Hanne Darboven. Cultural History 1880-1983
Afterall Books, London & MIT, Massachusetts, 2009
out of stock
Hanne Darboven’s Cultural History 1880-1983 is an overwhelming and encyclopedic installation consisting of 1590 works on paper and 19 sculptural objects. The work weaves together cultural, social, and historical references with autobiographical documents, postcards, pinups of film and rock stars, documentary references to the first and second world wars, geometric diagrams for textile weaving, a sampling of New York doorways, illustrated covers from news magazines, the contents of an exhibition catalogue devoted to postwar European and American art, a kitschy literary calendar, and extracts from some of Darboven’s earlier works. The panels are sequenced and grouped, with the groups then juxtaposed in arrangements that often seem little more than chance associations.
In his illustrated walk through Darboven’s massive work, Dan Adler explores the aesthetic complexities of the work, making comparisons with significant projects such as Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas, Jasper Johns’s According to What and Gerhard Richter’s Atlas. Despite Darboven’s position as a founding figure of Conceptualism and her extensive exhibition history, relatively little has been written about her work. This insightful study of one of her most important works fills that gap.