cover_issue_1323_de_DEEn Face. Seven Essays on the Human Face
2012, Marburg
Jeanette Kohl, co-edited

This thematic issue of the German art history journal kritische berichte gathers analytical approaches to the ‘phenomenon face’ from different disciplines: neurophysiology, philosophy of the body, cultural history, surgery, medieval history, and the history of art. In their contributions, the authors examine the face as medium and material, as mise-en-scene and matter, as mirror and membrane, producer and recipient – as a cultural construction and a human determinant. The essays are spurred by their author’s profound involvement with the questions: WHAT IS A FACE? What did and what does it mean, culturally, socially, psychologically, physiologically, aesthetically, historically? What might it look like in the future? What are our assumptions about what a face represents, what it means to lose one’s face, or live with someone else’s face. Often enough, we think of faces as identities. But, what does a face tell about ‘us’ – individually, culturally, and as a species? Perception and imagination, the belief in images and image making, they all overlap in the face. The book’s trans-disciplinary approach is a first step toward a cultural history of the face. It includes essays by Jean-Claude Schmitt, Bernard Andrieu, Sigrid Weigel, Georges Didi-Huberman, Claudia Schmoelders, Jonathan Cole, and an interview with the facial surgeon Rainer Schmelzeisen.

ArtbytheBookArt by the Book: Painting Manuals and the Leisure Life in Late Ming China
2012, University of Washington Press
J.P. Park, author

Sometime before 1579, Zhou Lujing, a professional writer living in a bustling commercial town in southeastern China, published a series of lavishly illustrated books, which constituted the first multigenre painting manuals in Chinese history. Their popularity was immediate and their contents and format were widely reprinted and disseminated in a number of contemporary publications. Focusing on Zhou’s work,Art by the Book describes how such publications accommodated the cultural taste and demands of the general public, and shows how painting manuals functioned as a form in which everything from icons of popular culture to graphic or literary cliche was presented to both gratify and shape the sensibilities of a growing reading public. As a special commodity of early modern China, when cultural standing was measured by a person’s command of literati taste and lore, painting manuals provided nonelite readers with a device for enhancing social capital.

J. P. Park builds on important recent research on social status, economic development, and print publishing in late imperial China to show how a world of social meaning is evident in the literary subgenre of painting manuals, and provides insight into the links between art history, print culture, and social history.

KeepingItRealKeeping it Real: Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation
2012, Workroom
J.P. Park, author

This exhibition catalog comments on the contemporary state of South Korean art by offering a unique and unprecedented opportunity to experience new art forms pioneered by emerging Korean artists working in Seoul, New York, and Europe. The artists in this exhibition lead us into a mysterious, ironic, and hybrid reality, a reality that completely challenges our perceptions of the world as we are conditioned to think about it. The works on view are a series of dialogues that illuminate conjunctures between real life and fantasy which present objects and human behaviors through a creative and conceptual kaleidoscope. The virtual reality in their art—a hyper-­reality materialized in scientific, technological, and global idioms—unerringly subverts our intellectual, experienced, and intuitive knowledge about art and society. These artists belong to a new generation, born since the tumultuous social and political phase of modern Korean society subdued; without the Cold War, without riot police, yet possessing access to the larger world via the internet, opportunities to travel abroad, and products promoted locally by global corporations. The exhibition features photography, video, site-­specific installation, and sculpture and includes the work of eight artists including: Kyung Woo Han, Yong-ho Ji, Yeondoo Jung, Shin-il Kim, Sun K. Kwak, Hyungkoo Lee, Jaye Rhee, and Kiwoun Shin.

DeshmukhMaxMax Liebermann and International Modernism: An Artist’s Career from Empire to Third Reich
2011, New York/Oxford
Françoise Forster-Hahn, co-editor and contributing author

Published in Association with the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C. and the Centre Allemand d’histoire de l’art/Deutsches Forum fur Kunstgeschichte, Paris Although Max Liebermann (1847-1935) began his career as a realist painter depicting scenes of rural labor, Dutch village life, and the countryside, by the turn of the century, his paintings had evolved into colorful images of bourgeois life and leisure that critics associated with French impressionism. During a time of increasing German nationalism, his paintings and cultural politics sparked numerous aesthetic and political controversies. His eminent career and his reputation intersected with the dramatic and violent events of modern German history from the Empire to the Third Reich. The Nazi’s persecution of modern and Jewish artists led to the obliteration of Liebermann from the narratives of modern art, but this volume contributes to the recent wave of scholarly literature that works to recover his role and his oeuvre from an international perspective.

WordstobelookdatWords to Be Looked At: Language in 1960s Art
2010, The MIT Press
Liz Kotz, author

Language has been a primary element in visual art since the 1960s–in the form of printed texts, painted signs, words on the wall, recorded speech, and more. In Words to Be Looked At, Liz Kotz traces this practice to its beginnings, examining works of visual art, poetry, and experimental music created in and around New York City from 1958 to 1968. In many of these works, language has been reduced to an object nearly emptied of meaning. Robert Smithson described a 1967 exhibition at the Dwan Gallery as consisting of “Language to be Looked at and/or Things to be Read.” Kotz considers the paradox of artists living in a time of social upheaval who use words but chose not to make statements with them. Kotz traces the proliferation of text in 1960s art to the use of words in musical notation and short performance scores. She makes two works the “bookends” of her study: the “text score” for John Cage’s legendary 1952 work 4’33”–written instructions directing a performer to remain silent during three arbitrarily determined time brackets– and Andy Warhol’s notorious a: a novel–twenty-four hours of endless talk, taped and transcribed–published by Grove Press in 1968. Examining works by artists and poets including Vito Acconci, Carl Andre, George Brecht, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Jackson Mac Low, and Lawrence Weiner, Kotz argues that the turn to language in 1960s art was a reaction to the development of new recording and transmission media: words took on a new materiality and urgency in the face of magnetic sound, videotape, and other emerging electronic technologies. Words to Be Looked At is generously illustrated, with images of many important and influential but little-known works.

Codes of Passion: Fetishims in the Arts
Johannes Endres, co-author

The book contains contributions from scholars from literary, visual and media studies, history, the social sciences, philosophy, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and fashion history. It is the first to focus on the role of fetishism in the arts and their relevance for the discourse on fetishism. Fetishism is a key phenomenon of modern societies. It not only influences religious and mental dispositions but also libidinous object relations in consumerism and mass culture. The contributions thus focus on fetishism as a cultural ‘index fossil’ and pursue its traces into the fields of force between artists, works, collections, art reception, and beyond. In doing so, the book traces back present cultures of fetishism in art, media, and economy to the origin of fetishism as an intercultural and colonialist concept in the 18th century.