Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation

Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation

Paperback

By (author) W. J. T. Mitchell

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  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Format: Paperback | 462 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 26mm | 599g
  • Publication date: 14 September 1995
  • Publication City/Country: Chicago, IL
  • ISBN 10: 0226532321
  • ISBN 13: 9780226532325
  • Edition: 2, New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 109,758

Product description

In this companion volume to "Iconology", the author extends his investigation to pictures - the concrete, representational objects in which images appear. Although we have many words about pictures, Mitchell notes that we do not yet have a satisfactory theory of them. What we have is a variety of disciplines - semiotics, philosophical inquiries into representation, new departures in art history, studies in mass media - that attempt to converge on the problem of pictorial representation and visual culture. Identifying the problems inherent in the attempt to master visual representation with verbal discourse, Mitchell proposes instead to "picture theory." He looks at the way pictures function in theories about culture, consciousness, and representation, and at theory itself as a form of picturing. What precisely, he asks, are pictures (and theories about pictures) doing now , in the late 20th century, when the power of the visual is said to be greater than ever before, and the "pictorial turn" supplants the "linguistic turn" in the study of culture? Focusing on Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing", Oliver Stone's "JFK", and television coverage of the Gulf War, he examines the capacity of visual images to awaken or stifle public debate, collective emotion, and political violence. An "applied iconology," this volume by one of America's leading theorists of visual representation offers an account of the interplay between the visible and the readable across the culture, from literature to visual art to the mass media.

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction 1: The Pictorial Turn 2: Metapictures 3: Beyond Comparison: Picture, Text, and Method 4: Visible Language: Blake's Art of Writing 5: Ekphrasis and the Other 6: Narrative, Memory, and Slavery 7: Ut Pictura Theoria: Abstract Painting and Language 8: Word, Image, and Object: Wall Labels for Robert Morris 9: The Photographic Essay: Four Case Studies 10: Illusion: Looking at Animals Looking 11: Realism, Irrealism, and Ideology: After Nelson Goodman 12: The Violence of Public Art: Do the Right Thing 13: From CNN to JFK Conclusion: Some Pictures of Representation Index