Art and destruction

Jenny Walden (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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The connection between art and destruction has occurred in various ways throughout art’s history. Most familiarly art is the focus of destruction by acts of iconoclasm insofar as art is the vehicle for religious imagery. As familiar is the destruction of art by oppressive regimes concerned with the aesthetic and intellectual freedom certain works may continue to symbolise. Alternatively of course, destruction may take place via interventions by art’s public fighting a political or personal cause or, for the sake of the dismantling of ‘the old order’ symbolic works or edifices may be destroyed by revolutionary groups. There is also a more intimate history of unexplained defacing or acts of destroying of art works, whether in museums or public places, often referred to as ‘art vandalism’. As pertinent are art actions and art movements whose raison d’etre is ‘destruction’. This has taken various forms from large themed and ambitious auto destructive art movements to intricate counterpoints to the making of art, which involve the literal breaking with the tradition by breaking the made object. Modernity itself has been characterised as the ‘destruction’ of tradition. Thus far historically art and destruction, as well as creation, have never been far away from each other. This has been the inspiration for this collection of essays across the practice and theory of art and destruction
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages144
ISBN (Print)9781443849005
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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