We are pleased to announce the release of The Return of Religion and Other Myths: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art, the latest publication in BAK, basis voor actuele kunst’s Critical Reader Series, and the final part of a three-fold project organized by BAK under same title in 2008–2009. The reader is co-published by BAK and post editions, Rotterdam.

The Return of Religion reader engages with the popular assumption of the return of religion to the field of artistic practice and its discourses, the public sphere, contemporary politics, and media in the West as a constitutive “myth” of our current condition. Through a wide-ranging selection of texts, a remarkable group of artists, art historians and theorists, scholars of religion, and sociologists unpack the historical underpinnings of religion’s so-called “return,” art’s long-standing relationship with iconoclasm and connection to religious representation, the manipulation of certain religious imagery in the mass media, and contemporary art’s potential to complicate and problematize commonly held beliefs about the role and potential of the image in today’s world. The reader contains newly commissioned texts, a number of new translations, and adapted contributions from On Post-Secularism, a series of lectures and conversations that took place within the framework of The Return of Religion project in late 2008 and early 2009.

The Return of Religion and Other Myths critical reader is edited by Maria Hlavajova (artistic director, BAK), Sven Lütticken (writer and curator, Utrecht), and Jill Winder (curator of publications, BAK). With contributions by: Jan Assmann (Egyptologist and cultural theorist, Heidelberg/Konstanz), Christina von Braun (cultural theorist, Berlin), Paul Chan (artist, New York), Boris Groys (philosopher, New York/Cologne), Arnoud Holleman (artist, Amsterdam), Marc De Kesel (philosopher, Ghent/ Nijmegen), Kenan Malik (writer and researcher, London), Maria Pask (artist, Amsterdam), Dieter Roelstraete (writer and curator, Berlin/Antwerp), and Jorinde Seijdel (art historian and critic, Amsterdam). Language: English. Pages: 214. The reader is published by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and post editions, Rotterdam and designed by Kummer & Herrman, Utrecht. ISBN: 978-94-6083-007-5.

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