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Artists' Books
11 × 17 × 0.8 cm

“It has never been my ambition to treat artworks as illustrations of philosophical doctrines. Rather, I believe that the works explored give rise to their own set of concepts.”

A philosophical essay on time, phenomenology and beyond, Daniel Birnbaum’s Chronology was recently reviewed in the April 2006 issue of frieze as a “compelling and sophisticated take on the common theme of Deleuzian immanence.”

Whereas many theoretical books littering the bookshops of art institutions are laudations of excess, Birnbaum’s convictions presented in Chronology cut a way through the “caesuras of non-meaning and blankness into the thick web of sense.” The works of artists such as Stan Douglas, Eija-Liisa Athila, Doug Aitken, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Tacita Dean, Darren Almond, Tobias Rehberger, Pierre Huyghe, and Philippe Parreno are scrutinized as so many attempts to capture the very dialectic of time itself.

As Brian Dillon writes in frieze, “Birnbaum’s notion of an art of unpredictable becoming … has its aporias too. A brief aside apropos Matthew Barney – to the effect that his art is all meaning, all of the time – is quite telling.”

Daniel Birnbaum is Rector of the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main and Director of its Portikus gallery. A contributing editor of Artforum, he is the author of a number of texts on art and philosophy.

  1. Chronology

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