Bookshelf News

Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Suggestions of a Life Being Lived: A Queer Exploration of Three Public Themes
SF Camerawork Publications, 2011
Hardcover, 64 pages, $19.95

Adrienne Skye Roberts (MA Visual and Critical Studies 2009) coedited this presentation of contemporary work that looks at queerness as a set of political alliances and possibilities.

Untethered to institutions of sexual or gender normativity and in pursuit of greater freedoms, the work in this book represents queer activism, intentional and imagined communities, self-determinism, and DIY alternative world-making.

The work looks outward toward collective and resistant expressions of queer community existing outside of dominant gay and lesbian culture.

Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Jacques Rancière: An Introduction
Continuum, 2011
Paperback, 208 pages, $24.95

The first comprehensive introduction to one of the most influential French thinkers writing today, this book explores Rancière's ideas on philosophy, aesthetics, and politics. Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Joseph Tanke situates Rancière's distinctive approach against the backdrop of Continental philosophy and extends his insights into current discussions of art and politics. Tanke explains how Rancière's ideas allow us to understand art as having a deeper social role than is customarily assigned to it as well as how political opposition can be revitalized. Engaging with many untranslated and unpublished sources, the book will also be of interest to Rancière's long-time readers.

Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Saint Erasure
Talisman House, 2010
Paperback, 71 pages, $13.95

Laura Mullen says, "Anyone who still wants to view experimentation as a purely intellectual exercise will be convinced otherwise by Donna de la Perrière's exquisite second collection. Under the threat or promise of erasure and at the edge of silence, the poet deftly leads us through a shifting, minimalist landscape. Wrestling with change and stasis, with the resistance and sudden give of the real, she delicately monitors each stage of what feels like a pilgrimage, while defamiliarization pressures vision and makes each breath at once artful and endlessly brave. Saint Erasure saves us by exposing the beauty of our vulnerability: 'Welcome to the new body / tonight we lose everything.'" Donna de la Perrière is a faculty member in the MFA Program in Writing and the undergraduate Writing and Literature Program.

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

The Waters of Rome: Aqueducts, Fountains, and the Birth of the Baroque City
Yale University Press, 2011
Hardcover, 240 pages, $65

Architecture faculty member Katherine Rinne offers a pioneering study of the water infrastructure of Renaissance Rome, showing how technological and scientific developments in aqueduct and fountain architecture helped turn a medieval backwater into the preeminent city of early modern Europe.

Between 1560 and 1630, in a spectacular burst of urban renewal, Rome's religious and civil authorities sponsored the construction of aqueducts, private and public fountains for drinking, washing, and industry, and the magnificent ceremonial fountains that became Rome's glory. Tying together the technological, sociopolitical, and artistic questions that faced the designers during an age of turmoil in which the Catholic Church found its authority threatened and the infrastructure of the city was in a state of decay, Rinne shows how these public works projects transformed Rome in a successful marriage of innovative engineering and strategic urban planning.

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Water Matters: Why We Need to Act Now to Save Our Most Critical Resource
AlterNet, 2010
Paperback, 232 pages, $19.95

Water Matters, designed by CCA alumna Robin Terra (Graphic Design 1985) of Terra Studio, includes more than 80 photographs and 17 thoughtful essays by leading writers, artists, and activists. The book is intended to make readers fully appreciate the life-sustaining value of water and inspire them to do everything in their power to preserve and protect our threatened water resources. The essayists are Barbara Kingsolver, Bill McKibben, Maude Barlow, Tina Rosenberg, Sandra Postel, Elizabeth Royte, Cynthia Barnett, Wenonah Hauter, Jacques Leslie, Jeff Conant, Paula Garcia, Christina Roessler, Eleanor Sterling, Kelle Louaillier, William Waterway, Brock Dolman, and Erin Vintinner and Tara Lohan.

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories
UC Press, 2011
Hardcover, 416 pages, $45

Gertrude Stein is justly famous for her modernist writings and her patronage of vanguard painters (most notably Matisse and Picasso) before they were famous. This book illuminates the less-familiar aspects of Stein's life: the portraits for which she posed, the domestic settings she created with Alice B. Toklas, and the signature styles of dress the two women adopted. Focusing on portraits in a range of media, photo essays, press clippings, snapshots, clothing, furniture, and other visual artifacts, the authors reveal Stein's sophistication in shaping her public image and cultural legacy. The book accompanies an exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, and is coauthored by Visual and Critical Studies chair Tirza True Latimer (with Wanda Corn). It is designed by alumna Lia Tjandra (Graphic Design 1997).

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Cadillac Fin Suitcase
Grind Show Editions, 2011
Paperback, 296 pages, $15

Cadillac Fin Suitcase is a collection of 18 short stories—including memoir, noir, black comedy, psychedelic adventure, and more—based on Michael Walsh's (BFA 1995) years spent living in Taiwan. Arriving in Taipei in 1998 with a Fulbright Scholarship in photography, Walsh explored the island for years shooting buku film. Along the way, between puffs on Cuban cigars and slugs of whiskey, he began to write about his experiences. The characters include wolf men, bad cops, angels, hustlers, and Taoist holy men. Cool, brash private eye Big Guava Chang assists an heiress in the hard-boiled thriller "The Pigeon Racers." Vivo Lin, a vivacious Taiwanese American psychologist, has developed unconventional techniques to treat patients, and her arrogance leads to a lethal game with a con man in "Lester Moore." Mr. Leonard Thing, a lawyer, receives an odd birthday gift in the hilarious and climactic black comedy "Happy Go Drive Thru."

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Lifting Water
TBW Books, 2010
Limited edition, $200 (signed) / $100 (unsigned)

Dru Donovan (Photography 2004) presents an investigation of mourning in Lifting Water, part of TBW's annual subscription series (the other artists in the 2010 series are Mark Steinmetz, Elaine Stocki, and Katy Grannan). Donovan's tableaux explore the rituals of caregiving while shifting perspectives between the caregiver and the cared for. She focuses on the psychological weight of physical proximity alongside emotional isolation. Donovan was included in Wallpaper magazine's graduate directory of emerging talent to watch. Her work is included in reGeneration2: Tomorrow's Photographers Today, published by Thames & Hudson, and in the 2010 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art. She lives and works in San Francisco.

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Envisioning Asia: On Location, Travel, and the Cinematic Geography of U.S. Orientalism
University of Michigan Press, 2010
Hardcover, 278 pages, $70

Jeanette Roan, faculty member in Visual and Critical Studies, examines the moment in which the birth of cinema coincided with the beginnings of U.S. expansion overseas. Throughout this period, she proposes, the cinema's function as a form of virtual travel, coupled with its purported "authenticity," served to advance America's shifting interests in Asia. Its ability to fulfill this imperial role depended, however, not only on the cinematic representations themselves but also on the marketing of the films' production histories and, in particular, their use of Asian locations.

Also, by focusing on the material practices involved in shooting films on location—the actual travels, negotiations, and labor of filmmaking—Roan moves beyond formal analysis to produce a richly detailed history of American interests, attitudes, and cultural practices during the first half of the 20th century.

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Katherine Avenue
Steidl, 2010
Hardcover, 131 pages, $65

This book brings together three of Larry Sultan's best known photographic series: Pictures from Home, The Valley, and Homeland. Sultan died in 2009; he was one of CCA's most beloved faculty members and taught for many years in the Photography Program. Made principally in the San Fernando Valley, where he grew up, in these works Sultan explored the domestic landscape of his childhood and adolescence by photographing and re-presenting photographs of his parents, their home, and their experience of the American Dream. Wandering further behind this Californian fabric, he photographed in suburban homes serving as sets in the pornographic film and video industry. His work culminated in a series of tableau of Latino day laborers undertaking prosaic tasks on the peripheries of these suburban sites. The book accompanied an exhibition at kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Germany, and features an essay by curator Martin Germann. The text is bilingual, in English and German.