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Chris Kraus - Author

About the Author

Chris Kraus is the author of the novels Aliens and Anorexia, I Love Dick and Summer of Hate as well as Video Green: Los Angeles Art and the Triumph of Nothingness and Where Art Belongs. A Professor of Writing at the European Graduate School, she writes for various magazines and lives in Los Angeles.

Featured books by Chris Kraus

I Love Dick

I Love Dick

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2016

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but when he fails to answer their letters Chris continues alone, transforming an adolescent infatuation into a new form of philosophy.

Other books by Chris Kraus

Social Practices

Social Practices

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/10/2018

Essays on and around art and art practices by the author of I Love Dick. A border isn't a metaphor. Knowing each other for over a decade makes us witnesses to each other's lives. My escape is his prison. We meet in a bar and smoke Marlboros. -from Social Practices Mixing biography, autobiography, fiction, criticism, and conversations among friends, with Social Practices Chris Kraus continues the anthropological exploration of artistic lives and the art world begun in 2004 with Video Green: Los Angeles Art and the Triumph of Nothingness. Social Practices includes writings from and around the legendary Chance Event-Three Days in the Desert with Jean Baudrillard (1996), and Radical Localism, an exhibition of art and media from Puerto Nuevo's Mexicali Rose that Kraus co-organized with Marco Vera and Richard Birkett in 2012. Attuned to the odd and the anomalous, Kraus profiles Elias Fontes, an Imperial Valley hay merchant who has become an important collector of contemporary Mexican art, and chronicles the demise of a rural convenience store in northern Minnesota. She considers the work of such major contemporary artists as Jason Rhoades, Channa Horowitz, Simon Denny, Yayoi Kusama, Henry Taylor, Julie Becker, Ryan McGinley, and Leigh Ledare. Although Kraus casts a skeptical eye at the genre that's come to be known as social practice, her book is less a critique than a proposition as to how art might be read through desire and circumstance, delirium, gossip, coincidence, and revenge. All art, she implies, is a social practice.

Aliens & Anorexia

Aliens & Anorexia

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/06/2018

It's 1996, and Chris Kraus is in Berlin, seeking a distributor for her film Gravity & Grace, described alternately as 'an experimental 16mm film about hope, despair, religious feeling and conviction' and 'an amateur intellectual's home video expanded to bulimic lengths' ... It's 1942 in Marseille, and Simone Weil is waiting for the US entry visa that will save her from the Holocaust, while writing work described alternately as a 'radical philosophy of sadness' and 'immoral, trite, irrelevant and paradoxical' ... It's the late 90s, the millennium is approaching, and Chris Kraus is in Los Angeles, not eating, waiting for her s/m partner to reply to her emails ... It's 1943, and Simone Weil is in London, completing her project of transcendence by dying of starvation ... Filled with Chris Kraus' trademark wit and frankness, unfolding to reveal the lives of ecstatic visionaries and failed artists, Aliens & Anorexia is an audacious novel about failure, empathy and sadness.

After Kathy Acker A Biography

After Kathy Acker A Biography

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2018

Rich girl, street punk, lost girl and icon ... scholar, stripper, victim and media-whore: The late Kathy Acker's legend and writings are wrapped in mythologies, created mostly by Acker herself. In this first, fully authorized biography, Kraus approaches Acker both as a writer, and as a member of the artistic communities from which she emerged. At once forensic and intimate, After Kathy Acker traces the extreme discipline and literary strategies Acker used to develop her work, and the contradictions she longed to embody. Using exhaustive archival research and ongoing conversations with mutual colleagues and friends, Kraus charts Acker's movement through some of the late 20th century's most significant artistic enterprises.

After Kathy Acker A Biography

After Kathy Acker A Biography

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/08/2017

GUARDIAN, EVENING STANDARD AND BOOKFORUM BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017 Kathy Acker: Rich girl, street punk, scholar, stripper, victim, media-whore ... and cultural icon. The late Kathy Acker's legend and writings are wrapped in mythologies, many of them created by her. Twenty years after her untimely death aged just 50, Acker's legend has faded, but her writing has become clearer. A few years ago, the writer Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick, found that her own experiences were becoming more and more like Kathy's. She began writing about Acker 'through the distance, but with this incredible frisson of feeling that often I could write I instead of she. ' This is 'literary friction': The first fully authorised biography of the avant-garde writer Kathy Acker, by the woman who arrived on the scene straight after her, who shared some of her boyfriends and friends, and her artistic ambitions Using exhaustive archival research and ongoing conversations with mutual colleagues and friends, Kraus traces the woman behind the notorious novels, and places her at the centre of a kaleidoscopic artistic world. 'The path of the female artist. Is hell. Chris Kraus's veracious and intricately structured portrait rouses and stirs as it documents in meticulous and fascinating detail the life, work and body of Kathy Acker and what it takes to a become a 'great writer as countercultural hero.' Viv Albertine 'This is a gossipy, anti-mythic artist biography which feels like it's being told in one long rush of a monologue over late-night drinks by someone who was there.' Sheila Heti

I Love Dick

I Love Dick

Author: Chris Kraus Format: eBook Release Date: 16/05/2017

In I Love Dick, published in 1997, Chris Kraus, author of Aliens Anorexia, Torpor, and Video Green, boldly tore away the veil that separates fiction from reality and privacy from self-expression. It's no wonder that I Love Dick instantly elicited violent controversies and attracted a host of passionate admirers. The story is gripping enough: in 1994 a married, failed independent filmmaker, turning forty, falls in love with a well-known theorist and endeavors to seduce him with the help of her husband. But when the theorist refuses to answer her letters, the husband and wife continue the correspondence for each other instead, imagining the fling the wife wishes to have with Dick. What follows is a breathless pursuit that takes the woman across America and away from her husband and far beyond her original infatuation into a discovery of the transformative power of first person narrative. I Love Dick is a manifesto for a new kind of feminist who isn't afraid to burn through her own narcissism in order to assume responsibility for herself and for all the injustice in the world and it's a book you won't put down until the author's final, heroic acts of self-revelation and transformation.

Torpor

Torpor

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2017

It's Summer, 1991, the dawning of the New World Order; a post-MTV, pre-AOL generation. Jerome Shafir and Sylvie Green, two former New Yorkers who can no longer afford an East Village apartment, set off on a journey across the entire former Soviet Bloc with the intention of adopting a Romanian orphan. Unflinchingly dark, hilarious and moving - Torpor is at once a satire and philosophy of cultural history, social identity and failing relationships. Dipping into the trajectory of a life at different moments, Kraus interrogates convention and emotion, creating characters that are flawed, witty, and altogether true to life. Part prequel, part sequel, Torpor continues a project of life-writing; personal, unsparing, and triumphant. If I Love Dick is the book of your 20s, Torpor is the book of your 30s.

Pics or it Didn't Happen Images Banned from Instagram

Pics or it Didn't Happen Images Banned from Instagram

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/02/2017

Instagram's user guidelines prohibit posting violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic, or sexually suggestive photos. Unsurprisingly, these policies have been a source of tension and debate for many creatives who use the social media platform as a means of self-expression. Having received many takedown notices themselves, artists Arvida Bystro m and Molly Soda put out an open call asking avid Instagrammers to submit their own censored images. The result is this collection of pictures from well-known and emerging IG users including Petra Collins, Rupi Kaur, Amalia Ulman, Lina Scheynius, Harley Weir, and dozens more. The book features a wide range of subject matter, from body image and sexual relationships to menstruation and nude selfies. Pushing the boundaries of social media guidelines and social mores, this book reveals a fascinating picture of 21st century society's complex views on the image of the human body and censorship.

I Love Dick

I Love Dick

Author: Chris Kraus Format: eBook Release Date: 30/01/2017

Chris Kraus, eine gescheiterte Kunstlerin, die unaufhaltsam auf die 40 zugeht, lernt durch ihren Ehemann den akademischen Cowboy Dick kennen. Dick wird zu ihrer Obsession. Vollig uberwaltigt von ihren Gefuhlen schreibt sie zunachst eine Erzahlung uber ihr erstes Treffen, dann verfasst sie Briefe, die sie nicht abschickt, und auch Sylvere, ihr Mann, wird Teil dieses Konzept-Dreiers. Mal schreiben beide Dick gemeinsam, mal einzeln, doch wahrend Sylvere irgendwann sein Interesse wieder verliert, verstrickt sich Chris immer mehr in die Abgrunde ihrer eigenen Begierde. Chris Kraus hebt in ihrem mittlerweile in mehr als ein Dutzend Sprachen ubersetzten und als Amazon-Serie verfilmten Roman die Grenzen zwischen Fiktion, Essay und Tagebuch auf und schuf damit gegen Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts ein vollig neues Genre. Was die Autorin selbst als Bekenntnis- Literatur und Phanomenologie der einsamen Madchen bezeichnet, ist weit mehr als das : Es ist der letzte groe feministische Roman des 20. und der erste groe Liebesroman des 21. Jahrhunderts.

I Love Dick

I Love Dick

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2016

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but when he fails to answer their letters Chris continues alone, transforming an adolescent infatuation into a new form of philosophy.

Aliens & Anorexia

Aliens & Anorexia

Author: Chris Kraus, Palle (Brandeis University) Yourgrau Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/08/2013

A novel about failure, empathy, and sadness, with a cast of characters that includes Simone Weil, Paul Thek, and the author herself. First published in 2000, Chris Kraus's second novel, Aliens & Anorexia, defined a female form of chance that is both emotional and radical. Unfolding like a set of Chinese boxes, with storytelling and philosophy informing each other, the novel weaves together the lives of earnest visionaries and failed artists. Its characters include Simone Weil, the first radical philosopher of sadness; the artist Paul Thek; Kraus herself; and Africa, Kraus's virtual S&M partner, who is shooting a big-budget Hollywood film in Namibia while Kraus holes up in the Northwest woods to chronicle the failure of Gravity & Grace, her own low-budget independent film. In Aliens & Anorexia, Kraus makes a case for empathy as the ultimate perceptive tool, and reclaims anorexia from the psychoanalytic girl-ghetto of poor self-esteem. Anorexia, Kraus writes, could be an attempt to leave the body altogether: a rejection of the cynicism that this culture hands us through its food. As Palle Yourgrau writes in the book's new foreword, Kraus's rescue operation for aliens like Weil from behind enemy lines on planet Earth is a gift, if, in the end, like all good deeds, it remains-as Weil herself would be the first to insist-a fool's errand.

Summer of Hate

Summer of Hate

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2012

Baudrillard meets Breaking Bad in this stark and bleakly hilarious novel about a descent into an underclass world of born-again Christianity, self-help, and crack. In his journal, Paul liked to make lists: What he ordered from Commissary (shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, the transistor radio he had for a week before the guards took it away). The books he picked off the cart (The Bible, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Codependent No More.) What phone calls he made and received; also, Bible Study certificates, letters and cards, his workout routines and his moods (Anxious, Nervous, Trusting in God, but mostly Depressed). Paul has a record of every push-up he did while he was in prison but he cannot remember shit about what happened before his arrest. -from Summer of Hate Waking up from the chilling high of a near-death sex game, Catt Dunlop travels to Albuquerque in 2005 to reinvest some windfall real-estate gains and reengage with something approximating real life. Aware that the critical discourse she has used to build her career as a visiting professor and art critic is really a cipher for something else, she hopes that buying and fixing slum buildings will bring her more closely in touch with American life than the essays she writes. In Albuquerque, she becomes romantically involved with Paul Garcia, a recently sober ex-con who has just served sixteen months in state prison for defrauding Halliburton Industries, his former employer, of $873. Almost forty years old, Paul is highly intelligent but has only been out of New Mexico twice. He has no information. With Catt's help, he makes plans to attend UCLA, only to be arrested on a ten-year-old bench warrant en route. Caught in the nightmarish Byzantine world of the legal system, Catt and Paul's empathic attempts to save each other's lives seems doomed to dissolve. Summer of Hate is a novel about flawed reciprocity and American justice, recording recent events through the prism of a beleaguered romance. As lucid and trenchant as ever, Kraus in her newest novel reminds us that the writer can be a first responder of sorts when power becomes invisible, or merely banal.

Where Art Belongs

Where Art Belongs

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2011

Chris Kraus examines artistic enterprises of the past decade that reclaim the use of lived time as a material in the creation of visual art. In Where Art Belongs, Chris Kraus examines artistic enterprises of the past decade that reclaim the use of lived time as a material in the creation of visual art. In four interlinked essays, Kraus expands the argument begun in her earlier book Video Green that the art world is interesting only insofar as it reflects the larger world outside it. Moving from New York to Berlin to Los Angeles to the Pueblo Nuevo barrio of Mexicali, Kraus addresses such subjects as the ubiquity of video, the legacy of the 1960s Amsterdam underground newspaper Suck, and the activities of the New York art collective Bernadette Corporation. She examines the uses of boredom, poetry, privatized prisons, community art, corporate philanthropy, vertically integrated manufacturing, and discarded utopias, revealing the surprising persistence of microcultures within the matrix. Chronicling the sometimes doomed but persistently heroic efforts of small groups of artists to reclaim public space and time, Where Art Belongs describes the trend towards collectivity manifested in the visual art world during the past decade, and the small forms of resistance to digital disembodiment and the hegemony of the entertainment/media/culture industry. For all its faults, Kraus argues, the art world remains the last frontier for the desire to live differently.

Jorge Pardo

Jorge Pardo

Author: Chris Kraus, Christina Vegh, Lane Relyea, Jorge Pardo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/03/2008

Jorge Pardo (b. 1963, Havana, Cuba) is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work trespasses the boundaries of sculpture to explore art-related disciplines such as architecture and design. His work employs a range of media to revisit the aesthetics of modernism and put it in a new light. Traditional and radical at the same time, Pardo's installations engage different forms and materials to challenge the notion of space and public utility. Jorge Pardo is represented by Neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Friedrich Petzel, New York; Haunch of Venison, London; Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris; Gio' Marconi, Milan; 1301PE, Los Angeles.

Visualizing the Tragic Drama, Myth, and Ritual in Greek Art and Literature

Visualizing the Tragic Drama, Myth, and Ritual in Greek Art and Literature

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/04/2007

Athenian tragedy of the fifth century BCE became an international and a canonical genre with remarkable rapidity. It is, therefore, a remarkable test case through which to explore how a genre becomes privileged and what the cultural effects of its continuing appropriation are. In this collection of essays by an international group of distinguished scholars the particular point of reference is the visual, that is, the myriad ways in which tragic texts are (re)interpreted, (re)appropriated, and (re)visualized through verbal and artistic description. Topics treated include the interaction of comedy and dithyramb with tragedy; vase painting and tragedy; representations of Dionysus, of Tragoedia, and of Nike; Homer, Aeschylus, Philostratus, and Longus; choral lyric and ritual performance, choral victories, and the staging of choruses on the modern stage. The common focus of all the essays is an engagement with and response to the unique scholarly voice of Froma Zeitlin.

Video Green Los Angeles Art and the Triumph of Nothingness

Video Green Los Angeles Art and the Triumph of Nothingness

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/08/2004

Video Green examines the explosion of late 1990s Los Angeles art driven by high-profile graduate programs. Video Green examines the explosion of late 1990s Los Angeles art driven by high-profile graduate programs. Probing the surface of art-critical buzzwords, Chris Kraus brilliantly chronicles how the City of Angels has suddenly become the epicenter of the international art world and a microcosm of the larger culture. Why is Los Angeles so completely divorced from other realities of the city? Shrewd, analytic and witty, Video Green is to the Los Angeles art world what Roland Barthes' Mythologies were to the society of the spectacle: the live autopsy of a ghost city.

Hatred of Capitalism A Semiotext(e) Reader

Hatred of Capitalism A Semiotext(e) Reader

Author: Chris Kraus Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/01/2002

Jean Baudrillard meets Cookie Mueller in this gathering of French theory and new American fiction. Compiled in 2001 to commemorate the passing of an era, Hatred of Capitalism brings together highlights of Semiotext(e)'s most beloved and prescient works. Semiotext(e)'s three-decade history mirrors the history of American thought. Founded by French theorist and critic Sylvere Lotringer as a scholarly journal in 1974, Semiotext(e) quickly took on the mission of melding French theory with the American art world and punk underground. Its Foreign Agents, Native Agents, Active Agents and Double Agents imprints have brought together thinkers and writers as diverse as Gilles Deleuze, Assata Shakur, Bob Flanagan, Paul Virillio, Kate Millet, Jean Baudrillard, Michelle Tea, William S. Burroughs, Eileen Myles, Ulrike Meinhof, and Fanny Howe. In Hatred of Capitalism, editors Kraus and Lotringer bring these people together in the same volume for the first time.

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