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Book received:- Iconoclasm: Contested Objects, Contested Terms

15 June 2014

Edited by Stacy Boldrick, University of Edinburgh, UK and Richard Clay, University of Birmingham, UK
Series : Subject/Object: New Studies in Sculpture
The word ‘iconoclasm’ is most often used in relation to sculpture, because it is sculptures that most visibly bear witness to physical damage. But damage can also be invisible, and the actions of iconoclasm can be subtle and varying. Iconoclastic acts include the addition of objects and accessories, as well as their removal, or may be represented in text or imagery that never materially affects the original object.

This book brings together a collection of essays each of which fundamentally questions the meaning of the word iconoclasm as a descriptive category. Each contribution examines the impact of iconoclastic acts on different representational forms, and assesses the development and historical implications of these various destructive and transformative behaviours.

Contents: Introduction, Stacy Boldrick and Richard Clay; What does iconoclasm create? what does preservation destroy? reflections on iconoclasm in East Asia, Fabio Rambelli and Eric Reinders; Attacks on automata and eviscerated sculptures, Aura Satz; Iconoclasm and consumption: or, household management according to Thomas Cromwell, Matthew Hunter; Iconoclasm, the commodity, and the art of painting, Charles Ford; Bouchardon’s statue of Louis XV: iconoclasm and the transformation of signs, Richard Clay; ‘Wyatt the destroyer’: a vandal at Salisbury Cathedral?, Alexandrina Buchanan; Clastic icons: prints taken from broken or reassembled blocks in some ‘popular prints’ of the Western tradition, Tom Gretton; Making sense of iconoclasm: popular responses to the destruction of religious images in revolutionary Mexico, Adrian Bantjes; Surrealism in the Bronze Age: statuephobia and the efficacy of metaphorical iconoclasm, Simon Baker; Sturm auf das stadtbild: on the treatment of Wilhelminian architectural decoration in the 20th century, Hans Georg Hiller von Gaertringen; ‘Idols in stone’ or empty pedestals? debating revolutionary iconoclasm in the post-Soviet transition, Polly Jones; Hermetic huts and modern state: the politics of iconoclasm in West Africa, Ramon Sarró; Select bibliography; Index.

About the Editor: Dr Stacy Boldrick is Honorary Fellow at the Department of Fine Art, University of Edinburgh, UK. Dr Richard Clay is Senior Lecturer at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, UK.

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