[artinfo] Two New Books by Daniel Birnbaum

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Fri Dec 5 16:34:31 CET 2008

Daniel Birnbaum & Anders Olsson
As a Weasel Sucks Eggs
An Essay on Melancholy and Cannibalism

As a Weasel Sucks Eggs, released in conjunction 
with Birnbaum's exhibition "50 Moons of Saturn" 
in Turin, examines the enigmatic relation of 
melancholia to primitive cannibalism, which has 
been particularly stressed in psychoanalysis. 
What deeper ties exist between reading and 
eating, between hunger and writing? Perhaps 
melancholy and other-worldly satiation are 
critical to our understanding of modernity, and 
our understanding of culture at large. The book 
contains readings of Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, 
Thomas Bernhard, Sigmund Freud, G. W. F. Hegel, 
and the Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf. The authors 
cite Goethe and Rabelais, for whom food is a 
cosmic principle and the fertile soil in which 
all acts of creation take root. Food plays a 
similar role for the melancholiac-who, 
questioning the normal order of things, craves 
and consumes other or unknown types of food that 
are steeped in a variety of meanings. The authors 
trace the desire for this repast throughout the 
age s, scrutinizing its relationship to primitive 
sacrificial rites and contemporary anthropology, 
philosophy, and linguistic theory.

Translated from the Swedish by Brian Manning Delaney
16 x 22 cm, 175 pages, 2 b/w ill., softcover
ISBN 978-1-933128-62-7

Daniel Birnbaum
The Hospitality of Presence

Preface by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Afterword by Sven-Olov Wallenstein
With a special project by Olafur Eliasson

The Hospitality of Presence is a study of the 
concept of otherness in Edmund Husserl's 
phenomenology, which gained international 
attention in academic circles in the late 1990s. 
It was reviewed favorably by the Review of 
Metaphysics and quoted from extensively, most 
notably in one of legendary French thinker Paul 
Ricoeur's last books. Until now, it has long been 
out of print.

Birnbaum's study explores Husserl's theory of 
temporality in relation to his conception of the 
Other. Examined together, these two issues 
illuminate one another as well as phenomenology's 
idea of what it is to be a subject. In opposition 
to the commonly held view that a "decentered" and 
open subject has developed subsequently to and 
partly as a critique of Husserl's position, this 
analysis endeavors to show that his notion of 
subjectivity is based on a highly sophisticated 
understanding of alterity. The book provides a 
theoretical framework for Birnbaum's more 
aphoristic essay Chronology (2005, new edition 
2007) and features a series of interventions by 
artist Olafur Eliasson, whose work can be 
understood as an attempt to reposition our 
perceptual possibilities beyond the 

16.5 x 24 cm, 278 pages, 19 b/w ill., softcover
ISBN 978-1-933128-28-3

For orders please contact 
<mailto:mail at sternberg-press.com>mail at sternberg-press.com

Karl-Marx-Allee 78
D-10243 Berlin
T +49 30 5900 958 21
F +49 30 5900 958 20

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