Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Friday, February 17, 2012

Collecting as Modernist Practice

Sometimes a book comes along that is so well put together, so smart, so dense—and accomplishing so much both above and under the radar—that you have to take stock of it as I'm doing here. I refer to Jeremy Braddock's Collecting as Modernist Practice, a book that's going to rewrite what we think about art objects, poems, property, museums, anthologies—and race and modernity and on and on.

To choose a poem, an image, to hang it in a museum, to put it in an anthology, to collect—is this not a political act? Doesn't it mean that one is admitting into society—within very real parameters, both consciously and unconsciously determined—all kinds of beings? And thus that how they are allowed in, the conditions of their access, their freedom or passports, their papers as it were—all this is at stake?

I promise you will never glance casually at a museum space again, or an anthology of poems, after you read this.

So comprehensive is it that it will be impossible to ignore. 

This is such a nice book to hold in your hands too. Dig that vermillion cover and the jacket is superb.

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