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Idols of the MarketModern Iconoclasm and the Fundamentalist Spectacle

(excerpt, p. 7)

This project was first conceived in 2005 as an exhibition; when I took it up again the following year, it met with massive institutional disinterest. It then morphed into a book, maintaining an essayistic and interventionist— rather than purely academic—character. This book seeks to surpass the nowdominant representation of iconoclasm as a pathological phenomenon grimly situated in the past, or in retrograde cultures. Rather than relegate it to history, my aim is to historicize iconoclasm to the point where its potential for the present situation becomes apparent.
That the study of art is intimately linked to that of religion was driven home in my student days, when Peter van Dael instructed me in medieval Christian theories of the image and Carel Blotkamp discussed Mondrian in the light of theosophy. Now circumstances have forced me to “theologize” to an unprecedented degree; no doubt I have stumbled from time to time, but I hope that I make good use of the authors who have guided me through this field, even when I immodestly beg to differ from them. A kind of expanded art history, this project also encroaches on philosophy and critical theory, creating an interdisciplinary montage that is born of necessity, not fashion. The most important interdisciplinary dialog here is with artists.

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