This collection of writings examines the pervasive and influential role of “the Gothic” in contemporary visual culture. The contemporary Gothic in art is informed as much by the stock themes of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic novel as it is by more recent permutations of the Gothic in horror film theory, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Goth subcultures. This reader from London’s Whitechapel Gallery brings together artists as different as Matthew Barney, Gregor Schneider, Louise Bourgeois, and Douglas Gordon; its intent is not to use “the Gothic” to group together dissimilar artists but rather to shed light on a particular understanding of their practice. Anthony Vidler looks at ideas of the uncanny to explore Rachel Whiteread’s House, and Jeff Wall uses the motif of vampirism to analyze fellow artist Dan Graham’s Kammerspell; Hal Foster considers Robert Gober’s recent work—laden with Christian symbolism, criticism of America as a nexus of power, and fragmented bodies—as an updated American Gothic, and Kobena Mercer examines the Gothic’s depiction of the Other in relation to Michael Jackson’s pop video Thriller.
Artists surveyed: Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, Janet Cardiff, Tacita Dean, Sue De Beer, Mark Dion, Stan Douglas, Robert Gober, Douglas Gordon, Dan Graham, Damien Hirst, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Teresa Margolles, Jonathan Meese, Raymond Pettibon, Paul Pfeiffer, Gregor Schneider, Cindy Sherman, Catherine Sullivan, Andy Warhol, Jane and Louise Wilson
Writers: Jean Baudrillard, Elizabeth Bronfen, Edmund Burke, Carol Clover, Beatriz Colomina, Douglas Crimp, Jacques Derrida, Richard Dyer, Umberto Eco, Bret Easton Ellis, Trevor Fairbrother, Alex Farquharson, Hal Foster, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, William Gibson, Christoph Grunenberg, Bruce Hainley, Judith Halberstam, Amelia Jones, Jonathan Jones, Mike Kelley, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan, Patrick McGrath, Kobena Mercer, James Meyer, Edgar Allan Poe, Andrew Ross, Jerry Saltz, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Mary Shelley, Nancy Spector, Robert Louis Stevenson, Anthony Vidler, Jeff Wall, Horace Walpole, Marina Warner, Anne Williams, Slavoj Zizek