Issues discussed include concepts such as "image" and "picture" in and outside the West; semiotics; whether images are products of discourse; religious meanings; and the ethics of viewing"--Provided by publisher.
James Elkins has shaped the discussion about how we—as artists, as art historians, or as outsiders—view art. He has not only revolutionized our thinking about the purpose of teaching art, but has also blazed trails in creating a means of communication between scientists, artists, and humanities scholars. In Six Stories from the End of Representation , Elkins weaves stories about recent images from painting, photography, physics, astrophysics, and microscopy. These images, regardless of origin, all fail as representations: they are blurry, (...) dark, pixellated, or otherwise unclear. In these opaque images, Elkins finds an opportunity to create stories that speak simultaneously to artists and to scientists, and to open both those fields to those of us who have little purchase in either. Regarding each image through the lens of the discipline that produced it, Elkins simultaneously affirms the unique structure of each way of viewing the world and brings those views together into a vibrant conversation. (shrink)
Alchemy has always had its ferocious defenders, and a small minority of artists remain interested in alchemical meanings and substances. In this essay I will suggest two reasons why alchemy is marginal to current visual art, and two more reasons why alchemical thinking remains absolutely central. Briefly: alchemy is irrelevant because (1) it is has been a minority interest from early modernism to the present, and therefore (2) it is outside the principal conversations about modernism and postmodernism; but alchemy is (...) central because (3) it provides the best language to explain the fascination of oil paint, and (4) it is one of the best models for understanding the contemporary aversion to full logical or rational sense. (shrink)
: This essay is an attempt to see how some of Galison's ideas and analyses look from the vantage of art history. If there's to be dialogue between the history of science and the history of art, it will be necessary to find historically recognizable senses for words like "logic" and "homologous." I also propose how Galison's kinds of images might fit into larger classifications of images known to the history of art.