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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Contents

Jan Breughel de Velours Vision 1634 Page
1
EnlightenmentIReEnlightenment
7
Pompeo Batoni Time Revealing Truth c 1745 Page
18
Kenneth Snelson Chain Bridge Bodies 1991 Page
21
PET alone MRI of the same slice PET and MRI metabolic activity Page
24
Giambattista Piranesi Appian Way from Le antichita romane 1784 Page
29
Interior of the Portico from Vedutedi Roma 1769 Page
30
List of Illustrations antMth romam 1784 Page
32
LouiseElisabeth VigeeLe Brun Comtesse de Ceres 1784 Page
48
Visualization of the Passions of the Soul from Ichnographia 1779 Page
49
A G Decamps The Villa Doria Pamphili Rome nineteenth century Page
51
Michael Rentz The Vanity of All Human Things from Franz Anton Graf von Sporck Der sogennante SinnLehr undgeistvolle Todtentanz 1767 Page
53
Giambattista Piranesi Decorative Capriccio from Opere varie 1750 Page
55
James Rosen Nelly OBrien from Homages to Reynolds 1987 Page
62
The Visualization of Knowledge from the Enlightenment
? The Eighteenth Century at the End of Modernity 54

Claude du Molinet View of the Library ofSainteGenevieve from Cabinet de la bibliotheque de SainteGenevieve 1689 Page
33
bibliotheque de SainteGenevieve 1689 Page
34
JeanJacques Scheuchzer Monuments of the Flood from Physique sacree 1732
35
Benedetto Ceruti and Andrea Chiocco View of the Museum from Musaeum Franc Calceolari jun Veronensis 1622 Page
43
FrancoisSanere Cherubim dOrleans A Newly Invented Instrument for Drawing All Sorts of Objects in Proportion from La dioptrique oculaire 1671 P...
46
Humbert de Superville
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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