Dr. Brian Dillon is part-time Reader in Critical Writing in Art and Design at the Royal College of Art, where he teaches on the two-year MA in Critical Writing, in addition to supervising a number of PhD candidates and MA dissertations. From 2008 to 2011, he was a Research Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at the School of English at the University of Kent, working on a project entitled ‘Ruins of the Twentieth Century’, involving a literary response to sites, landscapes and ideas of modern ruin. This led to a number of publications, including a novella, Sanctuary (Sternberg Press, 2011); an anthology of artists’ writings and theory, Ruins (MIT Press/Whitechapel, 2011); and The Great Explosion (Penguin, 2015), which was a substantial work of creative non-fiction on a specific site. The project also produced essays on the broad subject of culture and ruins for publications such as Cabinet, Artforum, frieze, The Guardian, the Dublin Review and the London Review of Books.
Since 2001, he has worked as a freelance writer and critic. His first book, Room (Penguin), published in 2005, mixes autobiography with philosophical and cultural reflection on mourning and memory. His second book, Tormented Hope: Nine Hypochondriac Lives (Penguin) – a volume of biographical essays on illness and creativity – was published in 2009. Its subjects include James Boswell, Charlotte Brontë, Marcel Proust, Glenn Gould and Andy Warhol.
Brian Dillon is UK Editor of Cabinet magazine (a cultural quarterly based in New York), a Contributing Editor and columnist at Art Review magazine and a member of the editorial board of Tate etc. magazine. He has also contributed to a wide range of publications, including the Irish Times, the Dublin Review, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, Artforum, Aperture and frieze, as well as several other national newspapers and arts and culture magazines. He has written catalogue essays for institutions such as Tate, the Barbican, the Guggenheim and the Hayward Gallery. His forthcoming publications include Essayism (London: Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2016), on the history and present relevance of the essay as form in literature, art and film; and A Canterbury Tale (London, British Film Institute, 2018), on Powell and Pressburger’s film of the same title.