(At once poetic and provocative, Victor Burgin's "Some Cit...)
At once poetic and provocative, Victor Burgin's "Some Cities" deftly juxtaposes photographs and texts in a manner that invites comparisons to the urban essays of filmmaker Chris Marker and cultural critic Walter Benjamin. Best known for his artistic exploration of the divergent realities of images and words, Burgin is a gifted practitioner of montage with an acute sensitivity to all that is vibrant, uncanny, and appealing in the contemporary metropolis. "Some Cities" collects thoughts, places, and photographs along a life route that has taken the author from the North of England to his present home in northern California.From the cherry blossoms in a Tokyo park, to the skyscrapers of Singapore, it presents a series of stunning close-ups of the multicultural character of the late twentieth-century metropole. The itinerary of his book includes stops in Berlin, Warsaw, Woomera, New York, and the islands of Stromboli and Tobago. A prime example of the "spatial turn" associated with contemporary cultural studies and postmodern theories of subjectivity, "Some Cities" is a tour-de-force of subtle wit and imagination that employs Burgin's visual and verbal skills in the project of creating a suitable artistic language for representing the complex and shifting realities of the metropolis. "Unlike the promises we make to each other," Burgin writes, "the promise of the city can never be broken."
(Recent discussions about the culture of images have focus...)
Recent discussions about the culture of images have focused on issues of identity - sexual, racial, national - and the boundaries that define subjectivity. In this context, Victor Burgin adopts an original critical strategy. He understands images less in traditional terms of the specific institutions that produce them, such as cinema, photography, advertising, and television, and more as hybrid mental constructs composed of fragments derived from the heterogeneous sources that together constitute the "media".Through deft analyses of a photograph by Helmut Newton, Parisian cityscapes, the space of the department store, a film by Ousmane Sembene, and the writings of Henri Lefebvre, Andre Breton, and Roland Barthes, Burgin develops an incisive theory of our culture of images and spectacle. "In/Different Spaces" explores the construction of identities in the psychical space between perception and consciousness, drawing upon psychoanalytic theories to describe the constitution and maintenance of "self" and "us" - in imaginary spatial and temporal relations to "other" and "them" - through the all-important relay of images. For Burgin, the image is never a transparent representation of the world but rather a principal player on the stage of history.
(Victor Burgin here pursues ideas of "desire in and for a ...)
Victor Burgin here pursues ideas of "desire in and for a city, and a sense, desire of a city" - ideas first explored in his video "Venise" (made for the city of Marseilles in 1993), which reflected on the relationship of San Francisco to Marseilles. Attentive to representations of racism, identity and immigration, the book is designed to provoke a reading of visual art that is tied to contemporary cultural theory.
(Over the past 30 years, Victor Burgin (born in 1941) has ...)
Over the past 30 years, Victor Burgin (born in 1941) has become both a highly influential artist and a renowned theorist of the still and moving image, with work in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Tate Modern in London. Burgin rose to prominence in the late 1960s as an originator of Conceptual art. In the 1970s he worked in large framed photographic sequences, in which printed texts were either juxtaposed with or superimposed on the images. In the 1990s he turned towards digital video. The historian and critic Stephen Bann has written that Burgin's "exploitation of new technologies is itself fairly uninteresting compared with the remarkable consistency of the underlying themes and propositions of his work," among them narrative, memory and fantasy. These duotones refute all that uninteresting technology to offer Burgin's reflections on Pompeii, gleaned through his research of nineteenth-century photographs.
(A compendium of the history of contemporary American art ...)
A compendium of the history of contemporary American art and a living testimony of a sincere and active protagonist. Victor Burgin, an artist and sophisticated theoretician of the image, both still and in movement, was born in Sheffield, England, in 1941. He established himself on the international art scene in the late sixties, as one of the fathers of Conceptual Art, working both with the photographic medium and with moving images in his films. His work draws its inspiration from and is influenced by great thinkers and philosophers such as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes. Over the past 30 years, Victor Burgin has become both a highly influential artist and a renowned theorist of the still and moving image. His writings on general issues such as photographic, psychoanalytic and cultural theory are noted for their lucidity, compactness and reason. In contrast, the photographs and videos that Burgin creates as an image-maker are richly paradoxical and constitute an inquiry into the structure of meaning in contemporary society. This book is different from Victor Burgin's previous publications, which are either monographs of his visual work - with essays by other writers - or collections of his theoretical essays. Although Burgin is known equally as an artist and as a theorist there has so far been no book in which Burgin turns his critical attention to his own artistic production. The proposed monograph will fill this absence and will appeal to a wide audience interested in photography, film and media.
(Most books about cinema, whether popular or academic, con...)
Most books about cinema, whether popular or academic, concentrate on what we might call the ‘inside’ of the film: from star performances to narrative structures. The relatively few books about the ‘outside’ of films speak mainly of such aspects of production and reception as the organization of the film industry and the sociology of audiences: the Hollywood studio system, for example, or fan clubs. The Remembered Film is unique in addressing a previously overlooked aspect of cinema: the isolated fragments of films, iconic images or scenes, that fleetingly cross our perceptions and thoughts in the course of everyday life. Victor Burgin examines a kaleidescope of film fragments drawn from a variety of media, the internet, memory and fantasy. Among these are sequences of such brevity they might almost be stills. Such ‘sequence-images’, as Burgin calls them, are neither strictly ‘image’ nor ‘image sequence’ and have not been considered before by either film or photography theory. He also considers some typical individual experiences ‘sampled’ from mainstream cinema. He reflects on such disparate occurrences as the association in memory of fragments from otherwise unrelated films, of the relation of a recollected film image to an architectural setting, or of a feeling ‘marked’ by an image remembered from a film. The Remembered Film provides a radical new way of thinking about film outside conventional cinema, and in relation to our everyday lives. It will appeal to a wide audience interested in film and media.
(The visual and written works by acclaimed artist and crit...)
The visual and written works by acclaimed artist and critic Victor Burgin span four decades. Parallel Texts presents a compilation of essays, interviews and extracts relating to his own production of artworks in galleries and museums, and theoretical essays in books and journals, over the past 40 years. Unusually, Burgin considers his artistic and critical writing to be interconnected. Burgin's ideas are ordered chronologically in the book: in 1969 – 72 he is ﬁrst heard explaining the newly emerged 'conceptual art' to interlocutors accustomed to traditional painting and sculpture. In 1976 – 78 he explores theoretical foundations for a post-conceptualist socialist art practice in such non-Western precedents as Maoism and Russian Formalism. From 1979 issues of gender politics and sexuality come to the fore, together with a psychoanalytic framework for understanding these. Observations upon an 'artworld' turning to fashion and flattering wealth as it discovers its postmodernity are given. From 1987 – 2000, Burgin taught cultural theory in California, returning to Britain in 2001. The interviews and writings from 1987 – 2010 reprise some core issues previously addressed, but now from within an environment almost unrecognizably transformed by cultural, political and economic globalization, and unprecedented forms of technology and violence. Parallel Texts will be invaluable to all admirers of Burgin's art and writing and to those readers with an interest in contemporary art and art theory.
(Victor Burgin has made contributions as an artist and cul...)
Victor Burgin has made contributions as an artist and cultural theorist for more than three decades. His writings on general issues such as photographic, psychoanalytic and cultural theory are noted for their lucidity, compactness and reason. In contrast, the photographs and videos that Burgin creates as an image-maker are paradoxical and constitute an inquiry into the structure of meaning in contemporary society. "Shadowed" continues Burgin's preoccupation, in writing and video installations, with the intrication of physical and psychical space - of particular concern is the haunting of the built environment by history, memory and fantasy. The book contains an essay by Anthony Vidler as well as text by Victor Burgin and colour reproductions of seven of Burgin's recent video works.
Victor Burgin studied Painting and Philosophy at The Royal College of Art, London (1962-1965) and Painting, Sculpture and Philosophy at Yale University, New Haven (1965-1967)
Victor Burgin taught photography at Nottingham Trent University (1967-1973) and then at the Polytechnic of Central London (1973-1988). He was a Professor of Art History and Professor of History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1988-2000) and currently holds the Emeritus Millard Chair of Fine Art at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. In 2015 Burgin was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago; in Autumn 2016 he was a Mellon Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.
(Victor Burgin here pursues ideas of "desire in and for a ...)2001
(Over the past 30 years, Victor Burgin (born in 1941) has ...)2006
(At once poetic and provocative, Victor Burgin's "Some Cit...)1996
(Most books about cinema, whether popular or academic, con...)2012
(Recent discussions about the culture of images have focus...)1996
(Surreal photographs accompany selections from the author'...)1986
(A compendium of the history of contemporary American art ...)2008
(The visual and written works by acclaimed artist and crit...)2013
(Victor Burgin has made contributions as an artist and cul...)2000
"There is sexuality of some sort in all our relations So what else is there apart from sex?"
"It's narcissistic and self-serving for artists to pretend that they're changing society directly through their work."
"I see no contradiction between a commitment to art as cultural critique and a taking into account of psychical reality."
"My aim was to transform the role of the woman from object of curiosity to that of subject of curiosity - to transform showing into knowing, exhibitionism into epistemophilia."
"Who decides what real play is? When are we simply playing at playing and when are we really playing?"
Quotes from others about the person
David Campany: "Burgin makes photographic work like no other artist, but his themes and motifs are drawn from experiences common to us all – the modern city, the structures of family, language as something that forms and reforms us, the power of images, principles of government, memory and history. And yet, encouraged by the media to look to art for quick messages, some audiences and critics have found his work ‘inaccessible’. Actually Burgin’s work is among the most accessible I know, if by that we mean ‘easy to get into’. It’s the getting out that’s tricky. To be truly challenged and changed is to find yourself unsure, slightly lost, forgetting where you came in but pleased you did. As Roland Barthes once put it, ‘To get out, go in deeper.'"