"Disassembled" Images

Allan Sekula and Contemporary Art

Edited by Alexander Streitberger and Hilde Van Gelder

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Edited volume - paperback

The canonical legacy of Allan Sekula in contemporary visual art

“Disassembled” Images takes as a point of departure Allan Sekula’s productive approach of disassembling elements in order to reassemble them in alternative constellations. Some of the most pressing issues of our time, such as human labor in a globalized economy or the claim for radical democracy, are recurrent themes in Sekula’s oeuvre and are investigated by a wide range of experts in this book. Addressing a variety of artworks, both by Sekula and other artists, the collected essays focus on three crucial aspects within recent politically engaged art: collecting as a tool for representing folly and madness, the confrontation of the maritime space of ecological disasters and geopolitical processes with alternative models of solidarity, and what Sekula named “critical realism” as a reflective method in search of new social agencies and creative freedom. A text–image portfolio by Marco Poloni completes this profound reflection on Sekula’s influential legacy within contemporary visual art.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Anthony Abiragi (University of Colorado), Barbara Baert (KU Leuven), Edwin Carels (School of Arts KASK/HoGent/M HKA), Ronnie Close (American University in Cairo), Bart De Baere (M HKA), Stefanie Diekmann (Hildesheim University), Carles Guerra (Fundació Antoni Tàpies), Clara Masnatta (ICI Berlin), W. J. T. Mitchell (University of Chicago), Marco Poloni (Berlin), Anja Isabel Schneider (KU Leuven/ M HKA), Stephanie Schwartz (University College London), Jonathan Stafford (Nottingham Trent University), Alexander Streitberger (UC Louvain), Hilde Van Gelder (KU Leuven), Benjamin Young (Parsons School of Design)

Assistant editor
Federica Mantoan


Alexander Streitberger and Hilde Van Gelder, Introduction
W.J.T. Mitchell, Planetary Madness: Globalizing the Ship of Fools

Part 1. Collecting Folly
Bart De Baere and Anja Isabel Schneider, Allan Sekula: The
Double Helix of an Activist Stance and of Curating
Stefanie Diekmann, The Stuff in the Studio: On Chris Larson’s
Land Speed Record (2016)
Ronnie Close, Reframing the Aesthetics of Censorship
Edwin Carels, An Archive of Intensities: Vava’s Video
Barbara Baert, Mining Allan Sekula: Four Exercises

Part 2. Maritime Failures and Imaginaries
Marco Poloni, The Land Seen by the Sea
Clara Masnatta, Senses at Sea: For an Amphibian Cinema
Jonathan Stafford, Breaking Open the Container: The Logistical
Image and the Specter of Maritime Labor
Carles Guerra and Hilde Van Gelder, “Do not Trespass.”
An Interview Conversation on the Genesis of Allan Sekula’s Black
Tide/Marea negra (2002–03)

Part 3. Critical Realism in Dialogue
Alexander Streitberger, “Cultural work as a Praxis.”
The Artist as Producer in the Work of Victor Burgin, Martha Rosler,
and Allan Sekula
Stephanie Schwartz, The Face of Protest
Anthony Abiragi, Reading Against the Grain: Allan Sekula and the
Rhetoric of Exemplarity
Benjamin J. Young, “Decolonize This Place”: Realism and
Humanism in Photography of Israel-Palestine

About the Authors
A Note on Allan Sekula’s Life
A Note on Allan Sekula’s Works Discussed in the Present Volume


Format: Edited volume - paperback

Size: 230 × 170 × 20 mm

308 pages

3 full colour sections (3 x 16 pp.)

ISBN: 9789462701717

Publication: June 20, 2019

Series: Lieven Gevaert Series 27

Languages: English

Stock item number: 129235

Alexander Streitberger is professor of modern and contemporary art history at the UCLouvain and director of the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art, and Visual Culture.
Hilde Van Gelder is professor of contemporary art history at KU Leuven. She is director of the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art and Visual Culture.
Burlington Contemporary, Marie Muracciole, 12.03.2021
"L’ambition n’est ici pas des moindres : recontextualiser et analyser ce projet inachevé, en le mettant en regard de l’art contemporain. [...]  la structure en trois parties de l’ouvrage permet de se concentrer sur trois problématiques centrales dans cette création ultime, mais aussi dans l’œuvre de Sekula de manière plus générale."
Fanny Drugeon, Critique d’art [En ligne], le 26 novembre 2020 URL : http://journals.openedition.org/critiquedart/54602