Death's Showcase

Death's Showcase : The Power of Image in Contemporary Democracy

3.71 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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An interdisciplinary exploration of the visual presence of death in contemporary culture.

This is a book about the public display of death in contemporary culture. It consists of a series of essays on specific cases in which death is displayed in museums and in photography. The essays focus mainly on representations of violence and death in events in recent Israeli history, including the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Palestinian Intifada, and on the visual presence of traumatic events in Israeli culture throughout the twentieth century. They show how images of these events both shape and aestheticize the viewer's experience of death.

The book offers a new reading of the work of Walter Benjamin, particularly his essay 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.' Engaging the disciplinary perspectives of philosophy, art history, cultural studies, and photographic theory, the book also draws upon the work of such writers as Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Jurgen Habermas, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Jean-Luc Nancy.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 314 pages
  • 178 x 229 x 19mm | 585g
  • MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Mass., United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 45 illus.; 45 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0262511339
  • 9780262511339
  • 662,977

Review quote

...nothing less than a wholesale restatement of the contemporary political stakes of the image...

-Art Review The Civil Contract of Photography does not simply delineate how meaning is contained in or created through photograph; it demonstrates precisely how meaning avoids being cheated. If there is one lesson to take from Azoulay's writing, it is that photography is a profoundly political act-an act that is also, in the strictest sense, public.

-Aperture The Civil Contract of Photography will likely be one of the most influential books to shape the contemporary inquiry of photography and public culture.

-Argumentation and Advocacy A book of both profound and theoretical weight and immediate social resonance.

-Afterimage Azoulay has an eye for seeking engaging artwork and combining theoretical tools.

-Al Jadid
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About Ariella Azoulay

Ariella is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University and the author of Death's Showcase: the Power of Image in Contemporary Democracy (MIT Press).
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Rating details

7 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 29% (2)
4 14% (1)
3 57% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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