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

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Description

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
  • 198,511

Review quote

Though Devant l image resembles The Pleasure of the Text in its central dialectic, it actually does what Barthes never did: it makes the essential move toward historicizing the text (or image) that builds representational failure into itself, looking for historical reasons both for a particular image s failure to represent, and for art history s own insensitivity or blindness to this aspect of depiction. Norman Bryson, Art Bulletin "show 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 The Surviving Image: Phantoms of Time and Time of Phantoms: Aby Warburg's History of Art (forthcoming from Penn State Press). "show more