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The Logic of the Lure

The attraction of a wink, a nod, a discarded snapshot—such feelings permeate our lives, yet we usually dismiss them as insubstantial or meaningless. With The Logic of the Lure, John Paul Ricco argues that it is precisely such fleeting, erotic, and even perverse experiences that will help us create a truly queer notion of ethics and aesthetics, one that recasts sociality and sexuality, place and finitude in ways suggested by the anonymity and itinerant lures of cruising. Shifting our attention from artworks to the work that art does, from subjectivity to becoming, and from static space to taking place, Ricco considers a variety of issues, including the work of Doug Ischar, Tom Burr, and Derek Jarman and the minor architecture of sex clubs, public restrooms, and alleyways.

195 pages | 36 halftones | 5-1/4 x 9 | © 2002

Art: Art Criticism

Gender and Sexuality

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Philosophy: Aesthetics


“John Paul Ricco is rapidly establishing himself as a voice to reckon with in both contemporary art criticism and queer theory. The Logic of the Lure is an absolutely wonderful and original work that is bound to have a long-term impact in and outside of its field.”

W. J. T. Mitchell

“This original and frequently dazzling work explores sites that might be defined as queer spaces, and in which we might think of a queer architecture being located. What results is an extremely fascinating effort to redefine notions of architectural space and identity, and to reimagine the spatial dimensions of subjectivity itself.”

Leo Bersani, author of Homos

The Logic of the Lure is simultaneously a meditation on contemporary art, French philosophy, and recent debates in queer theory. But beyond this, it is a restrained yet forceful call to cultivate an erotics of the imperceptible and to attend to the minor architectures that always surround us. Ricco’s haunting writing is itself a bold enactment of non-representational ethics.”

Eleanor Kaufman, author of The Delirium of Praise

“Ricco’s book is polymorphously theoretical, with Blanchot, Deleuze, Derrida and Foucault most in evidence. It is well written and this reviewer cannot recommend it highly enough.”

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword, by William Haver
1. Minor
2. Disappeared
3. Wink
4. Public

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