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Just don’t think about it

Benjamin Kunkel: Boris Groys, 8 August 2013

Introduction to Antiphilosophy 
by Boris Groys.
Verso, 248 pp., £16.99, April 2012, 978 1 84467 756 6
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... only another dose of compliance and regimentation. Adorno is worth keeping in mind while reading Boris Groys, who is one of the more interesting philosophical – he would say antiphilosophical – writers on art today. Groys never discusses Adorno, a striking omission in light of his temper and range: Introduction to ...

Smash the Screen

Hal Foster: ‘Duty Free Art’, 5 April 2018

Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War 
by Hito Steyerl.
Verso, 256 pp., £16.99, October 2017, 978 1 78663 243 2
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... rather than deconstruct a position, she likes to burst it like a bubble. Like Slavoj Žižek and Boris Groys, she can’t resist a philosophical joke or a rhetorical trick, and sometimes this leads her to oscillate between semi-paranoid projections (à la Philip K. Dick) and semi-cynical implosions (à la Jean Baudrillard). Such criticism has a special ...

Almost Lovable

Sheila Fitzpatrick: What Stalin Built, 30 July 2015

Landscapes of Communism: A History through Buildings 
by Owen Hatherley.
Allen Lane, 613 pp., £25, June 2015, 978 1 84614 768 5
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... and that of the Russian intelligentsia. Žižek is a hovering presence, and there is a dash of Boris Groys as well. Hatherley would like to think the communist regimes did something right in creating living space for their people and hopes to find some elements of ‘real socialism’ in their built environments. But there’s always something like a ...

Stalin at the Movies

Peter Wollen: The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of Communism by J. Hoberman, 25 November 1999

The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of Communism 
by J. Hoberman.
Temple, 315 pp., £27.95, November 1998, 1 56639 643 3
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... the rapping on the door. Hoberman, however, adopts a view of Socialist Realism which originates in Boris Groys’s slim but systematic volume, The Total Art [Gesamtkunstwerk] of Stalinism (1988). In particular, he seizes on Groys’s comparison of Socialist Realism with Surrealism: This ‘self-staging’ of the ...

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