Showing Off!: A Philosophy of Image

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9781472526625: Showing Off!: A Philosophy of Image
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Jorella Andrews makes a significant contribution to both visual culture and phenomenological ethics, arguing lucidly against an overwhelming oculocentrism that does not do justice to human engagement in the visual world. Drawing on examples from the breadth of visual culture she brings Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological insights to life, rigorously arguing for the ethical import of what she calls the agency of self-showing. She convincingly claims there is a human drive to express ourselves visually in terms of display and grounded in the reversibility of seeing and being seen. Helen Fielding, Associate Professor, Dept. of Women's Studies and Feminist Research, Western University, London, ON, Canada In the era of the "selfie," Jorella Andrews takes the idea of "self-showing" as a serious way of reinvigorating the cultural debate around the power of the visual. Against the anti-ocular and iconoclastic theories of visuality that denigrate vision as a mastering sense that dominates and objectifies, she offers a vivacious account of vision where we, as self-showing beings, are drawn into and become part of a lively cast of characters-both human and non-human-who inhabit this world. We are quite simply, self-showing characters existing within a self-showing world. Andrews takes Merleau Ponty's invocation that, 'to see is to enter a universe of beings which display themselves' as a starting point for how we might "see" differently. For Andrews, self-showing is not the solipsistic activity of the selfie, but rather a reciprocal and ethical relation where we inhabit both the risks and the possibilities of our own visible being. If we are prepared to accept this invitation (and how can we not since we are part of it), she prompts us to take our relations seriously but with a lightness of touch, a fleetness of foot and fearlessness that she finds in the artists and artworks that inhabit this book. Her solicitation to engage with the visual with interest and energy offers a refreshing and affirming perspective on the visual field. Barbara Bolt, The Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, Australia.

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Drawing on art, media, and phenomenological sources, Showing Off!: A Philosophy of Image challenges much recent thought by proposing a fundamentally positive relationship between visuality and the ethical. In philosophy, cultural studies and art, relationships between visuality and the ethical are usually theorized in negative terms, according to the dyadic logics of seeing on the one hand, and being seen, on the other. Here, agency and power are assumed to operate either on the side of those who see, or on the side of those who control the means by which people and things enter into visibility. To be seen, by contrast - when it occurs outside of those parameters of control- is to be at a disadvantage; hence, for instance, contemporary theorist Peggy Phelan's rejection of the idea, central to activist practices of the 1970's and 80's, that projects of political emancipation must be intertwined with, and are dependent on, processes of 'making oneself visible'. Acknowledgment of the vulnerability of visibility also underlies the realities of life lived within increasingly pervasive systems of imposed and self-imposed surveillance, and apparently confident public performances of visual self display. Showing Off!: A Philosophy of Image is written against the backdrop of these phenomena, positions and concerns, but asks what happens to our debates about visibility when a third term, that of 'self-showing', is brought into play. Indeed, it proposes a fundamentally positive relationship between visuality and the ethical, one primarily rooted not in acts of open and non-oppressive seeing or spectating, as might be expected, but rather in our capacity to inhabit both the risks and the possibilities of our own visible being. In other words, this book maintains that the proper site of generosity and agency within any visual encounter is located not on the side of sight, but on that of self-showing - or showing off!

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Andrews, Jorella
Verlag: Bloomsbury Academic Jul 2014 (2014)
ISBN 10: 1472526627 ISBN 13: 9781472526625
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Buchbeschreibung Bloomsbury Academic Jul 2014, 2014. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. 233x158x15 mm. Neuware - Drawing on art, media, and phenomenological sources, Showing Off!: A Philosophy of Image challenges much recent thought by proposing a fundamentally positive relationship between visuality and the ethical. In philosophy, cultural studies and art, relationships between visuality and the ethical are usually theorized in negative terms, according to the dyadic logics of seeing on the one hand, and being seen, on the other. Here, agency and power are assumed to operate either on the side of those who see, or on the side of those who control the means by which people and things enter into visibility. To be seen, by contrast - when it occurs outside of those parameters of control- is to be at a disadvantage; hence, for instance, contemporary theorist Peggy Phelan's rejection of the idea, central to activist practices of the 1970's and 80's, that projects of political emancipation must be intertwined with, and are dependent on, processes of 'making oneself visible'. Acknowledgment of the vulnerability of visibility also underlies the realities of life lived within increasingly pervasive systems of imposed and self-imposed surveillance, and apparently confident public performances of visual self display. Showing Off!: A Philosophy of Image is written against the backdrop of these phenomena, positions and concerns, but asks what happens to our debates about visibility when a third term, that of 'self-showing', is brought into play. Indeed, it proposes a fundamentally positive relationship between visuality and the ethical, one primarily rooted not in acts of open and non-oppressive seeing or spectating, as might be expected, but rather in our capacity to inhabit both the risks and the possibilities of our own visible being. In other words, this book maintains that the proper site of generosity and agency within any visual encounter is located not on the side of sight, but on that of self-showing - or showing off! 251 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9781472526625

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