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200 × 150 × 15 mm
232 pages
79 illustrations, 54 in colour
01 Nov 2012
  • £20.00

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Fear and Art in the Contemporary World Caterina Albano

Politicians, pundits and activists often refer to a ‘culture of fear’. The spectres haunting our own era of ‘late modernity’ are many and varied. Food, people, environments and technologies carry signs of real or imagined threat that cause us anxiety. Fears of pollution or contagion have acquired widespread currency and the new bogeymen are paedophiles and terrorists. In this book, Caterina Albano examines the current culture of fear through the lens of contemporary art, offering a broad look at the ways fear pervades every aspect of life and defines how people relate to and interpret the world around them.

Exploring the work of a broad range of artists, including Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Louise Bourgeois, Nan Goldin, Douglas Gordon, Antony Gormley, Mike Kelley, Annette Messager, Tracey Moffatt, Tony Oursler, Cornelia Parker, Gerhard Richter, Gregor Schneider and Rachel Whiteread, Fear and Art in the Contemporary World investigates the manifestations of fear in our culture and the development of an aesthetics of fear. The artists in this book use a wide range of media to convey an array of states of fear – body terror and anxiety, trauma and phobias; feelings of dislocation, displacement and alienation; narratives of guilt and shame; virtual fear and fear as entertainment. Drawing on the history of medicine, neuropsychology, sociology and philosophy as well as the history of art and culture, this book shines new light on the role of images in the current landscape of fear.

‘Albano uses modern art as a lens through which to examine how fear has become the zeitgeist of our age . . . well-researched’ — The Guardian

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Caterina Albano is a senior research fellow and curator for Artakt, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, University of the Arts, London.


1. Bodies
2. Objects
3. Narratives
4. Spaces

Photo Acknowledgements