Pictures of the Body: Pain and Metamorphosis
In a wide-ranging argument moving from Sumerian demons to Lucian Freud, from Syriac prayer books to John Carpenter s film The Thing, this book explores the ways the body has been represented through time. A response to the vertiginous increase in writings on bodily representations, it attempts to form a single coherent account of the possible forms of representation of the body.
The conceptual binding is provided by the idea of pain, understood as the set of images that elicit visceral, nonverbal, or uncognized responses, and the realm of metamorphosis, meaning the images that provoke intellection and, in particular, thoughts of change and concepts of alterity or representation. The author shows how pain and metamorphosis have animated and ordered the vast range of images that have been produced in Western representation, and he argues that pain and metamorphosis continue to be generative concepts even amid the welter of today s new forms.
This work brings together concerns, images, and concepts from a wide range of perspectives: art history and criticism, the history and philosophy of medicine, the history of race, phenomenological and post-phenomenological thought, studies of feminism and pornography, and the new interest in visual studies. Yet it is less a philosopher s look at history or a historian s foray into philosophy than a practical and critical look at the current constellation of art practices. Above all, it is intended to be of immediate use in the conceptualization and production of visual art and its history.
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abstract analogy Anatomy animal animalcules artists Balthus beauty become bodily Body Criticism body's borometz breasts Cambridge Camper canon canvas century chimpanzee color concept contemporary contrapposto creatures cubism cubit depicted distortion Douglas Lockhart drawing Egyptian eighteenth-century Elkins Essays example expressive face facial Figure fingers flesh forms Francis Bacon Freud geometric grid grotesque body head human Humbaba images imagined inside kind Kunst Lavater Leeuwenhoek Leo Steinberg London look meaning medical illustration medieval membranes metamorphosis metaphors metoposcopy Michelangelo microscopic modern monsters motion muscles nature nose Object Stares organs Pablo Picasso pain painting Paris photographs physiognomy Picasso pictured body Pieter Camper pornography portrait poses possible protozoa psychomachia racist Renaissance representation Salpetriere schematic body Science sculpture sense sexual skin somatotype Stafford surface theory thought tion trans tures twist University of Chicago University Press unrepresentable viewer visual William Herbert Sheldon York