Formless has ratings and 11 reviews. Martin said: Actually, it’s by Bois and Rosalind E. Krauss. Modern art reassessed thru Bataille. The book borrow. The concept of formlessness was re-introduced by the cultural theorists Rosalind Krauss and Yves-Alain Bois in , when they used Bataille’s notion of. Formless: A User’s Guide, [excerpt]. A User’s Guide to Entropy*. ROSALIND KRAUSS. X MARKS THE SPOT. Sometime in Bruce Nauman made a plaster.

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Formlessness – Art Term | Tate

Note that formal regularities are excluded at the topmost level of structure, but not at embedded levels. Used this book a lot in my history of art dissertation, which was based around Bataille’s theory of the formless but I applied it to Young British Art. This creates something of a problem for Krauss. It’s hard enough to understand l’art informel when fucking Bataille talks about it, but it’s even more difficult to get it here.

Formless: A User’s Guide

Gestalt To help us understand the relation between issues pertaining to form and formlessness, repression and its return, Krauss invokes, in an essay entitled “Gestalt,” the venerable but still useful “mirror stage” of Jacques Lacan, the period in the child’s development when it begins to recognize itself in krausss mirror image, as a Gestalt, i.

Investigate the conceptual dimensions which underly this classification. In his essay, “Dialectic,” Bois distinguishes the Hegelian dialectic from Bataille’s notion of “scission.

Heterology puts in one more appearance in the final chapter, Krauss’ “Conclusion: For her, this particular movement from differentiation to non-differentiation calls to mind “the photographs from [the surrealist journal] Minotaure of insects so perfectly imitating the patterns of their habitats as to vanish completely into kfauss uniformity of one continuous texture.

Or one may give up altogether, and embrace nothing or destruction.

I’m not convinced that Bois himself understands what the formless is. Entropy, according to the second law of thermodynamics, is what leads all matter and energy inevitably into an increasing state of disorder.

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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. A simple but nevertheless telling example of secondary elaboration can be found on the front jacket of the book under review, a reproduction of a detail from Alberto Burri’s Combustione Plastica, one of the works presented in the Pompidou exhibition.


But when it comes time to put her insight “to use,” she can do no better than produce, as examples, some concept art pieces by Mike Kelley— installations which seem to operate mostly, once again, by means of simple assertion and, indeed as does most concept art thematization.

A User’s Guide, Bois and Krauss present a rich and compelling panorama of the formless. Indeed, the rejected alternative which according to Bois would probably have been more acceptable to Bataille, expenditure, would indeed have been a far better choice.

But this is an issue fraught with difficulties, as our authors are at pains to demonstrate, because there would seem to be two very different ways of approaching such a loss, such a descent: For a long time now, the demystification of the “pretensions” of modernism with respect to “significant form,” “the autonomy of the work of art,” “pure visuality,” “transcendence,” the quest for “the essential,” etc.

This is promising, but Bois seems primarily interested in the philosophical implications, the establishment of heterology as a radically disjunctive mode of thought, a kind of “negative dialectic” not far removed, perhaps, from that of Adorno. Daniel rated it it was amazing Apr 15, A few examples of image “melting” and the “blurring of sexual difference” from the surrealist photography of Ubac, Bellmer and Man Ray are mentioned in a single sentence but never discussed.

Because, whether or not the feminine subject is actually at stake in a given work, it is the character of being wounded, victimized, traumatized, marginalized, that is seen as what is at play within this domain. Victor Grauer Other Voices, v.

This dream may be illusory on its face; but this is something that must be demonstrated nonetheless–which fformless to say that one must ‘exit the domain of the project by means of a project.

So thirdly, I must assert that, for me, and as Krauss herself ultimately implies, there is still a great deal to be learned about the very important and also very difficult, very tricky, issues raised in this book.

Formless: A User’s Guide by Yve-Alain Bois

To say that the universe is informe is to say that it makes no sense and thus that it should be crushed like a spider or expectorated like mucous. The wound, the informe, must become “operational,” i. The destruction of difference, the work here of the matrix figure, is the destruction of form. For Bois, the “mainstream” modernism of traditional art history— essentially, the modernism of Clement Greenberg, “had to justify its existence as the search for its own essence.


Sonia rated it it was amazing Oct 21, This book is not yet featured on Listopia. The Play of the Unmentionable.

Clearly, the authors have here endeavored to apply the subversive “anti-methodology” of Bataille himself. Below we list some of the forms of formlessness that have been explored.

Bataille’s definition posits the formlessness of the world as implying its intrinsic worthlessness as well as the unredeemable futility of our thinking about it.

Selected, in all likelihood, as a reflection formlese the authors’ interest in the work and writings of Smithson for whom it is all importantit creates some serious problems in the context of a discussion centering on Bataille.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art. To Freud, the elaborate pretensions of thought, attributed so often to the logical systemizations of dialectical metaphysics, are clearly pre-logical, pre-systematic. Curator-authors Rosalind Krauss and Yve-Alain Bois wish to redefine the boundaries of modernism and put that redefinition to use in a shake-up of the art world that will “redeal modernism’s cards. Another related aspect of the problem can be seen in Freud’s rrosalind, in Totem and Taboo, of the process he calls “secondary elaboration”: But Krauss and Bois are not krxuss card carrying postmodernists.

Nevertheless, sentiments of futility and meaninglessness do not have to spring from anti-scientific preconceptions such as Bataille’s. Few have investigated so diligently the workings roalind the strange anti-logic which links the formless to the laws of heterology, scatology, expenditure without reserve and general economics. In many cosmologies from the ancient Greek “Kaos” through Kant to the current “big bang”formless stuff constitutes the primordial beginning of the world, and thus carries no negative connotations at all.