Cultural Studies

Modernism/Murderism – The Modern Art Debate in Kumar
Jyoti Bhatt Pherozeshah, Rustomji Mehta
Reliable Copy - 25.00€ -

Modernism/Murderism brings together, for the first time in English, a forgotten debate on Modern Art that took place in the pages of India's Gujarati-language literary periodical Kumar between 1959 and 1964.

Published across various issues, the debate brings into conversation Pherozeshah Rustomji Mehta, a writer and art connoisseur from Karachi, and Jyoti Bhatt, a young artist who had just begun teaching at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU Baroda. While Mehta chose to defend what he believed were the timeless and traditional values of art, Bhatt proposed that Modern Art was no stranger to these values and in fact had much in common with them.

Alongside the articles by Mehta and Bhatt, the publication also brings together responses to the debate from various readers who interjected in the "Readers Write" column of the periodical, as well as notes from Kumar's editor, Bachubhai Ravat, who informally acted as a mediator. Offering a vantage point from which to view the entry of Modernism and its affiliated discourses into the art practices of the region, this volume proposes itself as a reader to these histories and revisits this crucial moment.

Jyoti Bhatt (born Jyotindra Manshankar Bhatt in 1934) is an Indian artist best known for his modernist work in painting and printmaking and also his photographic documentation of rural Indian culture.

Pherozeshah Rustomji Mehta (1880-1971) was a writer and scholar from Karachi.

New Forms of Art and Contagious Mental Illness
Carl Julius Salomonsen, et al.
New Documents - 35.00€ -

Over the years 1919–20, the celebrated medical scientist and doctor Carl Julius Salomonsen began giving public lectures and publishing pamphlets regarding a new “epidemic” that had begun to affect the European populace: the increasing ubiquity of modernist art.

In a 1919 pamphlet titled New Forms of Art and Contagious Mental Illness, he wrote: “We stand, at this moment, before a movement in art which is psychopathic in character, and whose victorious journey through all countries is probably caused by the same spiritual disease that gave the older, religious spiritual epidemic such a powerful spread.” This pamphlet and the accompanying talks were countered by a retaliatory pamphlet published by members of Grønningen, a Copenhagen modernist painters group, to which Salomonsen responded with a further pamphlet.

Translated into English for the first time by literary theorist Andrew Hodgson, the entire altercation is gathered in this book, documenting one of the earliest rejections of modernist art.

Edited & Translated by Andrew Hodgson.

Raving
McKenzie Wark
Duke University Press - 16.00€ -

McKenzie Wark takes readers into the undisclosed locations of New York's thriving queer rave scene, showing how raving to techno is an art and technique at which queer and trans bodies might be particularly adept, but which is for anyone who lets the beat seduce them.

Contents
1. Rave as Practice 
2. Xeno-euphoria 
3. Ketamine Femmunism 
4. Enlustment 
5. Resonant Abstraction 
6. Excessive Machine 

"How to write a book about raving as a practice that practices rave? From k-nights spent on Brooklyn's and Berlin's junkspace dance floors, McKenzie Wark abstracts a life practice of ressociation in a dance of autoconceptualization and allotheorization. In crossing toward the stranger's gift of 'letting go of ourselves as private property, ' Raving is nothing less than Wark's femmunist manifesto, her tractatus on techno's blackness, her treatise for a twenty-first-century trans ethics."—Kodwo Eshun

Iliazda at the Birthday Party – Autobiographical Lecture, 1922
Iliazda
Rab-Rab Press - 14.00€ -

The English translation of Zdanevich's Dadaist autobiographical lecture in Paris in 1922, where he adopts the name Iliazda. In this entertaining lecture, the achievements of the avant-garde is presented as a combination of zaum, polymorphous sexuality, aleatory forms and scatological interpretation of culture.

The second volume of the bie bao series presents a eulogy entitled Iliazda at the Birthday Party, a pseudo-autobiographical lecture delivered by Ilya Zdanevich in Paris in 1922. It reports on Zdanevich's artistic and political adventures up until then. Along with an autobiography full of self-admiration, in this lecture Zdanevich gives an interpretation of his zaum dramas inspired by Freudianism, and humorously describes a colourful image of the Russian microcosm in Montparnasse. 

Additionally, this second volume also includes Iliazd's letter to Ardengo Soffici from 1964, where one can read, in the most unambiguous terms, about Zdanevich's positions against war, imperialism, and all forms of nationalism. Subtitled 50 Years of Russian Futurism, the letter to Soffici presents us with an altogether new Zdanevich—a "fellow traveller" in both leftist and avant-garde circles. As well as the extended introduction and extensive annotations, the texts are further contextualised with Johanna Drucker's visual presentation of the birth of the Iliazd cult.

The bie bao series will include eight publications, covering many layers of Zdanevich's rich theoretical and artistic output. Each volume consists of a bio-bibliographical introduction, a commentary, a translation with annotations, and artistic intervention.

Iliazd (Ilya Zdanevich, 1894-1975) was a Russian poet, designer, typographer, theoretician, art critic, and publisher, close to the avant-garde circles and one of the promoters of Futurism in Russia, author of a poetic work, drama written in zaum abstract poetic trans-sense or "transrational" language, and novels.

The Marketplace of Art / Commentary
Karel Teige
Rab-Rab Press - 24.00€ -

The first English translation of Karel Teige's The Marketplace of Art in two volumes includes a critical introduction, inquiries, and extensive commentaries. Originally published in the Czech language in 1936, The Marketplace of Art is the summation of Teige's artistic, political, and theoretical work.

Acclaimed as one of the leading theoreticians of avant-garde art and architecture between the two world wars, Teige's more political writings still remain to be discovered. Written in 1936, in the context of the rising conservative right-wing culture, and during the intense debates between the avant-garde artists and the Communist Party, The Marketplace of Art is a response to the capitulation of contemporary art to fascist and Stalinist currents. Teige discusses this reaction as something deeply inscribed into the culture of the bourgeoisie, which he claims is a culture "not able to create and inspire any other kind of art besides a hollow and pompous academism or sentimental kitsch." Teige's Marxist analysis of the art market shows in which way this culture is tied with capitalist institutions and he offers artistic and political strategies to oppose its absolutism. In today's warmongering culture of authoritarian neoliberalism where the contemporary art market is run by oligarchs, Karel Teige's radical critique of the art market is more relevant than ever. 

Rab-Rab Press presents this long-awaited translation with an accompanying volume of commentaries and interventions. Edited and introduced by Sezgin Boynik and Joseph Grim Feinberg, the book is published in collaboration with Contradictions/Kontradikce Journal based in Prague. The commentary volume includes commissioned essays by Zbyněk Baladrán, Dave Beech, Jana Ndiaye Berankova, Michel Chevalier, Esther Leslie, John Roberts, and Paul Wood, as well as an inquiry on The Marketplace of Art with responses from František Dryje, Tomáš Hříbek, Rea Michalová, Šimon Svěrák, and Roman Telerovský.

Czech artist, critic, and art theorist Karel Teige (1900-1951), close to the French Surrealists, founder of the Devětsil group in 1920, and member of Leva Fronta (The Left Front), was one of the most important figures of the Czech avant-garde.

Black Phoenix: Third World Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture
Rasheed Araeen, Mahmood Jamal (eds.)
Primary Information - 24.00€ -

Facsimile compilation of the late-'70s journal on diasporic and colonial histories that paved the way for the British Black Arts Movement.

Published in three issues between 1978 and 1979, Black Phoenix: Journal of Contemporary Art & Culture in the Third World (the subtitle was changed to Third World Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture for its second and third issues) stands as a key document of its time. More than a decade after '60s liberation movements and the historic Bandung and Tricontinental Conferences that called for social and political alignment and solidarity to dismantle Western imperialism and (neo)colonialism, Black Phoenix issued a rallying call for the formation of a Third World, liberatory arts and culture movement on the eve of Margaret Thatcher's election in 1979.

Based in the UK, and both international and national in scope, Black Phoenix positioned diasporic and colonial histories at the center of an evolving anti-racist and anti-imperialist consciousness in late 1970s Britain—one that would yield complex and nuanced discourses on race, class and postcolonial theory in England in the decade that followed.

A precursor to the British Black Arts Movement that formed in 1982 (which encompassed such cultural practitioners as the Black Audio Film Collective and cultural studies theorist Stuart Hall), Black Phoenix proposed a horizon for Blackness beyond racial binaries, across the Third World and the colonized of the interior in the West.

This single-volume facsimile reprint gathers all three issues of the journal, which include contributions by art critics, scholars, artists, poets and writers, including editors Rasheed Araaen and Mahmood Jamal, Guy Brett, Kenneth Coutts-Smith, Ariel Dorfman, Eduardo Galeano, N. Kilele, Babatunde Lawal, David Medalla, Ayyub Malik, Susil Sirivardana and Chris Wanjala.

Future Imperfect
Adrian Rifkin
Ma Bibliotheque - 12.00€ -  out of stock

Then let the story really begin in 1968, though it has little to do with May. By chance it opens in January of that year, and it really concerns me rather than the world of political events, though these are always on my mind, as they were always on my mind. Its antecedents are in the summer of 1967, when I lived, happily, in a squalid bedsit in the then squalid Ladbroke Square, as well as in some basement maid’s room in the West End, and did my secondary sources in the British Library, the V&A, and also, a bit, in Paris, Bordeaux, and Montauban, though that was to flirt with the primary sources ahead of time. 

This short Bildungsroman sets beside each other the fault lines of events and moments recalled without a diary with the verification and sometimes undermining effects of new research of materials, the recovery of what was known, what might have been known, and what was merely probable, as if this were a history of the history of art. 

‘This is an extraordinary journey. Using ekphrasis as method—and as a proper timeline for an indefinite confinement—it wanders through a lived calendar of scholarship, where forgotten stories of art history books flirt with library indexes and archival catalogues, and streetwalking meets gay longing at the heart of the text.’ 
– Élisabeth Lebovici

Adrian Rifkin worked in art departments as a historian and a studio tutor, in historical and cultural studies as well as visual culture, from Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1970 to Goldsmiths, University of London in 2012, where he was a professor of Art Writing. A collection of essays, Communards and Other Cultural Histories, edited and introduced by Steve Edwards, was published in 2017. Interdisciplinary Encounters, Hidden and Visible Explorations of the Work of Adrian Rifkin, edited by Dana Arnold, appeared in 2015.

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