Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline by Alicia Chester, James Elkins, Joel Kuennen, Kristi McGuire, and Maureen Burns


004105d8_medium.jpg Author Alicia Chester, James Elkins, Joel Kuennen, Kristi McGuire, and Maureen Burns
Isbn 415877946
File size 16MB
Year 2012
Pages 321
Language English
File format PDF
Category art


 

THEORIZING VISUAL STUDIES This forward-thinking collection brings together over sixty essays that invoke images to summon, interpret, and argue with visual studies and its neighboring fields such as art history, media studies, visual anthropology, critical theory, cultural studies, and aesthetics. The product of a multi-year collaboration between graduate students from around the world, spearheaded by James Elkins, this one-of-a-kind anthology is a truly international, interdisciplinary point of entry into cutting-edge visual studies research. Reflecting the ongoing growth of visual studies, the book is fluid in relation to disciplines; it is frequently inventive in relation to guiding theories; and it is unpredictable in its allegiance and interest in the past and future of the discipline. James Elkins teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kristi McGuire is an artist, writer, and editor based in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and holds graduate degrees from SAIC and the University of Chicago. Maureen Burns is a writer, editor, and arts consultant, currently living in Chicago. She received her MA in visual and critical studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. Alicia Chester is a Chicago-based artist and writer. She completed her MA in visual and critical studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. Joel Kuennen is an editor at ArtSlant.com and an arts writer living in Chicago. He received his MA in visual and critical studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. Theorizing Visual Studies Writing Through the Discipline Edited by James Elkins and Kristi McGuire, with Maureen Burns, Alicia Chester, and Joel Kuennen First published 2013 by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Simultaneously published in the UK by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2013 Taylor & Francis The right of the editors to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Theorizing visual studies : writing through the discipline / edited by James Elkins, Kristi McGuire, Maureen Burns, Alicia Chester, and Joel Kuennen.–1st [edition]. pages cm 1. Art and society. 2. Visual communication 3. Aesthetics. I. Elkins, James, 1955– editor of compilation. N72.S6T47 2012 700–dc23 2012021604 ISBN: 978–0–415–87793–0 (hbk) ISBN: 978–0–415–87794–7 (pbk) ISBN: 978–0–203–07923–2 (ebk) Typeset in Sabon by Swales & Willis Ltd, Exeter, Devon CONTENTS List of Figures List of Text Boxes Preface and Acknowledgments viii xiii xiv How to Use This Book—James Elkins 1 An Introduction to the Visual Studies That Is Not in This Book—James Elkins 3 A Short Introduction to Failure—Kristi McGuire 16 An Introduction to the Visual as Argument—James Elkins 25 Airborne Horses—Mike Gibisser 62 Anaesthetics—Kristi McGuire 65 Animal—Michelle Lindenblatt 69 Animations—Nea Ehrlich 73 Arial—Arden Stern 77 Ars Oblivionalis—Thomas Stubblefield 81 Artifact—Lucian Gomoll 84 Augmented Reality—Horea Avram 88 Breathing—Vivian Li 92 Collecting—Josephine Landback 96 Decolonial—Lara Haworth and Nicole Cormaci 100 Diaspora—W. Ian Bourland 104 Double-Consciousness—Cara Caddoo 107 vi | CONTENT S Eleventh Prismatic—Samantha Topol 110 Ephemeral—Cecilia Aldarondo 113 Experimental Geography—Andrew Wasserman 116 Fetish—Johannes Bruder 120 Filiation—Simon Ferdinando 123 Frame—R. E. H. Gordon 128 Iconoclash—Julia Sonnevend 131 Imaginary—W. Keith Brown 134 Imaginary Twin—Kristi McGuire 138 Intertitles—Jana Žilová 143 Invisibility—Maureen Burns 146 Leviathan—Vera Chiquet 150 LTTR—Rebecca Vreeland 155 Masquerade—Meghan Chandler 159 Metadata—Elizabeth Stainforth and David Thom 163 Metaphors—Marco Bohr 166 Mimicry—Jessica L. Horton 169 Monstrative—Katrina Kuntz 172 Monuments—Jess Park 175 Nests—Marta Jecu 179 Nets—Pirkko Rathgeber 184 Non-Place—Joel Kuennen 188 Objectivity—Andrea Korda 192 Obscenity—Josh Guilford 196 Observing—Julia Marsh 199 Ordinary—Katherine Lennard 202 CONTENTS | Palimpsest—Elise Haddad 206 Parafiction—Faye Gleisser 209 Performance—Arantxa Echarte 212 Performativity—Margaret Ellen Di Guilio 215 Politics—Manuel Ramos 218 Portrait’s Look—Jules Sturm 221 Queer Futures—Álvaro Luís Lima 224 Redaction—Katherine Lennard 227 Regimes—Amari Peliowski 230 Responsivity—Iris Laner 234 Sartorientalism—Jaimee K. Comstock-Skipp 237 Self-Perception—Tenley Bick 242 Sexualized—Andrew Salgado 246 Street Art—Peter Bengtsen 250 Surface—Alicia Chester 254 Syntagm—Joel Kuennen 259 Temples—Jaimee K. Comstock-Skipp 262 Terror—Charlotte Grievson 266 Trauma—Margaret Ellen Di Giulio 270 Visible Woman—Meredith Kooi 274 Visualism—Matthew Francis Rarey 278 White—Maureen Burns 282 Contributors Index 285 295 vii LIST OF FIGURES Time line (1994–2012) showing some of the more frequently cited and assigned textbooks for visual studies. 3–7 A graph showing Bildwissenschaft branching into five paths. 5 Institutions around the world that either have visual culture departments or centers, or else have faculty who publish in visual culture venues. 7 Time line (1989–1999) showing the essays and events that are most often cited in visual studies. 9 Time line (2000–Present) showing the essays and events that are most often cited in visual studies. Time line (1994–2010) showing some of the more frequently cited and assigned textbooks for Bildwissenschaft. Chart showing some of the authors who are listed in the Topic “Queer Futures,” on the theorist José Esteban Muñoz. Time line (1920–2012) showing episodes in the history of the image as argument. 10 10–15 14 33, 41 Examples of diagrams in Diderot’s Encyclopédie (“The Plates of the Encyclopedia,” Eng. trans. 1986). 45 Lyndell Brown and Charles Green, Framing Conflict, detail of the installation at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, 5 Nov. 2008–1 Feb. 2009. Courtesy the artists. 48 Lyndell Brown and Charles Green, Twin Towers, US Base, Tallil, Southern Iraq. 2007–9, 37.4 × 51.7 cm, digital colour photograph, inkjet print on rag paper. Courtesy the artists. 48 A diagram of the pathways between the political and the aesthetic. 55 Left: Image of “Terror” (Figure 20, from “a photograph by Dr. Duchenne”) from Charles Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, 1872. Scanned from the 1965 edition published by the University of Chicago Press. 68 Right: Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant), “OCCUPY HOPE,” digital print (first version), 2008. Image copyright: Shepard Fairey. Courtesy of: www.obeygiant.com (artist’s website). 68 L I ST O F F I G UR E S | From Midway: Message from the Gyre. Photograph by and image copyright: Chris Jordan (www.chrisjordan.com). Courtesy of: Kopeikin Gallery. 69 From Waltz with Bashir, an Ari Folman film. Illustration: David Polonsky. Courtesy of: Bridgit Folman Film Gang. 74 From Waltz with Bashir, an Ari Folman film. Illustration: Tomer Hanuka. Courtesy of: Bridgit Folman Film Gang. 75 The letter R in the Arial and Helvetica fonts. 79 Yinka Shonibare, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews Without Their Heads, wax-print cotton costumes on mannequins, dog mannequin, painted metal bench, rifle, 165 × 635 × 254 cm with plinth, 1998. Image courtesy of and copyright: the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. 83 “Beauty and Purpose: Art that Works” from Inter/sections: World Arts, Local Lives, the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles, 2006. Photograph by: David Mayo. 85 Baldassare Peruzzi (1481–1536), Hall of the Perspectives with trompe l’oeil fresco decorations. Southwall, Villa Farnesina, Rome, Italy. Photo: Alessandro Angeli, 2003. Franco Cosimo Panini Editore ©Management Fratelli Alinari. Photo Credit: Alinari / Art Resource, NY. 89 Layar, Augmented Reality Browser (application for smartphones, launched in 2009). Courtesy of: Maarten Lens-FitzGerald and Layar. 91 Song Dong, Breathing, Part 1, 1996, Chromogenic transparency on translucent polyester, 62 × 96 inches (157.5 × 243.8 cm), The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago; Purchase, Paul and Miriam Kirkley Fund for Acquisitions, Image © 2012 courtesy of the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago. 92 Song Dong, Breathing, Part 2, 1996, Chromogenic transparency on translucent polyester, 62 × 96 inches (157.5 × 243.8 cm), the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago; Purchase, Paul and Miriam Kirkley Fund for Acquisitions, Image © 2012 courtesy of the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago. 95 Nagiko (Vivian Wu), still from The Pillow Book (dir. Peter Greenaway), 1996. 97 Trans-Alaska Pipeline, 2009. Photography by and image courtesy of: Center for Land-Use Interpretation. 100 Trans-Alaska Pipeline, 2009. Photography by and image courtesy of: Center for Land-Use Interpretation. 102 Trisha Donnelly, Untitled, pencil on colored paper, 11½ × 8¼ inches, 2007. Image courtesy of: the artist. 112 Trevor Paglen, LACROSSE/ONYX V near Cepheus (Synthetic Aperture Radar Reconnaissance Satellite; USA 182), 2008, C-Print, 48 × 60 inches. Image courtesy of: the artist. 118 Visitors look into the hole of Anish Kapoor’s Descent into Limbo, Kassel, Germany, 1992. Photograph by: David Connor. Courtesy of: Art on File. 121 ix x | LIST OF FIGU RE S Photograph of Malcolm X and the Standing Committee of the Oxford Union, Michaelmas term, 1964. The photograph was taken on the occasion of the Oxford Union debate “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue,” a proposition originally put forward by Senator Barry Goldwater at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco, July 1964. Image courtesy of: Gilman and Soame Oxford. 124 Ken Jacobs, still image from Perfect Film, 10 mm black and white, 1985. Image courtesy of: Film-maker’s Cooperative, New York, and LUX London. 125 Kushal Ruia, Haven, 2009. Image courtesy of: the artist. 136 Bhairavi Parikh, Girl 3 from the Rural Portrait series, 2006. Image courtesy of: the artist. 137 Mark Lombardi, Banco Nazionale del Lavoro, Reagan, Bush, Thatcher, and the Arming of Iraq, c. 1979–1990 (4th version), 1998. Colored pencil and pencil on paper, 50 × 120 inches. Gift of Shirley and Donald Lombardi. Copyright: the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, U.S.A. and Pierogi 2000, Williamsburg, New York. Digital image licensed by and image courtesy of: SCALA / Art Resource, New York. 141 Still from Faust (dir. Friedrich-Wilhelm Murnau), 1926. Image copyright and courtesy of: Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung; Distributor: Transit Film GmbH. 144 The frontispiece of the book Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, illustration by Abraham Bosse, 1651. Image appropriated from: Wikimedia Commons, 2012. 151 Vera Chiquet and Moritz Herzog, Leviathan Frontispiece-Montage for Bruno Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern, 2010. Courtesy of: the artists. 153 Emily Roysdon, Untitled (David Wojnarowicz project), cover of LTTR 1, 2002. Courtesy of: the artist and LTTR. 157 Screen still from Doll Face (dir. Andrew Huang), 2005. Image courtesy of: the artist. 159 Seth Price, Gold Key (Blue 1), inkjet on dibond, 47¾ × 47¾ inches, 2007. Image courtesy of: the artist. 165 Moriyama Daidô, KARIUDO (Hunter), 1972. Image copyright: the artist. Courtesy of: Taka Ishii Gallery. 166 Kent Monkman, film still from Dance to the Berdashe, 12 minutes, 5-channel video installation with surround sound, 2008. Image courtesy: the artist’s studio. 171 Still from Les yeux sans visage (Eyes Without a Face), directed by Georges Franju, Champs-Élysées Productions and Lux Film productions, 1959. 173 Robert Arneson, Vertical George, oil stick, watercolor, graphite, felt-tipped pen, acrylic, and collage on paper, 95½ × 44½ inches (242.57 × 113.03 cm), 1981. Image courtesy: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of Anne MacDonald. © Estate of Robert Arneson / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. 177 Tadashi Kawamata, Berliner Baumhäuser, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, 2009. Photograph by and copyright: Thomas Eugster. 179 L I ST O F F I G UR E S | Tadashi Kawamata, Berliner Baumhäuser, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, 2009. Photograph by and copyright: Thomas Eugster. 181 Tadashi Kawamata, Berliner Baumhäuser, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, 2009. Photograph by and copyright: Thomas Eugster. 182 Agnes Martin, Stars, ink and watercolor on paper, 12 × 12 inches, private collection, 1963. Courtesy of: Phillips de Pury & Company. Copyright: VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2012. 186 Peter Kogler, Ohne Titel, installation view at Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2000. Copyright: Kunsthaus Bregenz, Peter Kogler. Photograph by: Markus Tretter. 187 Image taken at Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong, 1979. Photograph by and image courtesy of: Denis Kuennen. 189 Image taken at Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong, 1979. Photograph by and image courtesy of: Denis Kuennen. 190 Image of the Khangaon Cotton Market from the Illustrated London News, May 21, 1870. Courtesy: the Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara. 193 Saul Levine, still from Notes After Long Silence 1984–89. Image courtesy and copyright: the artist. 198 Jung Yeondoo, The Hanging Garden, two-channel video installation, 2009. Courtesy of: the artist. 201 Images of the ordinary, 2011. Photograph by: the author. 203 Sherrie Levine, from After Walker Evans: 1–22, black and white photographs, 8 × 10 inches, 1981. Copyright: Sherrie Levine. Courtesy: Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. 207 Arantxa Echarte, 1810–2008 (2008). Image copyright and courtesy of: the artist. 213 Claude Cahun, Que me veux-tu?, 1928. Reprinted with permission of the Claude Cahun Estate. All rights reserved. 221 Still image from Office Baroque (dir. Gordon Matta-Clark), 1977. Copyright and image courtesy of: Adagp, Paris, 2012. 232 Gerd Hasler, DP 101, silver gelatin print, 39 × 34 inches, 2010. Image courtesy and copyright: the artist. 236 Fashion advertisement from September 21, 1913 issue of the New York Times. 238 Illustration accompanying an article by Corinne Lowe, “The News about Fall Suits and Hats,” September 12, 1920, Chicago Daily Tribune. Caption: “By and by [one’s] glance may wander on to the Lancret turban on the table—a melon shaped affair of old blue velvet with painted quille.” 240 Diagram from Jacques Lacan, “The experiment of the inverted bouquet” (1953–54), The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book 1: Freud’s Papers on Technique, 1953–54, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, translated with notes by John Forrester (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 78. Copyright: Jacques Lacan. Courtesy of Jacques-Alain Miller and Editions du Seuil (Paris). 243 xi xii | LIST OF FIGU RE S Olafur Eliasson, La situazione antispettiva (The anti-spective situation), interior view, stainless steel mirrors, stainless steel, 5 × 5 × 15 metres. Installation: Danish Pavilion, la Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2003. Collection: Twenty-First Century Museum of Art, Kanazawa. Courtesy of: the artist; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; and neugerriemschneider, Berlin. 244 Production still from Matthew Barney, CREMASTER 3. Copyright: Matthew Barney, 2002. Photo by: Chris Winget. Courtesy of: Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. 248 Martin Bull, Banksy vs. Faile, 2006. Photograph by and permission courtesy of: the artist. 251 Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C., 1982. Photograph by: Alicia Chester, 2010. 255 Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall (alternative view), Washington, D.C., 1982. Photograph by: Alicia Chester, 2010. 256 Matthew Booth, Communications, Santos Party House, 2010, archival pigment print, 24 × 32 inches (original in color). Image courtesy of: the artist. 257 A product of the “Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop” meme which was a result of an image taken of a police officer pepper-spraying Occupy protestors on the University of California, Davis, campus in 2011. Image uploaded to http://www.knowyourmeme.com/ by user Dr. Pepper under a Creative Commons license. 259 Pavilion-temple architecture at the Paris International Exposition in 1900. Image from Albert Quantin, L’Exposition du siècle (1900). 264 Jonathan Horowitz, Official Portrait of George W. Bush Available for Free From the White House (Hung Upside Down), framed color print, 12½ × 10 ½ inches, 2001. Courtesy of: the artist and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, 2012. 266 Caravaggio, The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, oil on canvas, 52 × 47 inches, c. 1601. 271 Slice of the Visible Woman, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Visible Human Project. Image courtesy: project website. 276 Street performance of the Danza de la Tortuga (Turtle Dance), Cuajinicuilapa, Guerrero, Mexico, July 2007. Photograph by and image courtesy of: the author. 280 LIST OF TEXT BOXES Contemporary and older art 80 The artworks in this book 99 The average age of our theories 127 The experience of making art 133 The number of images 149 The principal theorists 162 Our favorite theorists 191 The principal journals 217 Our favorite journals 226 Non-Western art 249 Visual practices outside of art 269 PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The book you are holding would be unusual in any field. It is a collection of brief essays and images that can be used to think about visual studies and its neighboring fields such as art history, visual communication, and visual anthropology. It is not a reader or an anthology, and it does not rehearse the accepted concepts and methods of visual studies or other fields. With the exception of this Preface and two of the Introductions that immediately follow, it was written entirely by graduate students around the world. It began in 2008 in Chicago, at the School of the Art Institute, as an idea to write a next-generation reader for visual studies.1 Around the same time, an editor at Routledge asked if I was interested in developing a visual studies anthology or a second edition of the book Visual Studies: A Skeptical Introduction. I thought it might be interesting to avoid the usual anthology, and instead let graduate students write about their own concerns. In fall 2008, about ten graduate students devised a set of concepts that would organize the book. Some of their ideas were familiar, such as “Frame,” “Archive,” “Performativity,” and “Site.” Other concepts were either new or were radically reinterpreted for the book, including “Departing,” “Collapsing,” “Surfacing,” and “Invisibility.” Building on that conceptualization, the students wrote several of the brief chapters that comprise this book.2 Then in summer 2009 we advertised our project to graduate students in 65 universities, schools, and academies in 22 countries. We held a call for entries; students were invited to choose their own topics, concepts, and images. In that way we gathered over 60 more contributors, and we put the results on a publicly accessible wiki. At that point about 10 graduate students at the School of the Art Institute were contributing and also managing the call for papers. Things evolved: we had the wiki, and soon we also had a Ning (social networking and blogging site), a Facebook page, a Google docs site, and a site called EditMe. It was a complicated project! In 2010 there was a second international call for papers. During this entire period the group in Chicago was editing the submissions, and the authors who had been accepted were revising their papers. 1 The original class was taught by Shawn Michelle Smith, and included Ellen Hartwell Alderman, Alicia Chester, Margaret Di Giulio, Mike Gibisser, R. E. H. Gordon, Szu-Han Ho, Katherine Lennard, Kristi McGuire, Andrea Slavik, Samantha Topol, and Lisa Young-Kutsukake. Other people involved at the beginning were J. Dakota Brown, Julia Marsh, Joey Orr, and Ethan White. Eduardo Vivanco participated in spring 2009. It’s too bad that it isn’t possible to thank each person individually, with attention to what each one did: this was such an unusually long and complicated process—more protracted, more frequently reinvented, more drastically and repeatedly rethought, more nearly ruined—than several other books I have edited that have had approximately the same number of contributors and equivalent gestation times. It was a marathon, and the result is the sum of everyone’s contributions. 2 More of this story is told in the second Introduction, “A Short Introduction to Our Failures.” PR EF AC E AN D AC KN O WL EDG M EN T S | By summer 2011 our graduate student group in Chicago had all graduated, and our numbers thinned to the four who are credited on the title page of this book. We eventually settled on about fifty essays. In the end it took over four years to assemble this book. The content and arrangement of the book are entirely student-driven and collaborative. I have read all the texts in the book, and in most cases I have suggested multiple revisions. But my comments haven’t been about content; I have read for usage, logic, and quality of research. (My own position in relation to visual studies is only reflected in the two Introductions I contributed. If I had assembled this book as an ordinary edited volume, it would have been completely different.) The student group at the School of the Art Institute is responsible for the bulk of the substantive editing. The result is a truly international, interdisciplinary look at what counts as interesting research on vision and visuality in the second decade of the century. We hope it is also an entirely new kind of anthology, one that doesn’t rehearse existing texts but begins by arguing with them. The book is fluid in relation to disciplines; it is frequently inventive in relation to guiding theories; it is unpredictable in its allegiance and interest in the past of the discipline. In all those ways, it reflects the ongoing growth of visual studies. James Elkins October 5, 2012 xv How to Use This Book James Elkins This book has an unusual structure, and it may be helpful to spend a few minutes considering it before you begin reading. The Topics in this book are intentionally brief. Most focus on just a few lines or paragraphs of a text and just one or two visual objects. We assume that any serious study will involve not only the passage we choose—for example Lacan on vision—but the entire seminar in which that material appeared, and ultimately the whole open-ended corpus of materials associated with Lacan’s theories of vision. So instead of trying to do justice to authors or artists by taking large sections of their work, as in ordinary readers and anthologies, we focus on passages and images that we feel are crucial.1 This book’s most unusual feature is probably its three introductions. The first one, “An Introduction to the Visual Studies that is Not in This Book,” is a look at the history of visual studies, including previous anthologies. If you are new to visual studies, this will provide a succinct summary of the history of the field. We were surprised, when we assembled this book, that so few of the graduate student authors engaged that history. In some respects this book is a new world, and the first introduction is therefore a guide to some book other than this one: it would fit a more historically oriented anthology of visual studies, of the kind more likely to be written by established scholars. I decided to include it here to indicate some of the distance between the concerns of this book and the picture of visual studies that might emerge from the existing literature. The second introduction, “A Short Introduction to Our Failures,” was written by Kristi McGuire; it is a meditation on the things we hoped to do in this book, and the reasons they didn’t work out. Some of those reasons were practical, but others were structural, in the sense that they are built into the field. “A Short Introduction to Our Failures” is therefore also about the necessary indecisions, obfuscations, and evasions of the field. The third introduction, “An Introduction to the Visual as Argument,” is longer. Its subject is the place of the visual in visual studies, and specifically the possibility that images might lead the argument—that they might provide their own theories, have their own power, their own say in the structure of visual studies. So far that idea has been mainly rhetorical; this introduction attempts to provide a theory of how images might become more than illustrations of textual arguments. Like the first introduction, this one looks partly away from this book and toward one of visual studies’ possible futures. It is an introduction, or a proposal, for a form of visual studies that is still being conceptualized. 1 In that respect, this book is more like Laurent Lavaud’s l’Image or Adrian Piper, Jon Simons, and Sunil Manghani’s Image Studies Reader than it is like Nicholas Mirzoeff’s Visual Studies Reader. 2 | JAMES ELKINS It is unusual to have three introductions to a book, written by two authors; and it may be unique to have all three introductions pursue themes that are critical of the contents of the book they introduce. But we think that suits visual studies. Visual culture is a labile subject, still being pondered, and it wouldn’t seem right to introduce it with a confident pedagogy. TEXT BOXES The Text Boxes, scattered through the book, are the results of a survey. In the fall of 2011, when this book was substantially complete, I taught a course at the graduate program at Williams College; one of my students, Carolyn Geller, assembled an internet survey and sent it to the authors of this book. We asked them a number of questions about what journals they read, what art they studied, and whether they had tried making art. The results were often surprising. The Text Boxes are therefore intended as a fourth way—after the three introductions—to think about what kind of visual studies is represented in this book. BIBLIOGRAPHY All the bibliographic references in this book, with the exception of those in the Introductions, are given in “short title” form. This is to save space; the internet obviates the necessity for full printed references. The references are unambiguous, but might require some work on the internet: for example searching the reference given as “Calhoon, MLN, 1988” will send you to the journal MLN, whose index is available online, and whose essays are available in libraries. USING THIS BOOK IN CLASSES AND SEMINARS We hope this book is sufficiently modular and polyphonic so it can be used in a variety of teaching contexts. For beginning students, a selection of Topics might be helpful to give a flavor of the field. An undergraduate class might read “An Introduction to the Visual Studies That is Not in This Book” as background to the history of visual studies. A graduate seminar might join us in pondering the difficulty of producing any anthology (“A Short Introduction to Failure”) or the unfulfilled promise of visual studies to put the visual on center stage (“An Introduction to the Image as Argument”). This is a book to be sampled and argued with; it’s less a platform or position than an incentive to further conversation. An Introduction to the Visual Studies That is Not in This Book James Elkins Visual studies has grown exponentially in the last quarter century. In the early 1990s, it was a new subject, and it seemed fairly straightforward. Its mission was to complement art history's interest in fine art with new interest in television, advertising, photography, and mass media, using methodologies and concerns from other fields, especially cultural studies. To do that, visual studies called on a group of theorists that had sometimes been overlooked by art history, including Michel Foucault, Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, and Jacques Lacan. At least that would have been a nominal description of the field between 1989, when the first North American program was founded, and 1996, when the journal October precipitated a discussion about visual studies' relation to art history. Since then, studies has become remarkably complex. Historically, visual studies used to be understood as an outgrowth of British cultural studies in the 1960s. Stuart Hall, Raymond Williams, and others were its touchstones. Recently, writers have become more attentive to the multiple histories of the field. One such history begins in the 1970s in Sweden, particularly in Goteborg and Lund; interpretations developed there have grown into a kind of semiotic analysis of non-art images. A third history begins with Aby Warburg or Alois Riegl, and leads through Germanlanguage art history to what is currently called Bildwissenschaft. A fourth history, pursued mainly in the U.K., leads from postcolonial studies, visual anthropology, area studies, and other fields, and converges on publications such as the journal of Visual Culture. A fifth comes through deconstruction and literary criticism, by way of Marshall McLuhan and Fredric Jameson. These and several others are now recognized as the multiple parents of practices that might very well not be a coherent whole.1 Geographically, visual studies has been expanding so rapidly no scholar has been able 1 These histories are among the subjects of a book called Farewell to Visual Studies, edited by Gustav Frank, Sunil Manghani, and James Elkins, vol. 5 of the Stone Art Theory Seminars (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, forthcoming). That book grew out of a week of seminars held in Chicago in summer 2011; it contains extensive documentation for the subjects mentioned in this introduction. Visual Culture: Images and Interpretations 1994 A book of conference papers, edited by Michael Ann Holly, Keith Moxey, and Norman Bryson. W.J.T. Mitchell, Picture Theory 1995 The book proposes that pictures produce as well as exemplify theory. 1995

Author Alicia Chester, James Elkins, Joel Kuennen, Kristi McGuire, and Maureen Burns Isbn 0415877946 File size 16MB Year 2012 Pages 321 Language English File format PDF Category Art Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare This forward-thinking collection brings together over sixty essays that invoke images to summon, interpret, and argue with visual studies and its neighboring fields such as art history, media studies, visual anthropology, critical theory, cultural studies, and aesthetics. The product of a multi-year collaboration between graduate students from around the world, spearheaded by James Elkins, this one-of-a-kind anthology is a truly international, interdisciplinary point of entry into cutting-edge visual studies research. The book is fluid in relation to disciplines; it is frequently inventive in relation to guiding theories; it is unpredictable in its allegiance and interest in the past of the discipline?reflecting the ongoing growth of visual studies.     Download (16MB) Chinese Landscape Painting as Western Art History Chinese Art and Its Encounter with the World Virilio And Visual Culture The Dynamics and Performativity of Imagination Seduction And Power: Antiquity In The Visual And Performing Arts Load more posts

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