Acclaimed author, filmmaker, editor, curator and art critic Chris Kraus, whose new novel, "Summer of Hate," addresses what she sees as today’s glaring disparities between expectations and consciousness, did a reading Oct. 17 in the College of Architecture's Preston Geren Auditorium as part of the Department of Architecture's Fall 2012 Lecture Series.
Hailed by New York Times critic Holland Cotter as “one of our smartest and most original writers on art and culture,” her new novel explores the razing of underclass consciousness in Albuquerque and Phoenix through a tale of an ex-convict looking to straighten out his life, but unable to escape his past.
“Summer of Hate is as powerful and original as anything I’ve read in recent years, creating an existential noir out of the American landscape,” said author Danzy Senna.
Kraus’ novels explore a variety of subjects including feminism, gender politics, philosophy and love. They include “Trick” (2009), “Catt: Her Killer” (2009), “Visualizing the Tragic: Drama, Myth, and Ritual in Greek Art and Literature” (2007), “LA Artland: Contemporary Art From Los Angeles” (2005) and “I Love Dick,” (1997), which, through a series of love letters to an almost entirely absent man, guides the reader through Kraus’ exploration of failure, feminism, the institution of marriage, and the nature of privacy.
She received the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism in 2007.
“As an art critic, I'm especially interested in social projects, works that allow exchanges among people, that offer ‘culture’ in the largest sense of the word — not just cultural 'product,' but experience of personal and neighborhood histories, our psychic and physical environments,” she said.
Since 1990, she has directed a fiction series for Semiotext(e), an independent press, publishing work by avant-garde writers Kathy Acker, Barbara Barg, Fanny Howe and Eileen Myles.
Kraus, also professor of film at the European Graduate School in Switzerland, is well known as an influential film and video maker in the New York Downtown scene of the mid eighties. Retrospectives of her work have been exhibited in Berlin, Brussels, and Miami.