This book argues for a renewed understanding of the fundamentally uncanny quality of the medium of photography. It especially makes the case for the capacity of certain photographs—precisely through their uncanniness—to contest structures of political and social dominance. The uncanny as a quality that unsettles the perception of home emerges as a symptom of modern and contemporary society and also as an aesthetic apparatus by which some key photographs critique the hegemony of capitalist and industrialist domains. The book’s historical scope is large, beginning with William Henry Fox Talbot and closing with contemporary indigenous photographer Bear Allison and contemporary African American photographer Devin Allen. Through close readings, exegesis, of individual photographs and careful deployment of contemporary political and aesthetic theory, The Photographic Uncanny argues for a re-envisioning of the political capacity of photography to expose the haunted, homeless, condition of modernity.
Roland Barthes's 1980 book Camera Lucidais perhaps the most influential book ever published on photography. The terms studiumand punctum,coined by Barthes for two different ways of responding to photographs, are part of the standard lexicon for discussions of photography; Barthes's understanding of photographic time and the relationship he forges between photography and death have been invoked countless times in photographic discourse; and the current interest in vernacular photographs and the ubiquity of subjective, even novelistic, ways of writing about photography both owe something to Barthes. Photography Degree Zero,the first anthology of writings on Camera Lucida,goes beyond the usual critical orthodoxies to offer a range of perspectives on Barthes's important book. Photography Degree Zero(the title links Barthes's first book, Writing Degree Zero,to his last, Camera Lucida)includes essays written soon after Barthes's book appeared as well as more recent rereadings of it, some previously unpublished. The contributors' approaches range from psychoanalytical (in an essay drawing on the work of Lacan) to Buddhist (in an essay that compares the photographic flash to the mystic's light of revelation); they include a history of Barthes's writings on photography and an account of Camera Lucidaand its reception; two views of the book through the lens of race; and a provocative essay by Michael Fried and two responses to it. The variety of perspectives included in Photography Degree Zero,and the focus on Camera Lucidain the context of photography rather than literature or philosophy, serve to reopen a vital conversation on Barthes's influential work. Contributors: Geoffrey Batchen, Victor Burgin, Eduardo Cadava, Paolo Cortes-Rocca, James Elkins, Michael Fried, Jane Gallop, Gordon Hughes, Margaret Iverson, Rosalind E. Krauss, Carol Mavor, Margaret Olin, Jay Prosser, Shawn Michelle Smith
David Bate examines automatism and the photographic image, the Surrealist passion for insanity, ambivalent use of Orientalism, use of Sadean philosophy and the effect of fascism of the Surrealists. The book is illustrated wtih a wide range of surrealist photographs.
The novelist, poet, and essayist W. G. Sebald (1944 – 2001) was perhaps the most original German writer of the last decade of the 20th century (“Die Ausgewanderten”, “Austerlitz”, “Luftkrieg und Literatur”). His writing is marked by a unique ‘hybridity’ that combines characteristics of travelogue, cultural criticism, crime story, historical essay, and dream diary, among other genres. He employs layers of literary and motion picture allusions that contribute to a sometimes enigmatic, sometimes intimately familiar mood; his dominant mode is melancholy. The contributions of this anthology examine W. G. Sebald as narrator and pensive observer of history. The book includes a previously unpublished interview with Sebald from 1998.
Still Shakespeare and the Photography of Performance
In this fascinating new book, Rosalinda Quintieri addresses some of the key questions of visual theory concerning our unending fascination with simulacra by evaluating the recent return of the life-size doll in European and American visual culture. Through a focus on the contemporary photographic and cinematic forms of this figure and a critical mobilisation of its anthropological complexity, this book offers a new critical understanding of this classical aesthetic motif as a way to explore the relevance that doubling, fantasy and simulation hold in our contemporary culture. Quintieri explores the figure of the inanimate human double as an "inhuman partner", reflecting on contemporary visuality as the field of a hypermodern, post-Oedipal aesthetic. Through a series of case studies that blur traditional boundaries between practices (photography, performance, sculpture, painting, documentary) and between genres (comedy, drama, fairy tale), Quintieri puts in contrast the new function of the double and its plays of simulations on the background of the capitalist injunction to enjoy. Engaging with new theories on post-Oedipal forms of subjectivity developed within the Lacanian orientation of psychoanalysis, Quintieri offers exciting analyses of still and moving photographic work, giving body to an original aesthetic model that promises to revitalise our understanding of contemporary photography and visual culture. It will appeal to psychoanalysts and researchers from Lacanian psychoanalysis, visual studies and cultural theory, as well as readers with an academic interest in the cultural history of dolls and the theory of the uncanny.
This new collection of essays questions the old orthodoxies of the image as a formal object. The contributors take note of the new condition of the image and its intersection with time and suggest new ways of configuring the relationship between them. Ranging widely over philosophy, psychoanalysis, and literary studies, as well as art history and media studies, the essays include studies of photography--the idea of a still as bound to a structure of the past haunting the present; sculpture--for example, unpacking a famous piece such as the Laocoon into distinct layers of temporality; painting--for example, through an illuminating discussion of Manet, and a discussion of the merits of a Freudian understanding of blocked or repressed memory against the Prousian/Leibniz model of memory as a crystal image.