Edward Bacal

I focus on two contemporary art installations in which Teresa Margolles employs water used to wash corpses during autopsies. By running this water through a fog machine or through air conditioners, these works incorporate bodily matter but refuse to depict, identify or locate anybody (or any body) within it. Rather, Margolles creates abstract works in which physical limits – whether of bodies or of art works – dissolve into a state of indeterminacy. With that pervasive distribution of corporeal matter, Margolles charts the dissolution of the social, political and spatial borders that contain death from the public sphere. In discussing these works, I consider Margolles’ practice in relation to the social and aesthetic function of the morgue. Specifically, I consider how Margolles turns the morgue inside out, opening it upon the city in order to explore the inoperative distinctions between spaces of sociality and those of death. In turn, I consider how Margolles places viewers in uneasy proximity to mortality, bodily abjection and violence in order to illustrate the social, political and aesthetic conditions by which bodies become unidentifiable. I ultimately argue that her aesthetic strategies match her ethical aspirations to reconsider relations to death, violence and loss within the social realm.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Holly Dugan

is often in foul detail.32 Elevated to allegorical abstraction or reduced to obscene fart jokes, olfaction remains an enigma within the aesthetics of early modern art. Pomanders, as decorative and scent objects, may provide some insight. Like censers, pomanders are literally defined by their olfactory use. From the French pomme d’ambre, or apple of amber, a pomander was a ball of aromatic paste, usually ambergris, musk or civet, mixed with other aromatics (floral petals, spices or animal secretions). Unlike most European renaissance censers, however, which were

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
The (un)predictability of modern consumption
Jukka Gronow

, but, at the same time, I probably wouldn’t feel at home there after all.’) The principle of abstraction This is a strategy based on optimising the outcome of consumption habits or of long-term consumption rather than of single acts. It means using some abstract criterion of selection over a wide variety of concrete objects. Typical examples are the preference to consume things sequentially, like TV or radio series, journals or books, or with common threads, such as movies with the same main actors or concerts with the same singers, or restaurants with some typical

in Qualities of food
Open Access (free)
From wasted time to damaged goods
Kinneret Lahad

demand. Patton’s letter is a useful opening point for this chapter because it raises some of the important questions that motivate my analysis: how does the commodified language of time shape our perceptions of female singlehood? What sort of exchanges take place between single men and women, and what are their conditions? How far does the abstraction of time into a quantifiable measure control single women’s lives? And what are the discursive mechanisms through which single women become “damaged goods”? In this chapter, I argue that the naturalized, objective temporal

in A table for one
Economy, football and Istria
Alex J. Bellamy

5 The nation in social practice I Economy, football and Istria The following two chapters assess the way that the disputes about the meaning of Croatian national identity in the 1990s (discussed in the previous chapter) were manifested in a variety of social practices. This third level of abstraction is concerned with how competing conceptions of national identity (Chapter 4) that make use of abstract frames (Chapter 3) are manifested and embedded in social practice and in identifying sites of resistance to the national ‘common sense’. The six brief studies

in The formation of Croatian national identity
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Time-space, disciplines, margins
Author: Saurabh Dube

This book explores modernity, the disciplines, and their interplay by drawing in critical considerations of time, space, and their enmeshments. Based in anthropology and history, and drawing on social-political theory (as well as other, complementary, critical perspectives), it focuses on socio-spatial/disciplinary subjects and hierarchical-coeval tousled temporalities. The spatial/temporal templates reveal how modern enticements and antinomies, far from being analytical abstractions, intimate instead ontological attributes and experiential dimensions of the worlds in which we live, and the spaces and times that we inhabit and articulate. Then, the book considers the oppositions and enchantments, the contradictions and contentions, and the identities and ambivalences spawned under modernity. At the same time, rather than approach such antinomies, enticements, and ambiguities as analytical errors or historical lacks, which await their correction or overcoming, it attempts to critically yet cautiously unfold these elements as constitutive of modern worlds. The book draws on social theory, political philosophy, and other scholarship in the critical humanities in order to make its claims concerning the mutual binds between everyday oppositions, routine enchantments, temporal ruptures, and spatial hierarchies of a modern provenance. Then, it turns to issues of identity and modernity. Finally, the book explores the terms of modernism on the Indian subcontinent.

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Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

Given the significant similarities and differences between the welfare states of Northern Europe and their reactions to the perceived 'refugee crisis' of 2015, the book focuses primarily on the three main cases of Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Placed in a wider Northern European context – and illustrated by those chapters that also discuss refugee experiences in Norway and the UK – the Danish, Swedish and German cases are the largest case studies of this edited volume. Thus, the book contributes to debates on the governance of non-citizens and the meaning of displacement, mobility and seeking asylum by providing interdisciplinary analyses of a largely overlooked region of the world, with two specific aims. First, we scrutinize the construction of the 2015 crisis as a response to the large influx of refugees, paying particular attention to the disciplinary discourses and bureaucratic structures that are associated with it. Second, we investigate refugees’ encounters with these bureaucratic structures and consider how these encounters shape hopes for building a new life after displacement. This allows us to show that the mobility of specific segments of the world’s population continues to be seen as a threat and a risk that has to be governed and controlled. Focusing on the Northern European context, our volume interrogates emerging policies and discourses as well as the lived experiences of bureaucratization from the perspective of individuals who find themselves the very objects of bureaucracies.

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Postcolonial governance and the policing of family
Author: Joe Turner

Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.

Open Access (free)
Alex J. Bellamy

modernity is not necessarily to argue that it is an ‘invented tradition’ that marks a sharp break from the past. Finally, there is a concern that approaches to nationalism and national identity operate at too high a level of abstraction and thus fail to account for the nation as an integral part of the local, day-to-day, material experiences of people. The pertinence of national identity in the modern social imagination can only be accounted for by locating it at the nexus of the abstract and the everyday. The approaches spawned by this disquiet reveal broader ways of

in The formation of Croatian national identity