Images Performing History

Photography and Representations of the Past in European Art after 1989

Katarzyna Ruchel Stockmans

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Monograph - paperback

The operative role of the photographic media in making and remaking history.

History is increasingly made in images, not only because its records are largely photographic but also because our ideas about the past are formed in visual terms. This book offers a discussion of contemporary art practices which question the received notions of historical representations after the pivotal changes of 1989 in Europe. These art practices reveal, in different ways, the operative role of the photographic media in making and remaking history. Not limited to a particular artistic medium, they demonstrate how history is forged through enacting or re-enacting its past forms, while, on the other hand, they indicate how copying and quoting can contribute to creating a new, operative aesthetics. By foregrounding a performative character of images, art is shown to construct an alternative knowledge of the past. Among others the works of the following artists are discussed in this book: Zofia Kulik, Yael Bartana, Harun Farocki and Andrej Ujic, Luc Tuymans, Dierk Schmidt.

 This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).
Introduction: Unforeseen Histories

1. 1989, Photography and History, Representation
End of (Certain) Histories
Manifold Ends of History: Philosophy, Politics and Culture
Photography and History—Four Patterns
Questioning Representation: Art and History

2. The Revolution as a Technical Disturbance
Televised Event—the New Image of the Revolutionary Masses
Opposition and Identity
“We are Victorious, the Television is with us”
Revolution as a Return—1989 versus 1917

3. Chaosmos: Montage as Spatial History
Zofia Kulik: Performative Archivist and Spatial Historian
From Ornamental Structure to Self-representation
Cyclical versus Linear Time—Gothic Window
Photography, Archive, History 152

4. Future Pasts of a Community
Return of Nightmares
Reality and Fiction
Wherever I Am
Re-enactment and Utopian Community
Bartana's Nostalgic Projection
5. Painting History Photographically
Between Photography and Painting
Nationalism and Painting
Private versus Public History
Coda: Dierk Schmidt's History in the Present

Afterword—History on an Endless Trial


Format: Monograph - paperback

Size: 230 × 170 mm

298 pages

ISBN: 9789462700291

Publication: September 17, 2015

Series: Lieven Gevaert Series 20

Languages: English

Stock item number: 103840

Katarzyna Ruchel Stockmans is Professor of Art History at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
De diverse kunstenaars in Ruchel-Stockmans’ onderzoek delen een fascinatie voor propaganda en de (verraderlijke) werking van beelden in de representatie en totstandkoming van geschiedenis. 'Images Performing History' biedt daarbij soms treffende beschouwingen, al vraagt dit onderzoek om een aangescherpt vervolg in de huidige, onstuimige tijd – de geschiedenis is allerminst voorbij.
Anne Ruygt, De Witte Raaf, Editie 196 november-december 2018