Elisabeth Sussman

  • On the Passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Moment in Time

    On the Passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Moment in Time

    The Situationist International, 1957–1972

    Peter Wollen, Greil Marcus, Mark Francis, Tom Levin, Elisabeth Sussman, Mirella Bandini, and Troels Anderson

    Texts by Peter Wollen, Greil Marcus, Tom Levin, Mark Francis, Elisabeth Sussman, Mirella Bandini, and Troels Anderson. These photographs, essays, drawings, and original texts document the rich agit-art legacy of the Situationist International, a group of European artists and writers who emerged from such avant-garde movements as COBRA, Lettrisme, and the Imaginary Bauhaus and from the breakup of surrealism to launch a strategy of art as cultural critique. The SI's attempt to transform everyday life through paintings, films, manifestos, posters, pamphlets, maquettes, acts, and agitations culminated in the 1968 student uprising in Paris and shifted the focus of the situationist platform from aesthetic concerns to political instigation. Elisabeth Sussman describes the significance of the SI exhibit at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art in the context of American Museums Mark Francis's introduction explains the background of the SI and is followed by a documentary section that includes translations of emblematic pre-situationist and situationist texts. The SI, prominent situationist artists, and their techniques are then examined and critiqued in five insightful essays. Peter Wollen looks at the SI in light of its paradigmatic attempt to marry art and politics. He evaluates the traditions that led to and from this moment of fusion and to its successes and its failures. Greil Marcus examines Memoires, a collaborative book project by the painter Asger Jorn and the writer and theorist Guy Debord. Marcus's close reading of the book's construction in which a series of clips or "appropriations" from mass media sources were splattered with paint, shows that it literally demonstrates the situationist technique of detournement the dislocation or "turning" of the everyday. Tom Levin focuses on the films of Guy Debord and on their relation to the Lettrist cinema and the American avant-garde cinema of the early 1960s. Two brief essays by Troels Andersen and Mirella Bandini respectively take up Asger Jorn's relationship to the SI and the 1956 Congress at Alba that laid the foundations for the formation of the SI.

    Co-published with The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and distributed by The MIT Press.

    • Hardcover $27.50
    • Paperback $14.95
  • Utopia Post Utopia

    Configurations of Nature and Culture in Recent Sculpture and Photography

    Fredric Jameson, Alice Jardine, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Éric Michaud, Elisabeth Sussman, and David Joselit

    Much of the art and art theory of the 1980s has addressed the question Abigail Solomon-Godeau asks in her essay for this book: whether "the art object can carve a place for itself outside the determinations of the already-written, the already-seen, the sign." Utopia Post Utopia takes up the debate on this issue which has crystallized around the theoretical opposition between nature and culture, or more specifically the analysis of a nature (human and otherwise) which is culturally produced. Utopia Post Utopia approaches the nature-culture opposition from both the point of view of the lingering nostalgia for an essential nature, as well as the aggressive replacement of "reality" with simulations of both the natural and man-made environment. It documents two shows: a sculptural installation conceived by Robert Gober including work by himself, Meg Webster, and Richard Prince; and an exhibition of photography by James Welling, Oliver Wasow, Dorit Cypis, Lorna Simpson, Jeff Wall, and Larry Johnson. In addition to Abigail Solomon-Godeau's contribution, essays by Fredric Jameson, Alice Jardine, Eric Michaud, Elisabeth Sussman and David Joselit critically examine such issues as the problematic nature of utopian impulses in recent art (Jameson); the question of authenticity (Jardine); the shifting relationship between the represented and real worlds (Michaud); the phenomenon of collaboration and ensemble in recent art production (Sussman); and meaning of photographic serialization and superimposition (Joselit). Distributed for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston where Elisabeth Sussman is Chief Curator and David Joselit Curator.

    • Paperback $13.95


  • 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 includeMalek 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