By turns funny and abstruse, The Shimmering Beast is the newest book by accomplished video artist Steve Reinke, which brings together his best pieces of prose. Hybrids of criticism, fiction, and personal essays, each chapter takes on another’s work, while reinterpreting the role of the critic—as supplicant, as cannibal, as skeptic. Reinke looks at the visual arts with a particularly literary eye, notably in his shrewd writing on Philip Hoffman’s film Kitchener—Berlin, and his subjects are diverse and fascinating. Featured artists include: filmmaker Frank Cole, video artists Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, and photographer Doug Ischar, as well as many others. Poetic, absurd, and tartly poignant, these texts record the process and reach of an artistic mind at the height of its powers.
Coach House Books/Gallery 400, 2011. ISBN: 9781552452479. 180 pp.Softcover. Fine.
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