This anthology investigates the turn in art not only towards archives and histories, the relics of modernities past, but toward the phenomena, in themselves, of "haunting" and the activation of memory. It looks at a wide array of artistic relationships to memory association, repetition and reappearance, as well as forms of "active" forgetting. Its discussions encompass artworks from the late 1940s onward, ranging from reperformances such as Marina Abramovic's Seven Easy Pieces (embodied resurrections of decades-removed performance pieces by her contemporaries) to the inanimate trace of "memory" Robert Morris assigns to his free-form felt pieces, which "forget" in their present configurations their previous slides and falls.
Contextualizing memory's role in visual theory and aesthetic politics - from Marcel Proust's optics to Bernard Stiegler's analysis of memory's "industrialization" - this collection also surveys the diversity of situations and registers in which contemporary artists explore memory.Art that engages with memory embodied in material and spatial conditions is examined beside works that reflect upon memory's effects through time, and yet others that enlist the agency of remembrance or forgetting to work through aspects of the numerous pasts by which the present is always haunted. Artists surveyed include: Marina Abramovic, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Kutlug Ataman, Uta Barth, Tom Burr, Sophie Calle, Joseph Cornell, Tacita Dean, Stan Douglas, Cheryl Dunye, Kota Ezawa, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rodney Graham, Richard Hamilton, Sharon Hayes, Susan Hiller, Roni Horn, Pierre Huyghe, Amar Kanwar, William Kentridge, Idris Khan, Zoe Leonard, Ilan Lieberman, Glenn Ligon, Elizabeth Manchester, Robert Morris, Rabih Mroue, Uriel Orlow, Walid Raad, Anri Sala, Fazal Sheikh, Lorna Simpson, Vivan Sundaram, Jane and Louise Wilson. Writers include Gaston Bachelard, Daniel Birnbaum, Andre Breton, Nicolas Bourriaud, Victor Burgin, Johanna Burton, Tom Burr, Helene Cixous, Joseph Cornell, T.J.Demos, Gilles Deleuze, Ollivier Dyens Okwui Enwezor, Briony Fer, Hal Foster, Maurice Halbwachs, Richard Hamilton, Margaret Iversen, Martin Jay, Siegfried Kracauer, Abigail Levine, Tom McDonough, Roger Malbert, Robert Morris, Rabih Mroue, Michael Newman, Pierre Nora, Georges Perec, Peggy Phelan, Pil & Galia Kollectiv, Megan Ratner, Hans Rudolf Reust, Paul Ricoeur, Lisa Saltzman, Lauren Sedofsky, Roger Shattuck, Michael Sheringham, Bernard Stiegler, Peter Suchin, Margaret Sundell and Jan Verwoert.