Confronting Images

Confronting Images : Questioning the Ends of a Certain History of Art

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When the French edition of Confronting Images appeared in 1990, it won immediate acclaim because of its far-reaching arguments about the structure of images and the histories ascribed to them by scholars and critics working in the tradition of Vasari and Panofsky. According to Didi-Huberman, visual representation has an underside in which seemingly intelligible forms lose their clarity and defy rational understanding. Art historians, he goes on to contend, have failed to engage this underside, where images harbor limits and contradictions, because their discipline is based upon the assumption that visual representation is made up of legible signs and lends itself to rational scholarly cognition epitomized in the science of iconology. To escape from this cul-de-sac, Didi-Huberman suggests that art historians look to Freud s concept of the dreamwork, not for a code of interpretation, but rather to begin to think of representation as a mobile process that often involves substitution and contradiction. Confronting Images also offers brilliant, historically grounded readings of images ranging from the Shroud of Turin to Vermeer s Lacemaker."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 137.16 x 215.9 x 20.32mm | 430.91g
  • Pennsylvania State University Press
  • University Park, United States
  • English
  • 0271024720
  • 9780271024721
  • 193,293

Review quote

"Art history, Didi-Huberman argues, has had to 'kill' the symptomatic image, deny its violence and its 'dissembling, ' in order to preserve its true object, art. Confronting Images is arguably the most important book-length analysis of the conceptual foundations of the discipline, and critique of the discipline, in any language."--Christopher Wood, Yale Universityshow more

About Georges Didi-Huberman

Georges Didi-Huberman is on the faculty of the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales in Paris. His books include Fra Angelico: Dissemblance and Figuration (1995), Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpetriere (2003), and L image survivante: Histoire de l art et temps des fantomes selon Aby Warburg (English edition forthcoming from Penn State Press)."show more