Examining deliberate attacks against works of art in the last 200 years, and particularly in the present century, this book questions the assumption that the new methods of cultural production have rendered iconoclasm obsolete, and sets out to show how the destruction of art is a widespread contemporary cultural phenomenon. Starting with the destruction of communist monuments after 1989 and the terrorist actions directed against Italian artistic heritage, the author examines the relationship between contemporary destructions of art and older forms of iconoclasm. The analysis is illustrated by case studies from Europe and the United States, from suffragette protests in the National Gallery in London to the controversy surrounding the removal of Richard Serra's "Tilted Arc". The book asks what iconoclasm can teach us about the place of works of art and material culture in society. The history of iconoclasm and vandalism is shown to reflect changing and conflicting definitions of art and its autonomy.
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(242mm x 162mm x 31mm)
Publisher: Reaktion Books
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Author Biography - Dario Gamboni
Dario Gamboni is Professor of Art History at the University of Geneva, and is the author of many books including Potential Images: Ambiguity and Indeterminacy in Modern Art (Reaktion Books, 2001).