Time - Whitechapel Documents in Contemporary Art

Author(s): Amelia Groom ed

art theory | theory & criticism

Time is one of a series documenting major themes and ideas in contemporary art. This anthology contextualizes art that proposes alternatives to the models of linear time that have underpinned both capitalism and progressive modernity. Contemporary art has explored such diverse registers of temporality as ‘wasting and waiting; regression and repetition; déjà vu and seriality; unrealized possibility and idleness; non-consummation and counter-productivity; the belated and the premature; the disjointed and the out-of-synch – all of which go against sequentialist time and index slips in chronological experience.’ While theorists such as Giorgio Agamben and Mieke Bal have proposed ‘polychronic’, ‘heterochronic’ or ‘anachronic’ readings of history, artists have opened up the field of time to the extent that the very notion of the contemporary is brought into question. Artists surveyed include: Marina Abramović, Doug Aitken, Francis Alÿs, Matthew Buckingham, Janet Cardiff, Paul Chan, Jeanette Christensen, Moyra Davey, Dexter Sinister, Olafur Eliasson, Bea Fremderman, Antony Gormley, Douglas Gordon, Tehching Hsieh, Toril Johannessen, On Kawara, Joachim Koester, Lee Ufan, Christian Marclay, nova Milne, Trevor Paglen, Philippe Parreno, Katie Paterson, Raqs Media Collective, Sylvia Sleigh, Simon Starling, Michael Stevenson, Hito Steyerl, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Time/Bank and Agnès Varda. Writers include Giorgio Agamben, Emily Apter, Karen Archey, St Augustine, Mieke Bal, Geoffrey Batchen, Hans Belting, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Henri Bergson, Daniel Birnbaum, Yve-Alain Bois, Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Gilles Deleuze, Georges Didi-Huberman, Brian Dillon, Elena Filipovic, Elizabeth Grosz, Boris Groys, Rachel Kent, Rosalind Krauss, George Kubler, Quinn Latimer, Bruno Latour, Doreen Massey, Jean-Luc Nancy, Michel Serres, Michel Siffre, Mark von Schlegell, Nancy Spector, Jan Verwoert and Dōgen Zenji.


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This exciting collection is a pleasure to read from beginning to end. Here readers will discover texts that offer a thoughtful interrogation of the possibilities, status and stakes of the object-world we inhabit. Wide-ranging in scope, these writings tackle the psychic, social and physical means by which objects and subjects find, address, impel and produce both themselves and each other, in complex and illuminating ways. This is a welcome introduction to, and provocative rethinking of the object, in all its many formal and theoretical formations - from immaterial concept to obdurate and material 'thing'. - Jo Applin, author of 'Eccentric Objects: Rethinking Sculpture in 1960s America' (Yale University Press, 2012).

Amelia Groom is a London-based critic and curator who writes regularly for frieze and other publications. She held a teaching fellowship at the University of Sydney while she was writing her doctoral dissertation in the Art History and Theory department. 

General Fields

  • : 9780854882151
  • : Whitechapel Gallery
  • : Whitechapel Art Gallery
  • : March 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Amelia Groom ed
  • : Paperback
  • : 240