Art in Time - by Cole Swensen (Paperback)
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"About the Book A collection of hybrid essays on landscape and visual art that implicitly recognizes our obligations to the earth and presents the earth in ways that make others recognize them too. Book Synopsis Historically, much landscape art has reinforced binaries such as inside/outside, subject/object, and culture/nature, thus reducing a complex network to an ornament that reinforces a sense of human power over nature, imposes specific cultural values, and/or claims or exercises control. And yet there are also artists who have developed alternatives to conventional depictions of the world around them, using landscape to participate in the earth, active in its view and its viewing. The art addressed in the book presents landscape as engagement rather than as detached observation, encouraging an increased sense of belonging to, and thus responsibility for, the earth. Review Quotes ""Such artists of earlier eras suggested, intentionally or not, that we might enlarge our viewpoint beyond the personal, maybe even beyond the human. But it fell to twentieth-century art movements--abstraction, Cubism, postmodernism--to consciously undo the Enlightenment paradigm. As a contemporary poet, Swensen wields a language capable of channeling this history.""--Boston Review ""Eschewing the overt didacticism of many environmentally engaged projects, Art in Time guides by example. Most significantly, Swensen's exploration of the temporal, relational nature of art-making recognizes the deep interconnectedness of all that share this world. The essays attend to the primary importance of diversity to the project of developing non-destructive relationships to our planet -- biodiversity, identity diversity, diversity of medium, and expression -- all of which unfold via unique temporal registers.""--LARB ""Art in Time is a brilliant foray into twenty-one artists' films, paintings, photographs, and art installations--and the lives out of which the work grows. Critical and poetic, sensitive and probing, Swensen reminds us of the community, the labor, and the commitment a life in art both requires and creates.""--EcoTheo ""Changing subjectivities; relations accumulating and multiplying among land, people, animals, trees, weather; the hand reaching toward--the thrall of the collection is impressively constructed... I stamp my foot in applause, write notes on the pages, distribute my thoughts; Swensen makes of 'viewing' a muscular verb.""--Colorado Review ""Art in Time is a book that resists the idea of it ever bing a 'timeless work of art.' For poet, translator, and academic Cole Swensen, the very notion of a 'timeless work of art' not only implies a refusal to engage with the present moment, but also exposes a fundamental problem in our viewership: our tendency of looking at rather than from within.""--LIT Magazine ""In this book, Cole Swensen challenges the tension between land and landscape and the relative relationship of each to 'reality'--and her instinct is infallible. She's a guide, a mentor, a blessing, an event. She explores the thinking behind the works of numerous artists who elevate contemporary culture to our highest expectations.""--Etel Adnan ""I can't think of another writer who writes as precisely and insightfully as Cole Swensen about humans contemplating a landscape, and the perceptions and associations implied by the use of such terms as 'vastness' and 'timeless.' In the 20 poem-essays (or are they encyclopedia entries?) that make up Art in Time, Swensen writes about a wide range of singular figures: Robert Smithson, Agnes Varda, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Rosa Bonheur, Chaïm Soutine, Joan Jonas, Irving Petlin, and Renee Gladman. Brimming with fresh and precise readings, full of little known details and revelations, Art in Time is that rare book. You will want to bring it with you when walking in the woods, visiting a National Park, driving in the desert, or going to a museum. In these pages, you will discover insights into artists that you thought you knew and ones that you have never heard of before. You will begin thinking about landscapes differently.""--John Yau ""Art In Time is made up of twenty sequences of lyric prose composed as essay-poems, each of which examines a particular artist's work... Her essay-poems exist as a blend of research, commentary and critique around a field or fields of movement by her chosen artist, and on their chosen work or works... As Swensen describes through her introduction, the pieces in Art In Time exist as an extended essay on depictions of and approaches toward landscape through visual art, layered through individual 'chapters' around individual artists.""--rob mclennan About the Author Cole Swensen is the author of 17 books of poetry, most recently On Walking On (Nightboat, 2017), and a collection of critical essays, Noise That Stays Noise (U. of Michigan, 2011). Her work has been awarded the Iowa Poetry Prize, the S.F. State Poetry Center Book Award, and the National Poetry Series, and has "

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