Abandoning the conventional format of the dictionary, Critical Dictionary is an ambitious cornucopia of ideas, images, and illustrations, that emphasise the open-ended, provisional and unfinished nature of language, communication and meaning.
Inspired by the mock dictionary Georges Bataille edited for 'Documents' in 1929 and 1930, Critical Dictionary is an adventurous title, aiming to puncture pretension, and declassify terms in a playful, humourous manner. Bringing together newly commissioned work, material gathered from online art magazine criticaldictionary.com, and featuring elements such as a retrospective assessment of the ZG magazine by former editor Rosetta Brooks, one of the seminal products of the art scene in the 1980s, and catalyst to the development of the so-called ''Pictures Generation'', Critical Dictionary is a rich exploration of ideas and language in all its forms.
Contributions come from, amongst others, Miquel Barcelo, Candice Breitz, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, David Campany, Common Culture, Omar D, Paola Di Bello, Patrizia Di Bello, Christian Edwardes, Martin Evans, Paul Graham, Brian Griffin, Karen Knorr, Ann Lee, Poor Photographer, Retort, Dominic Shepherd, Birgitte Sigmundstad, Jo Spence, John Stezaker, Jake Walters and Penelope Umbrico. Critical Dictionary is a fascinating book for anyone interested in alternative approaches to art, criticism and general knowledge.
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