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Spring 2024


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New in the Journal of Visual Culture
A Review of Transfixed by Prehistory

For a recent issue of the Journal of Visual Culture, Kyle Sossamon discusses Transfixed by Prehistory: An Inquiry into Modern Art and Timeby Maria Stavrinaki (tr. Jane Marie Todd). Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full review. An excerpt appears below:

“In proposing ‘to write the history of a modernity that, in forever reinventing prehistory, constantly invents itself’, Maria Stavrinaki set herself the goal of ‘immersing’ herself in the ‘structuring themes’ and ‘revelatory moments’ constituted by contradictory polarities that have refused to yield to clean dialectical sublations: progress and regression, doubt and certainty, deceleration and acceleration, the longue durée and histoire événementielle, and so on. Speaking art-historically, this historicity has unearthed the significance of some hitherto neglected or misunderstood element, which henceforth provided a putative skeleton key for unlocking the hidden motivations and problems of our shared and disorienting aesthetic past in the West. Conversely, Stavrinaki’s text marks a singular occurrence in recent attempts to grapple with the complicated temporal structure of prehistory and ab/uses in artistic, art-historical, and theoretical production.”