The Miraculous by Raphael Rubinstein
Published by Paper Monument (2014)
The Miraculous presents the artistic avant-gardes of the last five decades as a tapestry of incidents as fascinating and unlikely as any collection of myths or legends. Thinking more of Kafka’s Parables than Vasari’s Lives of the Artists, Rubinstein composes a series of micro-narratives celebrating the mystery and ingeniousness of these human activities which, for lack of a better term, we call contemporary art. Each of the fifty episodes in The Miraculous is a richly detailed telling of the circumstances surrounding a single work of art; only the name of the artist is withheld until the end of the book. As Michael H. Miller wrote describing the book in ARTnews: the works take on the icy detachment of a Lydia Davis story, a floating concept with no clear context. Distilled to only an idea, the pieces bask in their more intriguing narratives and separate themselves from the heavy baggage of authorship and intention.