Consummatum Est

My book Idols of the Market has finally taken on physical form. An impression of the contents:

An extensive introduction, "Welcome to the Image Wars", sets the stakes for my analysis of the double legacy of the monotheistic discourse on idolatry, in religious fundamentalisms on the one hand and in modern and contemporary art and philosophy on the other; I argue that "secular" critical discourse should not give in to secularist reflexes, but acknowledge ist own monotheistic genealogy, and turn the critique of religion against its fundamentalist appropriation (the latter being itself a thoroughly modern détournement of religious tradition). The first chapter, "Myths of Iconoclasm", continues this analysis with a discussion of various theoretical approaches to (and narratives of) iconoclasm in different contexts.

In chapter two, "From One Spectacle to Another", religious and leftist conceptualizations of the spectacle are scrutinized. The spectacle as a theater of commodities, of capital that has become image, leads to a discussion of the status of the material side of commodities, and of dematerialization, in chapter three - which is called "Atttending to Things (some more material than others)." The modern concept of fetishism, an offspring of the monotheistic notion of idolatry, is central to this part. Chapter four, "Living with Abstraction", argues that the increasingly "dematerialized" spectacle is marked by an increasing concretization of abstraction. Finally, the fifth chapter focuses on that abstract speck in the Western spectacle - the veil, associated with the Other that is Islam, seen by Hegel and many other writers as the religion of abstraction par excellence.

Idols of the Market will be for sale at the Venice Biennale bookstore, and soon elsewhere.

Amazon in Germany already lists it:

A correction: Arriving a bit too late in the last volume of Guy Debord's correspondence (covering the years 1988-1994), I found out only now that the attribution of the phrase "Rome is no longer in Rome" in the English translation of Guy Debord's Comments on the Society of the Spectacle to Racine is incorrect; the phrase is by Corneille. Debord's remarks on the matter seem to have confused the translator, Malcolm Imrie. The phrase is the motto of my second chapter.