Brain of the Earth's Body
Art, Museums, and the Phantasms of Modernity
By (author) Donald Preziosi
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Brain of the Earth's Body by Donald Preziosi
Book DescriptionWhat begins as a meditation on "the museum" by one of the world's leading art historians becomes, in this book, a far-reaching critical examination of how art history and museums have guided and controlled not only the way we look at art but the ways in which we understand modernity itself. Originally delivered as the 2001 Slade Lectures in the Fine Arts at Oxford University, the book makes its deeply complex argument remarkably accessible and powerfully clear. Concentrating on a period from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth, Donald Preziosi presents case studies of major institutions that, he argues, have defined--and are still defining--the possible limits of museological and art historical theory and practice. These include Sir John Soane's Museum in London, preserved in its 1837 state; the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851; and four museums founded by Europeans in Egypt in the late nineteenth century, which divided up that country's history into "ethnically marked" aesthetic hierarchies and genealogies that accorded with Europe's construction of itself as the present of the world's past, and the "brain of the earth's body." Through this epistemological and institutional archaeology, Preziosi unearths the outlines of the more radical Enlightenment project that academic art history, professional museology, and art criticism have rendered marginal or invisible. Finally, he sketches a new theory about art, artifice, and visual signification in the cracks and around the margins of the "secular theologisms" of the globalized imperial capital called modernity. Addressed equally to the theoretical and philosophical foundations of art history,museology, history, and anthropology, this book goes to the heart of recent debates about race, ethnicity, nationality, colonialism, and multiculturalisms--and to the very foundations of modernity and modern modes of knowledge production.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780816633586
(229mm x 148mm x 6mm)
Imprint: University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date: 9-Jul-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Donald Preziosi
Art, Religion, Amnesia, Hardback (December 2013)
This text interrogates the fundamental assumptions fuelling many current controversies over representation, idolatry, blasphemy and political culture.
Art is Not What You Think it is, Hardback (February 2012)
Art Is Not What You Think It Is presents a thought-provoking manifesto by two leading art historians which reconsiders current discussions on the idea of art, and offers new and challenging insights into its uses, meanings, and its very nature.
Art of Art History, Paperback (February 2009)View all books by Donald Preziosi
New edition of this key guide to art history, which takes a critical reading of the field's most innovative and influential texts over the past two centuries, including the most important new writing on the most recent work in a variety of new media.
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