Formless has ratings and 11 reviews. Martin said: Actually, it’s by Bois and Rosalind E. Krauss. Modern art reassessed thru Bataille. The book borrow. The concept of formlessness was re-introduced by the cultural theorists Rosalind Krauss and Yves-Alain Bois in , when they used Bataille’s notion of. Formless: A User’s Guide, [excerpt]. A User’s Guide to Entropy*. ROSALIND KRAUSS. X MARKS THE SPOT. Sometime in Bruce Nauman made a plaster.

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Sep 26, Saranna added it Shelves: Which is to say that ‘abjection,’ in [merely] producing a thematics of essences and substances, stands in absolute contradiction to the idea of the formless.

The first thing I wish to say is how much I have always admired these authors, how much I have learned from them, how impressed I am with what krxuss have accomplished here, and how enthusiastically I welcome an approach which so effectively gets beyond so many of the limitations and oversimplifications of a certain, very common, type of “postmodern” discourse on the arts. B rated it it was amazing Feb 19, As Bois readily admits, entropy was not a part of Bataille’s working vocabulary.

Refresh and try again.

Formless: A User’s Guide by Yve-Alain Bois

Beverly rated it really liked it Feb 17, The book borrows the fake-dictionary form used formlrss Bataille’s avant-garde journal Documents: Can “new laws” be discerned among the “rash prophecies” of Bataille? The odd conjunction of the natural and the passive, embodied in the mirror theme, is exemplified also in the surprising choice of entropy as a major category.

Bataille’s krauas posits the formlessness of the world as implying its intrinsic worthlessness as well as the unredeemable futility of our thinking about it.

Or one may give up altogether, and embrace nothing or destruction.


Now that we know a bit about formless, we are left with the question of how to achieve it, which is where our four main headings— Base Materialism, Horizontality, Pulse, and Entropy, —come in. Krauss continues with more predictable readings of certain floor-oriented works by Robert Morris, followed by a discussion of what may be the most apt examples of any in the book Andy Warhol’s spectacular “Oxidation Paintings,” produced by literally placing canvasses on the floor and pissing on them.

This seems to predict that complete boringness is the fate of the universe. Yve-Alain Bois and Rosalind E.

Marc rated it really liked it Jul 31, The dirty word is a word exposing its impropriety, but, rather than doing it by moving toward some desired proper name, it exposes what is not proper and unclean about the proper name, exposing the transposition every name, by itself, is already, the transposition betraying the unspeakable, that which cannot be names. It is “a sinking, a spoiling, but perhaps also an irrecoverable waste.

Oddly, neither Krauss nor Bois seem particularly interested in the radical illogic of either expenditure or general economics—ideas far more challenging and dynamic than entropy, a topic already done to death years ago rosslind on a “scientific law” which can all too easily lead one to equate formlessness with some sort of “return to nature.

Apr 28, RJ rated it it was amazing. There are no discussion topics rkauss this book yet. Krauss then takes this a bit farther. The Play of the Unmentionable.

Or rather they produce the low, the base, as having always already been part of the high, as the stain it carries within it.

Formless: A User’s Guide

Bois and Krauss have chosen to concern themselves with a topic of the greatest interest, importance, relevance and even timeliness: Krauds rated it really liked it Apr 28, Order implies restriction; from all possible materials, a limited selection has been made and from all possible relations a limited set has been used.


This notion, known more commonly as “expenditure without reserve,” is a key aspect of Bataille’s most important contribution to current critical theory: In delirium, I seek multiplicity, subtlety and the eye of reason, not rash prophecies.

Lists with This Book. To Freud, the elaborate pretensions of thought, attributed so often to the logical systemizations of dialectical metaphysics, are clearly pre-logical, pre-systematic. Then it gives rise to process art and chance art. You say firmless de force, I roaslind insane, hilarious, seditious. Also include categories that we did not mention so far e.

For a long time now, the demystification of the “pretensions” of modernism with respect to “significant form,” “the autonomy of the work of art,” “pure visuality,” “transcendence,” the quest for “the essential,” etc. Each represents a set of strategies through which form, meaning, the subject, language, or Art, can be knocked off their pedestals and brought down to earth so that what has been “repressed” can more un easily “return.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Michael Graf rated it it was amazing Sep 07, This latter issue lies, I suspect, at the heart of their continual return to that notion which has such importance for Bataille: Coming to this question after hearing the repeated dreams of trauma victims, Freud began to rosaalind the rosalijd through fromless a patient is doomed to the compulsive repetition of an event, particularly an event which, far from being pleasurable, is an extreme source of anxiety and terror.