Gillian Whiteley is a curator and lecturer in Critical andHistorical Studies at Loughborough University School of the Arts. Her publications include 'Assembling the Absurd: the Sculpture of George Fullard' (1998) and the co-edited 'Telling Stories: Countering Narrative in Art, Theory and Film' (2009). Her exhibitions include 'Radical Mayhem: Welfare State International and Its Followers' (Burnley, UK, 2008) and 'Pan-demonium' (AC Institute, New York, USA, 2009), an ongoing project which forms part of her research into bricolage and improvisatory techniques and practices (www.bricolagekitchen.com). She is Associate Editor of the Intellect journal, 'Art & the Public Sphere'.
'A finite stockpile of Earth resources comprises humanity's shared inheritance with all other forms of life. What we are and all we own are fabricated out of this common pool. Even the molecules that comprise our bodies are merely on loan from the ecosystem. These molecules endure, but increasingly they endure stripped of their utility for humans and for the planet. Unwanted stuff is proliferating along with the nouns that describe them: discard, scrap, debris, rubbish, garbage, scrap, junk, litter, refuse, cast-off. Gillian Whiteley has written a thorough and compelling narrative of the role of trash as a source of artistic inspiration. Her discerning commentary has the power to transform readers into connoisseurs of waste.' - Linda Weintraub, author and publisher of Avant-Guardians: Textlets in Art and Ecology, published by Artnow Publications; 'Gillian Whiteley's well-researched contemporary art history is an important and scholarly book on the new aesthetics of eco-art. Trash, junk and what we discard are the real markers of our civilization. Whiteley sheds light on the artists who are tackling the growing landscape - the mountains and monuments of trash - of our temporary culture.' - Holly Crawford, Ph.D., Director AC Institute, NYC; 'In Junk Art: The Politics of Trash Gillian Whiteley offers a striking and timely assessment of the ways in which 'junk' has been appropriated, celebrated, recycled and claimed. More than a history of the uses of trash in modern art, Whiteley presents a powerful and necessary argument for the political and ecological implications of 'junk art' that, far from belonging to a historical past, continue to resonate today. This compelling book is required reading for anyone concerned with the role of art in society, and the critical and aesthetic status of objects which have been rejected, discarded and thrown away.' - Dr. Jo Applin, Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art, Department of History of Art, University of York