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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Parallel Texts

Interviews and Interventions about Art

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Parallel Texts

Interviews and Interventions about Art

Artist and critic Victor Burgin’s visual and written works span four decades, and Parallel Texts presents a compilation of essays, interviews, and extracts that evidence the interconnectedness throughout his career of his vast artistic oeuvre exhibited around the world and his influential critical and theoretical writings on art.

Organized chronologically, Parallel Texts includes Burgin’s take on the emergence of conceptual art in the early 1970s, his explorations on the theoretical foundations for a post-conceptualist socialist art practice in such non-Western precedents as Maoism and Russian Formalism, and essays on the issues of gender politics and sexuality as they came to the fore in psychoanalytic criticism. In addition, excerpts from The End of Art Theory record his observations on an art world turning toward fashion and gaining unusual wealth. His later works, influenced by his experiences teaching cultural theory at the University of California, look at art theory from within an environment almost unrecognizably transformed by cultural, political, and economic globalization, as well as unprecedented forms of technology and violence.

An extensive selection of works from a long and influential artistic career, Parallel Texts will be invaluable to admirers of Burgin’s art and writing as well as those readers with an interest in contemporary art and art theory.


253 pages | 30 halftones | 5 1/2 x 9 | © 2011

Art: Art Criticism

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Table of Contents

00. Preface

01. From ‘Situational Aesthetics’, Studio International

02. From ‘Conceptual Art: Interview with Victor Burgin’, Varsity

03. From ‘Rules of Thumb’, Studio International

04. ‘In Reply’, Art-Language

05. From ‘Introduction’, in Two Essays on Art, Photography and Semiotics

06. ‘Socialist Formalism’, Studio International

07. ‘Images of People’, contribution to The State of British Art debate, Institute of Contemporary Arts; Studio International

08. From Tony Godfrey, ‘Sex, Text, Politics: An Interview with Victor Burgin’, recorded in 1979, published in Block

09. From Rosetta Brooks, ‘Victor Burgin: Interview’, Z.G.

10. Excerpts from The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Postmodernity

11. From Mark Lewis, ‘Victor Burgin: Interviewed by Mark Lewis’, C magazine

12. From Geoffrey Batchen, ‘For an Impossible Realism: An Interview with Victor Burgin’, Afterimage

13. Homi Bhabha, ‘Visualizing Theory’, from a public conversation at the Institute of Contemporary Arts; Visual Anthropology Review

14. From Tony Godfrey, ‘The Space Man’, Tate Magazine

15. From Amanda Nowinski, ‘Victor Burgin: The Art of Being Understood’, Speak

16. From Peter Suchin, ‘Seeing Between Signs: Peter Suchin interviews Victor Burgin’, dpict

17. From Sarah Thornton, ‘Zeitgeitst and Transmission: interview with Victor Burgin’

18. “Medium” and “Specificity”, in Photography Theory

19. ‘Populism, Genre and the Blank Canvas’, paper given at the conference Populism and Genre, Tate Britain

20. From a ‘Q & A’ with graduate students at the University of Rennes, Haute Bretagne and the Université catholique de Louvain; in Components of a Practice

21. From Alexander Streitberger, ed. Situational Aesthetics: Selected Writings by Victor Burgin

22. David Campany, question put in an e-mail

23. ‘Face à l’histoire: Document and Interpretation’, paper given at the conference L’image document, entre réalité et fiction, la Fémis

24. From ‘Interactivity and Cinema’, talk given at the Jeu de Paume

25. From ‘Uncinematic and Virtual Signifier’, talk given at the Jeu de Paume

26. Hilde Van Gelder, ‘Artistic Representation and Politics: an Exchange between Victor Burgin and Hilde Van Gelder’, A Prior

27. From ‘Interview with Victor Burgin’, 1453: Journal of Istanbul’s Culture and Art



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