Cartographies of New York and Other Postwar American Cities: Art, Literature and Urban Spaces explores phenomena of urban mapping in the discourses and strategies of a variety of postwar artists and practitioners of space: Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, Vito Acconci, Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert Smithson, Rebecca Solnit, Matthew Buckingham, contemporary Situationist projects. The distinctive approach of the book highlights the interplay between texts and site-oriented practices, which have often been treated separately in critical discussions. Monica Manolescu considers spatial investigations that engage with the historical and social conditions of the urban environment and reflect on its mediated nature. Cartographic procedures that involve walking and surveying are interpreted as unsettling and subversive possibilities of representing and navigating the postwar American city. The book posits mapping as a critical nexus that opens up new ways of studying some of the most important postwar artistic engagements with New York and other American cities.
Monica Manolescu is Associate Professor of English at the University of Strasbourg, France. She has published a study of Vladimir Nabokov's geographies and co-authored a companion to Lolita. She has also written articles on 20th-century and contemporary American literature and art.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Walking with Poe: "The Man of the Crowd" from text to street
The legacies of the flâneur
Vanishing point: from Poe to Buckingham
New forms of following: Poe, the metropolis and virtual communities
Chapter 3 Transitions: Happenings and beyond
Into the streets: genealogies of urban mapping
Oldenburg's The Street and Kaprow's Words: the city inside
Dispersed spatiality: Calling
Fluxus: drawing lines and maps
Chapter 4 Following Vito Acconci
Inside/outside: boundaries of the page
Urban nuisances: Following Piece and beyond
American gifts: home and architecture
Chapter 5 Eternal Cities: Rome/Passaic. On Robert Smithson's
"Monuments of Passaic"
An "exploratory path": from Passaic to Rome
Cultural and geographic frames
Rome: "the rotting remains of a vanished age"
Chapter 6 Gordon Matta-Clark's urban slivers and "word works"
In the ruins of New York
Chapter 7 Cartographies and the Texture of Cities: Rebecca Solnit's Infinite City. A San Francisco Atlas
The death and renewal of maps
Point of view and renewal
Identity and performative cartography
"The phantom of place"
The atlas as method
Chapter 8 Conclusion: "write a book to get lost"