Mark Francis

Mark Francis, FASLA is Professor and former Chair of landscape architecture at the University of California, Davis. He is author of Urban Open Space, Village Homes,, Public Space, The California Landscape Garden, and Community Open Space.

  • The Meaning of Gardens

    The Meaning of Gardens

    Mark Francis and Randolph T. Hester, Jr.

    Gardens reveal the relationship between culture and nature, yet in the vast library of garden literature few books focus on what the garden means - on the ecology of garden as idea, place, and action. The Meaning of Gardens maps out how the garden is perceived, designed, used, and valued. Essays from a variety of disciplines are organized around six metaphors special to our time - the garden muses of Faith, Power, Ordering, Cultural Expression, Personal Expression, and Healing. Each muse suggests specific inspirations for garden and landscape design.

    • Hardcover $39.95
    • Paperback $45.00
  • 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

Contributor

  • Dan Graham

    Dan Graham

    Beyond

    Bennett Simpson and Chrissie Iles

    The first comprehensive survey of a pioneering artist, encompassing photographs, film and video, architectural models, pavilion installations, conceptual projects for magazine pages, drawings and prints, and writings.

    Dan Graham is one of the most significant figures to emerge from the 1960s moment of Conceptual art, with a practice that pioneered a range of art forms, modes, and ideas that are now fundamental to contemporary art. The thrust of his practice has always pointed beyond: beyond the art object, beyond the studio, beyond the medium, beyond the gallery, beyond the self. Beyond all these categories and into the realm of the social, the public, the democratic, the mass produced, the architectural, the anarchic, the humorous. Graham's early work, Homes for America—a series of snapshots of suburban New Jersey tract housing accompanied by short parodic texts, made as a page layout for Arts magazine—announced a critical art grounded in the everyday, and it merged the artist's interest in cultural commentary with art's most advanced visual modes. His 1984 “video-essay” Rock My Religion traced a continuum of separatism and collective ecstasy from the American religious sect the Shakers to hard-core punk music. This volume, which accompanies a major retrospective organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, offers the first comprehensive survey of Graham's work. The book's design evokes magazine format and style, after Graham's important conceptual work from the 1960s in that medium. Generously illustrated in color and black and white,Dan Graham: Beyond features eight new essays, two new interviews with the artist, a section of reprints of Graham's own writing, and an animated manga-style “life of Dan Graham” narrative. It examines Graham's entire body of work, which includes designs for magazine pages, drawing, photographs, film and video, and architectural models and pavilions.

    Essays: Chrissie Iles on Graham's performance work • Bennett Simpson on Graham's interest and works in rock music • Beatriz Colomina on Graham's architectural pavilions • Rhea Anastas on Graham's early formation and short-lived operation of the John Daniels Gallery • Mark von Schlegell on Graham's interest in science fiction • Mark Francis on Graham's Public Space/Two Audiences (1976) •Alexandra Midal on Graham's conceptual works for magazine pages and magazine design • Philippe Vergne on Graham's puppet opera Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty (2004) • Kim Gordon interview with Graham on their collaborations and music • Rodney Graham interview with Graham on jokes and humor in art

    • Paperback $45.00