We have always known dread and panic, felt threatened by certain groups or situations, or by natural and human-made forces. And the spectres haunting our own era of 'late modernity' are many and varied. Food, people, environments and technologies carry signs of real or imagined threat that cause us anxiety. Fears of pollution or contagion have acquired cultural currency and the new bogeymen are paedophiles and terrorists. Fear and Art in the Contemporary World sheds valuable light on the role of images in the current culture of fear in contemporary art and on the development of an 'aesthetics of fear'. It offers a broad look at the ways in which fear pervades every aspect of our lives and defines how we relate to and interpret the world around us. Investigating manifestations of fear in our culture, this book considers the work of a broad range of artists, including Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Louise Bourgeois, Nan Goldin, Douglas Gordon, Antony Gormley, Mike Kelly, Annette Messager, Tracey Moffatt, Tony Oursler, Cornelia Parker, Gerhard Richter, Gregor Schneider and Rachel Whiteread.
States of fear from body terror and contagion to trauma and phobias, feelings of dislocation, displacement and alienation, narratives of guilt and shame, virtual fear and fear as entertainment are explored. In doing so Caterina Albano encompasses the history of medicine and emotion, neuro-psychology, sociology, philosophy, history of art and culture.