“What then is time?” wrote St Augustine. “If no one asks me I know. If I wish to explain it, I know not”.
Time is a challenging concept for philosophers, but no less so for the artist, critic, and art theorist. The contributors to this collection of essays, who represent humanities disciplines from universities worldwide, have taken up this challenge, providing a range of perspectives on the topic “Art and Time”.
Some engage with the broad philosophical issues at stake, some with the meaning of time for particular artists or works of art – from Fra Angelico to Frank Lloyd Wright, from Hamlet to The Lord of the Rings, from Renaissance dance to rave music. All seek an answer to Augustine's question when we ask it in the context of artistic endeavour.
As Derek Allan writes in the Introduction to this collection, “Surprisingly little has been written about Art and Time in recent times, even in those academic disciplines such as the philosophy of art in which one would most expect to encounter it”. The topic is, however, of increasing interest and this volume is a response to that development.