Dialectical inroads to a post-political photography: Democratic violence in the work of Lidwien van de Ven
Philosophy of Photography 2 (1):57-81 (2011)
This article focuses on the interpretative complexities encountered in the work of Lidwien van de Ven. First, it aims to map out the always porous nature of the relationships between aesthetics, politics and religion that make up her palimpsest-like images. Second, it aims to tease out a three-part analytics of photography. Third, it attempts to flesh out a difficult notion of spectacle that is inherent to her wide-ranging practice, and which distinguishes her project from liberal photojournalism with its obeisance to identity politics and its weak notion of ethics. Finally, it aims to isolate, within the dialectical machinery of spectacle that is so often put to work by western democracies, a pragmatic moment in our encounter with her photographs that has real political purchase. With a variable notion of close reading at the crux of the operation, the article probes the efficacy of this moment so akin to philosophical aesthetics
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