RRP: $30 (AUD)
Format: 216x140 mm (5.5x8.5 in) Paperback
Pub. Date: October 2010
In his new book, the eminent philosopher Andrew Benjamin turns his attention to architecture, design, sculpture, painting and writing. Drawing predominantly on a European tradition of modern philosophical criticism running from the German Romantics through Walter Benjamin and beyond, he offers a sequence of strong meditations on a diverse ensemble of works and themes: on the library and the house, on architectural theory, on Rachel Whiteread, Peter Eisenman, Anselm Kiefer, Peter Nielson, David Hawley, Terri Bird, Elizabeth Presa and others.
In Benjamin’s hands, criticism is bound up with judgment. Objects of criticism always become more than mere documents. These essays dissolve the prejudices that have determined our relation to aesthetic objects and to thought, releasing in their very care and attentiveness to the ‘objects themselves’ the unexpected potentialities such objects harbour. In his sensitivity to what he calls ‘the particularity of material events’, Benjamin’s writing comes to exemplify new possibilities for the contemporary practice of criticism itself.
These essays are a major contribution to critical thought about art and architecture today, and a genuine work of what Benjamin himself identifies as a ‘materialist aesthetics’.
Architecture + Design
Architecture and Culture
On the Library
Learning from the House
Plus ça change, Plus ça change
On the Image of Different lines
Performing, Effecting Surfaces
A Secular Temenos
Resisting the Design of Empire
Architecture as Practice
The Standards of the Non Standard
Myth and History
Art that Matters
Traces of Anonymity
The Work of Figures
Vandalizing Objects, Destroying Art
Serra and the Space of Sculpture
There in the vanishing
About the Author
Andrew Benjamin is Professor of Critical Theory and Philosophical Aesthetics at Monash University where he is also Director of the Research Unit in European Philosophy. His most recent books are Style and Time: Essays on the Politics of Appearance (North Western University Press, 2006), Of Jews and Animals (Edinburgh University Press, 2010) and Place, Commonality and Judgment: Continental Philosophy and the Ancient Greeks (Continuum 2010).