Fragment : An Incomplete History
Almost everything we know about the past comes from physical and narrative fragments. Yet a fragment is not simply the static part of a once-whole thing. It is itself something in motion over time, manifesting successively or variously as object, evidence, concept, and condition.
The pieces gathered in this volume—written by scholars of art, art history, archaeology, literature, philosophy, psychology, numismatics, and film—investigate the significance of the fragment, whether received or created. Each essay offers a meditation on a distinctive moment in the history of the fragment, ranging from spolia in late antique architecture to the practice of collage in the modern period. Complementing these texts is a visual essay by the English sculptor and installation artist Cornelia Parker, whose oeuvre contemplates not only the power of relics but also the meaning conveyed by found objects made into art.