist Louise Lawler to create a collaborative project that is itself an example of postmodern practice at its most provocative. Crimp elaborates the new paradigm of postmodernism through analyses of art practices broadly conceived, not only the practices of artists—Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman, Marcel Broodthaers, Richard Serra, Sherrie Levine, and Robert Mapplethorpe—but those of critics and curators, of international exhibitions, and of new or refurbished museums such as the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart and the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.

    The essays:

    - Photographs at the End of Modernism.

    - On the Museum's Ruins.

    - The Museum's Old, the Library's New Subject.

    - The End of Painting.

    - The Photographic Activity of Postmodernism.

    - Appropriating Appropriation.

    - Redefining Site Specificity.

    - This is Not a Museum of Art.

    - The Art of Exhibition.

    - The Postmodern Museum.

    • Hardcover $42.00 £35.00
    • Paperback $41.95 £35.00
  • AIDS

    AIDS

    Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism

    Douglas Crimp

    The literature on AIDS has attempted to teach us the "facts" about this new disease or to provide a narrative account of scientific discovery and developing public health policy. But AIDS has precipitated a crisis that is not primarily medical, or even social and political; AIDS has precipitated a crisis of signification the "meaning" of AIDS is hotly contested in all of the discourses that conceptualize it and seek to respond to it. AIDS: Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism is the first book on the subject that takes this battle over meaning as its premise.

    Contributors Leo Bersani, author of The Freudian Body; Simon Watney, who serves on the board of the Health Education Committee of London's Terrence Higgens Trust; Jan Zita Grover, medical editor at San Francisco General Hospital; Suki Ports, former executive director of the New York City Minority Task Force on AIDS; and Sander Gilman, author of Difference and Pathology.

    Also included are essays by Paula A. Treichler, who teaches in the Medical School and in communications at the University of Illinois; Carol Leigh, a member of COYOTE and contributor to Sex Work; and Max Navarre, editor of the People With AIDS Coalition monthly Newsline. In addition to these essays, the book contains a portfolio of manifestos, articles, letters, and photographs from the publications of the PWA Coalition, an interview with three members of the AIDS discrimination unit of the New York City Commission on Human Rights; and presentations for the independent video documentaries on AIDS, Testing the Limits and Bright Eyes.

    An October Book.

    • Hardcover $26.00
    • Paperback $24.00 £20.00
  • October

    The First Decade, 1976-1986

    Annette Michelson, Rosalind E. Krauss, Douglas Crimp, and Joan Copjec

    OCTOBER: The First Decade brings together a selection of some of the most important and representative texts, many from issues long out of print, that have appeared in one of the foremost journals in art criticism and theory.

    Contributors Rosalind Krauss, Sergei Eisenstein, Peter Handke, Georges Didi Huberman, Mary Ann Doane, and Hans Haacke. Their essays are organized under the categories of the index, historical materialism, the critique of institutions, psychoanalysis, rhetoric, and the body.

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $17.95

Contributor

  • Hans Haacke

    Hans Haacke

    Rachel Churner

    Critical texts that span almost fifty years, mapping Haacke's progression from engagement with biological systems to interrogation of the social and economic underpinnings of art.

    For five decades, the artist Hans Haacke (b. 1936) has created works that explore the social, political, and economic underpinnings of the production of art. His works make plain the hidden and not-so-hidden agendas of those—from Cartier to David Koch—who support art in the service of industry; they expose such inconvenient social and economic truths as the real estate holdings of Manhattan slumlords, and the attempts to whitewash support for the Nazi regime, apartheid, or the war on terror through museum donations.

    This book gathers interviews, difficult-to-find essays, cornerstones of institutional critique, and new critical approaches by writers that include Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jack Burnham, Rosalyn Deutsche, and Leo Steinberg. Haacke's 1971 Guggenheim exhibition was famously canceled when the artist refused to withdraw several proposed works, including one exposing the business dealings of a Manhattan real estate company. This volume includes Edward Fry's catalog text for that show, as well as Walter Grasskamp's “An Unpublished Text for an Unpainted Picture,” redacted from an exhibition catalog in 1984 because of statements about the German collector Peter Ludwig. Other essays consider such topics as Haacke's controversial commission for the Reichstag; the activation of the spectator, from Condensation Cube to the Polls; the conceptual continuity of his practice with regard to General Systems Theory; and his delayed and problematic reception in both the United States and Europe. With contemporary essays and scholarly reassessments, this collection serves as an essential guide to critical thinking on Haacke's artistic practice, from the works of the 1960s that engage with physical and biological systems to his later interrogations of the social and economic underpinnings of art.

    Contributors Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jack Burnham, Douglas Crimp, Rosalyn Deutsche, Sam Durant, Edward F. Fry, Walter Grasskamp, Rosalind Krauss, Jack McGrath, Luke Skrebowski, Leo Steinberg

    • Hardcover $35.00 £28.00
    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • Situation

    Situation

    Claire Doherty

    Key texts on the notion of “situation” in art and theory that consider site, place, and context, temporary interventions, remedial actions, place-making, and public space.

    Situation—a unique set of conditions produced in both space and time and ranging across material, social, political, and economic relations—has become a key concept in twenty-first-century art. Rooted in artistic practices of the 1960s and 1970s, the idea of situation has evolved and transcended these in the current context of globalization. This anthology offers key writings on areas of art practice and theory related to situation, including notions of the site specific, the artist as ethnographer or fieldworker, the relation between action and public space, the meaning of place and locality, and the crucial role of the curator in recent situation specific art.

    In North America and Europe, the site-specific is often viewed in terms of resistance to art's commoditization, while elsewhere situation-specific practices have defied institutions of authority. The contributors discuss these recent tendencies in the context of proliferating international biennial exhibitions, curatorial place-bound projects, and strategies by which artists increasingly unsettle the definition and legitimation of situation-based art.

    Artists Surveyed Vito Acconci, Allora & Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Carl Andre, Artist Placement Group, Michael Asher, Amy Balkin, Ursula Biemann, Bik Van der Pol, Daniel Buren, Victor Burgin, Janet Cardiff, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Adam Chodzko, Collective Actions, Tacita Dean, Elmgreen & Dragset, Andrea Fraser, Hamish Fulton, Dan Graham, Liam Gillick, Renée Green, Group Material, Douglas Huebler, Bethan Huws, Pierre Huyghe, Robert Irwin, Emily Jacir, Ilya Kabakov, Leopold Kessler, Július Koller, Langlands & Bell, Ligna, Richard Long, Gordon Matta-Clark, Graeme Miller, Jonathan Monk, Robert Morris, Gabriel Orozco, Walid Ra'ad, Raqs Media Collective, Paul Rooney, Martha Rosler, Allen Ruppersberg, Richard Serra, Situationist International, Tony Smith, Robert Smithson, Vivan Sundaram, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Lawrence Weiner, Rachel Whiteread, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Qiu Zhijie

    Writers Arjun Appaduri, Marc Augé, Wim Beeren, Josephine Berry Slater, Daniel Birnbaum, Ava Bromberg, Susan Buck-Morss, Michel de Certeau, Douglas Crimp, Gilles Deleuze, T. J. Demos, Rosalyn Deutsche, Thierry de Duve, Charles Esche, Graeme Evans, Patricia Falguières, Marina Fokidis, Hal Foster, Hou Hanrou, Brian Holmes, Mary Jane Jacob, Vasif Kortun, Miwon Kwon, Lu Jie, Doreen Massey, James Meyer, Ivo Mesquita, Brian O'Doherty, Craig Owens, Irit Rogoff, Peter Weibel

    • Paperback $24.95
  • Appropriation

    Appropriation

    David Evans

    Important documents and appraisals of appropriation art from Duchamp's readymades to feminist and postcolonial critique.

    Scavenging, replicating, or remixing, many influential artists today reinvent a legacy of “stealing” images and forms from other makers. Among the diverse, often contestatory strategies included under the heading “appropriation” are the readymade, détournement, pastiche, rephotography, recombination, simulation and parody. Although appropropriation is often associated with the 1980s practice of such artists as Peter Halley, Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince, and Cindy Sherman, as well as the critical discourse of postmodernism and the simulacral theory of Jean Baudrillard, appropriation's significance for art is not limited by that cultural and political moment. In an expanded art-historical frame, this book recontextualizes avant-garde photomontage, the Duchampian readymade, and the Pop image among such alternative precursors as Francis Picabia, Bertolt Brecht, Guy Debord, Akasegawa Genpei, Dan Graham, Cildo Meireles, and Martha Rosler. In the recent work of many artists, including Mike Kelley, Glenn Ligon, Pierre Huyghe, and Aleksandra Mir, among others, appropriation is central to their critique of the contemporary world and vision for alternative futures

    Artists surveyed include Akasegawa Genpei, Santiago Álvarez, Art Workers Coalition, Ross Bleckner, Marcel Broodthaers, Victor Burgin, Maurizio Cattelan, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Douglas Gordon, Johan Grimonprez, Peter Halley, Hank Herron, Pierre Huyghe, Mike Kelley, Idris Khan, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Glenn Ligon, Steve McQueen, Alexandra Mir, Keith Piper, Richard Prince, Jorma Puranen, Cindy Sherman, John Stezaker, Retort, Martha Rosler, Philip Taaffe.

    Writers include Malek Alloula, Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, Nicolas Bourriaud, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Johanna Burton, Douglas Crimp, Thomas Crow, Guy Debord, Georges Didi-Huberman, Marcel Duchamp, Okwui Enwezor, Jean-Luc Godard, Isabelle Graw, Boris Groys, Raoul Hausmann, Sven Lütticken, Cildo Meireles, Kobena Mercer, Slobodan Mijuskovic, Laura Mulvey, Jo Spence, Elisabeth Sussman, Lisa Tickner, Reiko Tomii, Andy Warhol.

    • Paperback $24.95
  • Cindy Sherman

    Cindy Sherman

    Johanna Burton

    Critical essays on Cindy Sherman and one of contemporary art's most innovative bodies of work.

    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. Yet her refusal to acknowledge any of these themes as particular concerns raises questions about the relationships between the meanings projected upon a work of art and those produced by it. Cindy Sherman's art fascinates us in part because of its capacity to suggest—while at the same time slipping away from—so many possible readings. The discussions in these illustrated essays span Sherman's almost three-decade-long career, from her striking debut in the black-and-white Untitled Film Stills through her color photographs using back-projection, prosthetic body parts, and the ever-ingenuous modes of disguise and self-fashioning seen in such later series as Centerfolds, Fairy Tales, and Disasters. The essays—by such well-known critics as Douglas Crimp, Hal Foster, and Rosalind Krauss—respond not only to Sherman's work but also to the arguments and postulations made about it, becoming part of the ongoing critical conversation about an artist of major significance.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • The AIDS Crisis Is Ridiculous and Other Writings, 1986–2003

    The AIDS Crisis Is Ridiculous and Other Writings, 1986–2003

    Gregg Bordowitz and James Meyer

    The first collection of writings by a noted artist and activist whose work has focused on the AIDS epidemic.

    The HIV epidemic animates this collection of essays by a noted artist, writer, and activist. "So total was the burden of illness—mine and others'—that the only viable response, other than to cease making art entirely, was to adjust to the gravity of the predicament by using the crisis as a lens," writes Gregg Bordowitz, a film- and video-maker whose best-known works, Fast Trip Long Drop (1993) and Habit (2001), address AIDS globally and personally. In The AIDS Crisis Is Ridiculous—the title essay is inspired by Charles Ludlam, founder of the Ridiculous Theater Company—Bordowitz follows in the tradition of artist-writers Robert Smithson and Yvonne Rainer by making writing an integral part of an artistic practice.

    Bordowitz has left his earliest writings for the most part unchanged—to preserve, he says, "both the youthful exuberance and the palpable sense of fear" created by the early days of the AIDS crisis. After these early essays, the writing becomes more experimental, sometimes mixing fiction and fact; included here is a selection of Bordowitz's columns from the journal Documents, "New York Was Yesterday." Finally, in his newest essays he reformulates early themes, and, in "My Postmodernism" (written for Artforum's fortieth anniversary issue) and "More Operative Assumptions" (written especially for this book), he reexamines the underlying ideas of his practice and sums up his theoretical concerns.

    In his mature work, Bordowitz seeks to join the subjective—the experience of having a disease—and the objective—the fact of the disease as a global problem. He believes that this conjunction is necessary for understanding and fighting the crisis. "If it can be written," he says, "then it can be realized."

    • Hardcover $8.75 £6.99
    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00