Fried thereby relates Gordon’s work to his own highly controversial essay Art and Objecthood (1967) as well as to various aspects of the antitheatrical tradition in French painting and art criticism from the mid-18th century on. Among the pieces Fried engages with are Gordon’s video installation 24 Hour Psycho (1993) in which the artist appropriates Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie; Déjà-vu (2000) and Play Dead; Real Time (2003).

Michael Fried (b. 1939), J. R. Herbert Boone Professor of Humanities at The John Hopkins University, Baltimore, is an art critic, art historian and poet. His essays in art criticism are collected in Art and Objecthood: Essays and Reviews (University of Chicago Press, 1998). Fried is author of a trilogy on pictorial modernism titled Absorption and Theatricality: Painting and Beholder in the Age of Diderot (University of Chicago Press, 1988); Courbet’s Realism (University of Chicago Press, 1992); and Manet’s Modernism, or, The Face of Painting in the 1860s (University of Chicago Press, 1998). His latest book Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before is published in the fall of 2008 (Yale University Press).