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Tempus Fugit: Time Flies examines time as both natural phenomenon and cultural construct, as manifested in works of art dating from 900 BCE to the present. Essays by 23 scholars explore the relativity of time.

One section of the book looks closely at time as a dominant concern in 20th-century art. From Einsteinian spacetime, Bergsonian subjective duration, and Freudian non-linear dreamtime, with their respective impacts upon art of the early century, to late-century involvements with critical theory and time-based art (performance, video, and electronic intermedia), this century's reinvention of time and altered notions of history are considered.

A second section explores the meanings of time embodied in works of art from 12 world cultures. Assyrian eternal time, Medieval European apocalyptic time, Indian cosmic, cyclical time, African ancestral time, Native American episodic temporality, and the complex calendrics of the Maya are among the subjects explored.

The final section addresses time from the perspective of those charged with rescuing and protecting works of art from the ravages of time: art conservators. Both the creative time of the artist and the patina of time acquired by the art object are documented.

094261433X (9780942614336)
Publication Date: 
October 1, 2000