Shop > Artists' Books


Memoirs of the Twentieth Century

Artists' Books

Written in 1733, Memoirs of the Twentieth Century is widely regarded to contain the earliest known conception of time-travel and, in particular, the first cognitive leap that would allow for a historicized image of the present as seen from the point of view of a distant future. Intriguingly, it is the text itself which is claimed to have traveled back in time and Madden has used this conceit to satirize his own period – tracing out its bureaucratic absurdities into a strange yet pointed vision of the late 20th century: a world politically fraught, overwhelmed with corruption and struggling to reconcile religious faith with scientific discovery.

The mysterious publishing history of the book imparts a certain weight to its claims. Printed anonymously in an edition of 1000, all but 10 copies were immediately destroyed for unknown reasons. It would only be printed once more in 1972 and until now Memoirs… has been extremely scarce – resulting in disappointingly little scholarship. This new edition includes Liam Gillick’s Prevision. Should the Future Help the Past first published in 1999, the very year when Memoirs… leaves off. Gillick explores the socio-political implications inherent in strategic attitudes towards the future with a critical eye to the ‘scenario planning’ of late capitalism. It provides a prescient framework for reconsidering Madden’s text now, just over ten years on since its fictive origination and apocalyptic conclusion.

  1. Memoirs of the Twentieth Century

Related Items

  1. Kenneth Goldsmith: Capital
  2. David Robbins: Concrete Comedy: An Alternative History of Twentieth-Century Comedy
  3. Tony Oursler: The Influence Machine
  4. Ulrike Grosswarth: Ulrike Grossarth: Fabrics from Lublin
  5. Gavin James Bower: Claude Cahun: The Soldier with No Name
  6. Robert Walser: Thirty Poems
  7. Celine Condorelli and Uriel Orlow: Terrain vague. Persistent images
  8. Mark von Schlegell: Ickles, Etc.
  9. Ian Hamilton Finlay, Douglas Gordon, and Ross Sinclair: Northern Grammar
  10. Agnes Martin
  11. Subject Matter of the Artist: Writings by Robert Goodnough, 1950-1965
  12. Jason Koxvold: Calle Tredici Martiri
  13. Joan Jonas: In the Shadow a Shadow
  14. Art or Sound
  15. Joachim Koester: Message from Andrée
  16. NSK from Kapital to Capital
  17. Anna-Stina Treumund: Lilli, Reed, Frieda, Sabine, Eha, Malle, Alfred, Rein and Mari
  18. Gustave Morin: Clean Sails
  19. Out
  20. Fiona Tan: Ellipsis
  21. Hyung-Min Yoon: Black Book
  22. Cathy Busby: Sorry (Second Edition)
  23. Klaus Staeck: Pornografie (new edition)
  25. Veronica Gonzalez Peña: So Far From God
  26. Graham Parker: Fair Use (Notes From Spam)
  27. William Kentridge & Peter L. Galison:

The Refusal of Time
  28. Jamie Ross: Fallow La Friche: Unsettling Eastern Ontario
  29. Sami Benhadj, Tarik Hayward, and Guy Meldem: Made of Concrete
  30. Sennah Yee: How Do I Look?
  32. Waldemar Cordeiro and Franz Mon: Waldemar Cordeiro & Franz Mon
  33. Henrik Schrat: Wild Things are Going to Happen

Dialogues with Dan Graham on Art, Architecture, & Shopping Malls