Concerning Consequences: Studies in Art, Destruction, and Trauma

Kristine Stiles


University of Chicago Press

Stiles has played a vital role in establishing trauma studies within the humanities. A formidable force in the art world, she examines the significance of traumatic experiences both in the individual lives and works of artists and in contemporary international cultures since World War II. In her book, Stiles considers some of the most notorious art of the second half of the 20th century by artists who use their bodies to address destruction and violence.

The essays in this book focus primarily on performance art and photography. From war and environmental pollution to racism and sexual assault, Stiles analyzes the consequences of trauma as seen in the works of artists like Marina Abramovic, William Pope.L, and Chris Burden. Assembling rich intellectual explorations on everything from Paleolithic paintings to the Bible’s patriarchal legacies to documentary images of nuclear explosions, the book explores how art can provide a distinctive means of understanding trauma and promote individual and collective healing.