Here's a small selection from the ICA Bookshop to accompany our new exhibition Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years. There are many more relevant titles in the shop so visit us and browse our full range of books, DVDs, magazines and zines. We’re open from Tuesday - Sunday, 11am - 9pm. Every purchase supports the ICA.
The poem in question being A Billion and Change, complete with fashion photography based on a Levi’s ad campaign. Originally constructed to fill an entire gallery space it’s an epic of metropolitan life - sex, food, skinny jeans and Michael Jackson, and rhetorical questions like “how do we make it without drugs?” If you’ve ever wondered how Goethe would react to hearing Bob Marley’s Legend every time he visited the wholefood store, you should probably read this.
Chris Kraus has a way of describing a state of mind as if it were a landscape, and here she does something similar with the art world. Contemporary art is a place whose inhabitants resemble characters in a Hal Hartley movie and Kraus wanders among them musing on their connections, collaborations and creativity. Art as it is lived, relationship aesthetics and creative block parties, a collection of gestures that, as she says of the Bernadette Corporation, “avoid programmatic critiques and their implicit, misleading ‘solutions’.”
“We don’t know if there is hope beyond the black hole, if there will be a future after the future” Franco Berardi cheerfully observes in the introduction to this collection of essays on the politics of representation and the representation of politics. Spam, low-res images and David Bowie all have something to tell us about the formal shifts and aberrant distortions of accelerated capitalism. And what does George Michael talk about when he talks about Freedom?
“The scale at which images proliferate and the speed with which they travel has never been greater” Joselit begins in this exploration of art and architecture in the age of digital technology and global networks. Could it be that there has been a shift from art as site of material production to one of circulation, interpretation and reconstitution within ever expanding systems of cultural exchange? Maybe, but there’s probably a bit more to it than that.
"None of these texts were written with the slightest idea of ending up in a book" confesses self-styled 'hack' John Kelsey, whose collection of essays is presented here in alphabetical order. It's no bad thing actually, as each text engages with its subject on its own terms rather than pursuing any obvious personal agenda. Deleuze and Ranciere rub shoulders with Wade Guyton and Michael Krebber, engaging in intelligent conversation with the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Lewis Carroll, female tennis players and ambitious post-MFA artist-monkeys.
Apparently “the Young-Girl is not always young and, increasingly, not even a girl.” The Young-Girl, it seems, is a complicated and paradoxical subject. But if you want to assert your right to unhappiness and protect yourself from ‘morons,’ this book will probably help.
According to Jim Fletcher 30 or 40 people were involved in writing this, although I’ve read elsewhere there were over 150 - “It was like a fucking dragon” Fletcher says. 24 year old Reena Spaulings is invited to model underwear for a fashion campaign while working as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum. “There are no rules” Karl Lagerfeld tells her at one point. Sonic Youth wrote a song about her, but perhaps 'Empire State of Mind’ would be more appropriate.
Unlikely as it may seem, in 1874, Stéphane Mallarmé started publishing a fashion magazine called La Dernier Mode, writing nearly everything himself under various pseudonyms. Interpreted by some as a hoax or a satire, apparently Mallarmé was actually quite serious about it. There are also recipes and descriptions of “splendid social gatherings.” “What calls for most care in a woman’s costume is, unquestionably, the footgear and gloves” he tells us, “and after that, the hat, the sole duty of which is to be charming.” Who could argue.
The Rihanna Annual 2013 includes everything you need to know about the singer and style icon Princess RiRi. Find out how Rihanna got her big break and transformed from a music-loving school girl to an international superstar, how she creates her unique style, who her BFFs are and how she keeps both feet on the ground when the world's going crazy around her. Packed with photos, gossip, quizzes and activities. You can even follow the step-by-step instructions to give yourself a Rihanna-style makeover to make you feel like the only girl in the world.
Newly republished as part of Verso's essential 'Radical Thinkers' series, this is Zizek's response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and their immediate political and psychological aftermath. American culture both predicted and subconsciously desired disaster, where “it is the awareness that we live in an insulated artificial universe which generates the notion that some ominous agent is threatening us all the time with total destruction.” But what now, that we’ve woken up in a bath next to Keanu Reeves, is it really “the end of the age of irony?”