Images and Interpretations
Publication Year: 2013
different from a history of art.
CONTRIBUTORS: Andres Ross, Michael Ann Holly, Mieke Bal, David Summers, Constance Penley, Kaja Silverman, Ernst Van Alphen, Norman Bryson, Wolfgang Kemp, Whitney Davis, Thomas Crow, Keith Moxey, John Tagg, Lisa Tickner.
Ebook Edition Note: Ebook edition note: all illustrations have been redacted.
Published by: Wesleyan University Press
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List of Illustrations
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T HIS anthology collects the work of fifteen lecturers who con tributed to a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute entitled "Theory and Interpretation in the Visual Arts," held at the University of Rochester during July and August I989. Lec turers, organizers, participants, and visitors met daily for six weeks to chart, discuss, and argue over the impact of contemporary theory on the discipline of art history. We came together from an assortment of ...
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THE academy is visibly changing. Other humanities have not suffered as much as the history of art from institutional inertia. Literary studies, for example, has welcomed the unsettling that the expanded rhetoric of theory has generated. In his survey of the im pact of interpretation and criticism on literature departments in Framing the Sign, Jonathan Culler offers the hope that essays in the new "genre" of theory will challenge and help reorient thinking in other fields "than ...
GRISELDA POLLOCK: Feminism/Foucault—Surveillance/Sexuality
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THE phrase, classing the body, invokes two related but dis tinct meanings. The general usage of class is as a synonym for group, set, or species. Processes of selection and comparison produce categorizations or classifications. In the wake of the vast histori cal changes that came with capitalism, however, the term class acquired specific, political meanings. In the discourse of historical materialism, a critical anatomy of that system, it refers to sets of relationships within ...
LISA TICKNER: Men's Work? Masculinity and Modernism
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I WAN T here to sketch some of the tangled relations between mod ernism and sexual difference in the decade between I905 and I9I5.1 In art history, these were the formative years of the British avant garde: in I905 Augustus John was establishing his reputation, in I9IO Roger Fry organized the first "Post-Impressionist Exhibition," in I9I5 Wyndham Lewis brought out the second issue of Blast. In broader terms, these were "some of the most immoderate years in English history," 2 ...
JOHN TAGG: The Discontinuous City: Picturing and the Discursive Field
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T HIS essay is concerned with orders of sense, regimes of visual meaning, and the discursive formations and practices of power in which they are constituted. It operates, therefore, at a par ticular level of specificity and does so with some point. It sets out to map an analysis of one type of formation-the formation of disciplinary knowledge and representations, as it emerges in mid-nineteenth-century Europe and North America-into a wider field; engaging not only re ...
KEITH MOXEY: Hieronymus Bosch and the "World Upside Down": The Case of The Garden of Earthly Delights
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T HE writing of art history is often regarded as if it were a self evident enterprise in which historians share common assump tions and common goals. What matters, it is thought, are not the theoretical assumptions and methodological procedures that animate the work so much as the empirical "evidence" the study brings to bear on the interpretation in question. The lack of articulated assumptions implies that such theoretical considerations are unnecessary because all ...
THOMAS CROW: Observations on Style and History in French Painting of the Male Nude, 1785–1794
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W HEN might a drastic change in artistic style be a form of continuity? A necessary corollary to this question is to ask whether art-historical explanation requires at this moment a reinvigorated capacity for stylistic analysis, but one that would not be predicated on the traditional search for visual resemblances between works of art. A painting that poses the first question and dictates a posi tive answer to the second is The Sleep of Endymion (fig. I), painted in ...
WHITNEY DAVIS: The Renunciation of Reaction in Girodet's Sleep of Endymion
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X one time art critics and historians aligned Girodet's remark able painting Endymion, effet de lune (The Sleep of Endymion), painted in I79I and exhibited in the Salon of I793 (see Crow, fig. I), with considerably later images-produced toward the end of the century and during the empire and Restoration-commonly understood by many commentators to exemplify a "decadent" post-revolutionary "neoclassicism of reaction." 1 Superficially, Girodet's painting does in ...
WOLFGANG KEMP: The Theater of Revolution: A New Interpretation of Jacques-Louis David's Tennis Court Oath
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X artistes manquees, as would-be artists, we art historians feel a strong inclination toward the great unfinished projects. Here we are not only entitled but asked to complete what was left frag mentary. But especially in the case of works that never stood the test of realization, we are tempted to do what we do more often than not to normal works of art: We transfer them to a kind of ideal space, severing In this chapter, I present a new interpretation for a famous fragment, ...
NORMAN BRYSON: Géricault and "Masculinity"
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I N this paper, I bring together two distinct inquiries: the first, an inquiry into some aspects of the cultural construction of mascu linity; and the second, an inquiry into certain works by the French nineteenth-century painter Theodore Gericault (1791-1824). But first, I should explain what lies behind this juxtaposition. My claim is that, in some sense, the two inquiries are one and the same: that you can view Gericault's work as itself an inquiry into the construction of masculine ...
ERNST VAN ALPHEN: Strategies of Identification
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I DE N TIT Y and alterity are key concepts in the hottest discus sions in the humanities today. In the discipline of art history, "self" and "other" are being reflected on in diverging approaches, from historicism to gender studies. These concepts are hard to deal with because they are far from symmetrical in content and epistemologi cal status. Tzvetan Todorov has argued in his Nous et les Autres that we-other relations such as nationalism and exoticism are always rela ...
KAJA SILVERMAN: Fassbinder and Lacan: A Reconsideration of Gaze, Look, and Image
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I N this essay I will attempt to differentiate the gaze from the look, and hence from masculinity. I will also provide a theoretical articu lation of the field of vision within which every subject is necessarily held.! Although the paradigm I will advance differs in many respects from that which has dominated film theory over the past fifteen years, my aim is less to displace than to complicate the latter, whose resources are still far from exhausted. Lacan is, of course, central to this double ...
CONSTANCE PENLEY: Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and the Study of Popular Culture
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T HIS paper will explore some of the possible relations that can be forged among the three terms in its title, that is, among femi nism, psychoanalysis, and the study of popular culture. I pro pose here at least one way those terms might productively be brought together by describing my involvement in, and study of, a female fan dom, called "slash" fandom, that is an intriguing spin-off of the large and lively Star Trek fandom. Unlike the other chapters in this book, ...
ANDREW ROSS: The Ecology of Images
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K least two urgent needs emerged from the war in the Gulf. First of all, the United States Congress needs to sit down and draft a constitutional amendment to ensure the separation of Press and State. That action would probably require a much better Congress than any money can buy, but it would do well to protect against the collapse, all too clear from the first hour of Gulf combat, of the distance con ventionally observed between the corporate media and the corporate ...
MICHAEL ANN HOLLY: Wölfflin and the Imagining of the Baroque
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FOR many years, historians of art seemed to have little trouble with the concept of the "baroque." Their confidence in using this periodic category was in large part a result of the descrip tive power of Heinrich Wolfflin's influential text, Kunstgeschichtliche Grundbegriffe (The Principles of Art History: The Problem of the De velopmentofStyle in Later Art), published first in 1915.1 As most readers are likely aware, that essay postulates a decipherable evolution of pic ...
MIEKE BAL: Dead Flesh, or the Smell of Painting
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I N one of his paradoxical sketches (fig. I), Rembrandt represented the central scene of the biblical story ofJudges 19, arguably the most horrible story in the entire Hebrew Bible.! The sketch is a statement about death, signified by the movement of the dead body. This paradox can be understood as we shift attention from the represented content to the mode of representation. In this paper, I explore the intricate con nections, in works by Rembrandt, between modes of representation and ...
DAVID SUMMERS: Form and Gender
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T HIS paper is a slight revision of a lecture written to serve the fairly definite purpose of making the "archaeology of the disci pline" of art history, and, more specifically, the "critical history of art" (as Michael Podro has called the foundational German tradition of art history descending in one way or another from Kant and Hegel) discussable and of interest to those participants in the NEH Institute concerned with more recent questions of interpretation. I therefore hope ...
List of Contributors
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Page Count: 461
Publication Year: 2013