Sanity Assassin

Amanda Beech
January 2010
Introduction by Marie-Anne McQuay; Texts by Jaspar Joseph-Lester and Amanda Beech, Suhail Malik, Ray Brassier, Robin Mackay
Hardback Clothbound 163x232mm, 128pp. Limited edition of 300 copies.
ISBN 978-0-9553087-6-5

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To accompany the first exhibition of Sanity Assassin at Spike Island, Bristol.

Sanity Assassin charts a new body of work initiated by artist Amanda Beech. As part of her ongoing investigations into the forceful rhetoric played out within neo-liberal narratives of freedom in philosophy, politics, literature and popular culture, the artist has shifted her focus to the archetypal neo-liberal power base of Los Angeles. Researching on location, Beech has examined the city's historic and contemporary hegemonic narratives, the ideologies that have produced them and their current condition; an ethics of violence underscored as territorialisation, security and protection. The work explores these themes through the prism of the 'realism' of LA architectural photographer Julius Shulman, and the figure of reason between Adorno and Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment and Adorno's tortured Dream Notes dating from his period of exile in LA.

Sanity Assassin acts as a reader for a project that also exists in another form, as an eponymous three-channel video installation with a sculptural element. This book, published to coincide with the first showing of this work at Spike Island, Bristol in 2010, articulates a narrative through the art work in its research, construction and conclusion, with three informal parts bringing the images, texts and ideas through which the work was developed together with new points of discussion and reflection on the work's subject matter and contexts.

As well as research images and stills from the video work, the book includes two extended discussions between Beech and artist and writer Jaspar Joseph-Lester, and texts by Suhail Malik, Ray Brassier and Robin Mackay.

Beech's interest in the conventions of reason, the form and affect of false and ideal realisms, and the structures of ontological formations, are evident throughout the work as well as in the various inquiries within this book. Sanity Assassin thus explores what the artist terms 'exclusion as power', acknowledging that the paradigm of security manifest in LA's architecture and its cinematic counterpoints is also alive and well in that other realm of the image, the art world.

(Text adapted from the introduction by Marie-Anne McQuay, Curator, Spike Island).


Civil Society Must Be, Like, Totally Destroyed
The Thanatosis of Enlightenment
The Horror in the Library
Reason Without Reason

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