Good Looking: Essays on the Virtue of Images

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MIT Press, Feb 6, 1998 - Art - 259 pages
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""Good Looking" constitutes an important and permanent contribution to the growing critique of text-driven post-structuralist critical practice as an efficacious tool for talking about visible and visual artifacts in this culture."
-- David Hickey, Associate Professor of Art Criticism and Theory, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Building on the arguments of her previous books, Body Criticism (1991) and Artful Science (1994), Good Looking challenges the reflexive identification of images with vice. Today rampant criticism, both inside and outside the academy, condemns the immoralities of aesthetic illusion, museum display, cable televison, and hypermedia. Believing with the American pragmatists that it is harder to do than to denounce, Barbara Stafford urges imagists to abandon Foucault's bankrupt paradigm of verbal combat. Instead of more "improving" theoretical discourse, she calls for developing a positive visual praxis on the interpretive ruins of linguistic postmodernism. Not deconstructive autopsy, but demonstrating the historical virtues of visualization for the emergent era of computerism is the task at hand.


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Difficult Content or the Pleasures of Viewing Pain 168
Notes 214

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About the author (1998)

Barbara Stafford is the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago. She is the author of "Good Looking, " "Artful Science, " "Body Criticism, " and "Voyage into Substance" (all published by MIT Press).

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