About Beauty


Cover "About Beauty", Copyright: House of World Cultures

Published by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2005
German / English
Limited edition
Softcover with two interchangeable jackets (title illustration)
21.5 cm x 27.5 cm
224 pages with 60 illustrations, 36 of which are in colour
ISBN: 3-9808851-6-X
Price: € 28

Out of print, possibly available in antiquarian bookshops. Book on zvab.com

“Beauty” has once again become a theme of art—but not without undergoing changes. It is following new directions, raising questions about technology, globalisation, gender, science, politics, terror and cultural differences. The exhibition documented in this book considers the concept of beauty from a global perspective: 24 artists from 16 countries present and critically examine the aesthetics of our time from their own individual standpoints. The accompanying essays illuminate different facettes of beauty and the beautiful, remaining faithful to Theodor Adorno’s dictum: “If artefacts were not judged, in however modified a form, by their beauty, the interest shown in them would be incomprehensible and blind.” The essays touch on themes such as the reciprocal influence of European and Asian concepts of beauty within art, the meandering development of the concept of beauty in modernity, the aestheticisation of the text in contemporary art, and the contradictory attempts of the state to beautify urban areas by order.

Cover "About Beauty", Copyright: House of World Cultures

With contributions by
Ackbar Abbas (Hong Kong), Lydia Haustein (Göttingen/Berlin), Doreet LeVitte Harten (Berlin), Sze Tsung Leong (New York), Shaheen Merali (Berlin/London), Georg Seeßlen (Bad Wörishofen), Tadashi Uchino (Tokyo), Mark Wilsher (London), Wu Hung (Chicago) as well as works by Matthew Barney, Nam June Paik, Shirin Neshat, Cindy Sherman, et al.