In a world where technology, spectacle and excess seem to eclipse former concepts of nature, the individual and society, what might be the characteristics of a contemporary sublime? If there is any consensus it is in the notion that the sublime represents a taking to the limits, to the point at which fixities begin to fragment. This anthology examines how ideas of the sublime are explored in the work of contemporary artists and theorists, in relation to the unpresentable, transcendence, terror, nature, technology, the uncanny and altered states. Artists surveyed include Marina Abramovic, Joseph Beuys, Tacita Dean, Walter De Maria, A K Dolven, Olafur Eliasson, Andreas Gursky, Jitka Hanzlova, Gary Hill, Susan Hiller, Shirazeh Houshiary, Anish Kapoor, Mike Kelley, Anselm Kiefer, Yves Klein, Richard Long, Barnett Newman, Tony Oursler, Cornelia Parker, Gerhard Richter, Doris Salcedo, Lorna Simpson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Fred Tomaselli, James Turrell, Luc Tuymans, Bill Viola and Zhang Huan. Writers include Marco Belpoliti, John Berger, Paul Crowther, Jacques Derrida, Okwui Enwezor, Jean Fisher, Barbara Claire Freeman, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Doreet LeVitte-Harten, Eleanor Heartney, Lynn M.Herbert, Luce Irigaray, Fredric Jameson, Lee Joon, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Thomas McEvilley, Vijay Mishra, David Morgan, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, Gene Ray, Robert Rosenblum, Philip Shaw, Marina Warner, Thomas Weiskel and Slavoj A iA ek.
Simon Morley is a British artist and art historian who has contributed to international art journals including Art Monthly, Untitled, Contemporary Visual Art, TATE Etc. and Tema Celeste. A lecturer at Winchester School of Art, England, he is the author of Writing on the Wall: Word and Image in Modern Art (2003).