Dialectical Passions: Negation in Postwar Art Theory, Gail Day, New York: Columbia University Press, 2010

In: Historical Materialism
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  • 1 University of Chichester

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Abstract

Gail Day’s Dialectical Passions not only traces the trajectories of leading New Left critics of art and architecture – T.J. Clark, Manfredo Tafuri, Massimo Cacciari, Craig Owens, Fredric Jameson and Hal Foster – it also provides a meditation on the problem of negation and the experience of defeat. This review retraces Day’s arguments, reflecting on her recovery and re-interrogation of negation and dialectics in postwar art theory. In particular, it aims to critically assess her stress on the ‘negative thought’ of Tafuri and Cacciari and the possibilities of reactivating a thought of negativity in the contemporary moment.

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  • 2.

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  • 3.

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  • 4.

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  • 7.

    See Wright 2002.

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    Noys 2010, pp. 5–8.

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    Baudrillard 1975.

  • 11.

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  • 14.

    Jameson 2006.

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    Jameson 2009, pp. 410–34.

  • 16.

    Theorié Communiste 2008.

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