Materiality has reappeared as a highly contested topic in recent art. Modernist criticism's tendency to privilege form over matter was paralleled by technically-based approaches in art history that reinforced connoisseurship via the science of artistic materials. But in order to engage critically with the meaning of hair in David Hammons' installations, milk in the work of Dieter Roth or latex in the sculptures of Eva Hesse, one needs a very different set of methodological tools.This anthology focuses on the moments when materials become wilful actors and agents within artistic processes, entangling their audience in a web of connections.
It investigates the role of materiality in art that attempts to expand notions of time, space, process or participation. And it looks at the ways in which materials obstruct, disrupt or interfere with social norms, surfacing as impure formations and messy, unstable substances.It re-examines the notion of 'dematerialization'; addresses materialist critiques of artistic production; surveys relationships between matter and bodies, from the hierarchies of gender to the abject andphobic; explores the vitality of substances, and the concepts of intermateriality and transmateriality emerging in the hybrid zones of digital experimentation. Artists surveyed include Georges Adeagbo, Carl Andre,Janine Antoni, Amy Balkin, Artur Barrio, Robert Barry,Helen Chadwick, Mel Chin, herman de vries, Mark Dion, Jimmie Durham, VALIE EXPORT, Chohreh Feyzdjou, Romuald Hazoume, Ilya Kabakov, Mike Kelley, Zoe Leonard, Anthony McCall, Teresa Margolles, Robert Morris, ORLAN, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Tino Sehgal, Shozo Shimamoto, Santiago Sierra, Robert Smithson, Simon Starling, Paul Thek, Paul Vanouse, Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Kara Walker.Writers include Joseph A.
Amato, Karen Barad, Judith Butler, Elizabeth Grosz, Hubert Damisch, Georges Didi-Huberman, Natasha Eaton, Briony Fer, Vilem Flusser, Jens Hauser, Dieter Hoffmann-Axthelm, Tim Ingold, Wolfgang Kemp, Julia Kristeva, Esther Leslie, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Sadie Plant, Dietmar Rubel, Viktoria Schmidt-Linsenhoff, Simon Taylor, Hilke Wagner, Monika Wagner and Gillian Whiteley.