On Sculpture and Violence

Introduction to the book notes.

To inform the current research, a study of the literature on the subject of violence is being carried out.

Giving the preference to primary resources, most of the texts are of philosophical or socio-political nature. While not having the pretention to participate in these domains’ discourse, I nonetheless decided to engage in a critical reading of the texts. Reading them from the point of view of a sculptor and associating the theories to my own sculptural practice.

The applied method is to extract passages that are relevant to me and comment or elaborate on them within the context from which I am looking at the subject.

Hannah Arendt – On Violence (1970)

An analysis of the nature, causes, and significance of violence in the second half of the twentieth century. Arendt also reexamines the relationship between war, politics, violence, and power.

Read my notes

Richard J. Bernstein – Violence: Thinking without Banisters (2013)

Richard Bernstein seeks to answer questions on violence by examining the work of five figures who have thought deeply about violence – Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, Frantz Fanon, and Jan Assmann.

Read my notes

Brad Evans and Terrell Carver – Histories of Violence: Post-war Critical Thought (2017)

Offering an accessible introduction to post-war critical thought on the topic, Histories of Violence examines how many prominent theorists from Hannah Arendt to Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, and Slavoj Žižek have grappled with these questions.

Read my notes

Frantz Fanon – The Wretched of the Earth (1961)

The Wretched of the Earth is an analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change.

Read my notes

René Girard – Violence and the Sacred (1972)

Girard explores violence as it is represented and occurs throughout history, literature and myth. Girard’s forceful and thought-provoking analyses of Biblical narrative, Greek tragedy and the lynchings and pogroms propagated by contemporary states illustrate his central argument that violence belongs to everyone and is at the heart of the sacred.

Read my notes

Wolgang Sofsky – Violence: Terrorism, Genocide, War (2004)

Sofsky pursues to answer questions regarding people’s indulgence in violence. He argues that our propensity for violence is a reaction we have evolved as a response to our own mortality, and one which has taked many different forms in the course of human history. 

Read my notes

Paul Virilio – The Administration of Fear (2010)

We are living under the administration of fear: fear has become an environment, an everyday landscape. Stock-market crises, undifferentiated terrorism, lightning pandemics, “professional” suicides…. Fear has become the world we live in.

The administration of fear also means that states are tempted to create policies for the orchestration and management of fear. Globalization has progressively eaten away at the traditional prerogatives of states (most notably of the welfare state), and states have to convince citizens that they can ensure their physical safety

Read my notes

Slavoj Zizek – Violence: Six Sideways Reflections (2008)

Using history, philosophy, books, movies, Lacanian psychiatry, and jokes, Slavoj Žižek examines the ways we perceive and misperceive violence.

Read my notes