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6 Feminist desires and collective reading in the work of Laura Mulvey ‘... [T]he thrill that comes from leaving the past behind without rejecting it, transcending outworn or expressive forms, and daring to break with normal pleasurable expectations in order to conceive of a new language of desire.’ Laura Mulvey, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ (1975)1 This last chapter begins with this formulation from ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ because it highlights an aspect of Mulvey’s argument that often gets lost: namely, that Mulvey critiques the

in Addressing the other woman
Textual correspondences in feminist art and writing

In the late 1960s and 1970s, women artists in the United States and Britain began to make texts and images of writing central to their visual compositions. This book explores the feminist stakes of that choice. It analyses how Adrian Piper, Nancy Spero, and Mary Kelly worked with the visual dimensions of language to transform how women are perceived. To illuminate the specific ways in which these artists and writers contribute to the production of a feminist imaginary, Part I charts the correspondences between the artwork of Piper and the writings of Davis. It analyses the artwork she created in the late 1960s and 1970s, when she began using text to create artwork that moves between what Piper identifies as 'the singular reality of the "other."' Davis's writing exposes the fictions animating projections that the black female body is perceived to be a malleable ground upon which fears and fantasies can take visual form. Part II focuses on aggression and traces how its repression plays out across Spero's Codex Artaud and Solanas's SCUM Manifesto. It argues that in Post-Partum Document, texts and pieces of writing become fetish objects that Kelly arranges into visual and linguistic 'poems' that forestall a confrontation with loss. Part III demonstrates that the maternal femininity thought to naturally inhere in woman is also restricted and muffled, quite efficiently repressing the possibility that women could address each other across maternal femininity's contested terrain.

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practitioners desiring greatly to see bronzed flesh as a marker of healing over red, blistered, and peeling skin. But others did not. Some of Britain’s leading practitioners, including Sir Leonard Hill and his colleague Dr Albert Eidinow of the MRC’s NIMR, actively sought red flesh, not brown, as the sign of the cure under way. The relationship between erythema and pigmentation – as distinct physiological phenomena, as sequential

in Soaking up the rays
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J.W.M. Hichberger

, to do with the war than ever before. It will be shown that the Regent’s desire to appropriate the Peninsular, Trafalgar and Waterloo victories, resulted in patronage for a genre of battle painting not legitimised by the tenets of academic theory. In the immediate aftermath of the war, however, the Regent patronised or supported a range of projects which excluded battle

in Images of the army
From Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry to British Romantic art

The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.

Hamo Thornycroft’s The Mower and Matthew Arnold’s ‘Thyrsis’

Thornycroft’s intention, the 1884 plaster version of The Mower – enhanced by its epigraph – demonstrates what Oscar Wilde was to adumbrate less than four years later in ‘The Decay of Lying’, that ‘life holds the mirror up to art, and either reproduces some strange type imagined by painter or sculptor, or realises in fact what has been dreamed in fiction’ and, we might add, poetry. The energy of life, Wilde claims, ‘is simply the desire for expression, and art is always presenting various forms through which this expression can be attained’.4 This inceptive version of 166

in Ekphrastic encounters
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Travelling images

materialization or their medium, to use Belting’s terminology. The following chapters seek to investigate the social biography of a selected number of images and pictures, but also on a more profound level the social biography of the notion of art. In a somewhat similar way Sunil Manghani has used the notion ‘image ecology’, originally coined by Susan Sontag. The concept of ecology refers to the interrelationship of livings organisms and their environment. Thus the term ecology serves as ‘a metaphor for a desire to understand the interrelationships of things (the nature of

in Travelling images

between indigenous peoples’ ‘place-based identities,’ intimate relationships developed over time with particular places, and the ‘portability’ of settler sovereignty, which is an identity imposed upon a new landscape after arrival, and is linked to the desire to legally own property.61 Settlers develop cultural narratives of their own belonging, or ‘imagined communities,’ alongside narratives of others’ exclusion, or ‘imagined geographies,’ that work to legitimate their presence in the new place.62 Settler colonial theory is crucial for understanding the dynamic of art

in Engendering an avant-garde

, Brett argued, ‘we no longer think that man is the centre of the universe’, thus leading to a radical ‘shift from an egocentric to a cosmic view of life’.12 Similarly, Brecht claimed in his statement: ‘I conceive of the individual as part of an infinite space and time.’ Affinities between such ‘cosmic’ perspectives and conceptions of the world found in Taoist and Zen Buddhist philosophies emerge from Brecht’s writings, like Kaprow’s, as well as the pages of Signals. Significantly, the desire to reflect this new ‘order’ or ‘vision’ was grounded, in both artistic

in Almost nothing

River Park, made for NCR employees between 1906 and 1939, are highly significant to the history of corporate landscapes in terms of their scale and the sophistication of their designs in a factory context.1 In this chapter I compare these parks to reveal diversities in the cultural, symbolic and stylistic approaches to landscape design in the two nations, including what it was possible to achieve in the suburban landscapes of Britain and the USA and in the beliefs, desires and expectations of the factory worker and his patriarch in what the landscape could provide for

in The factory in a garden