Body and Visual Image – New Readings: Deconstruction, Medium and Immediacy

ESA, 2009, European Society or European Societies, Research Network 02, Sociology of the Arts, The Production of Artistic Meanings, Iscte-IUL, 4 September 2009

21 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2010 Last revised: 23 Dec 2010

Date Written: December 7, 2009

Abstract

The interest in body images alongside a concern for their reception and repercussions on the viewer has an exceptional innovative dimension - one that echoes the program conveyed by contemporary theory through which a new significance of the World Image and World Knowledge is launched. It gathers not only Art Theory, Image Criticism, Body Interpretation but also Narrative Perspectives.

Making this position explicit, our conception of body image criticism begins with the analysis of the form, which articulates the authority attributed to the medium in which it is located, the narratives problematic, as well as the nature of the body’s immediacy in the world, consequently producing a new paradigm which is essential to a better understanding of the images. To make mediation a formal problem, it is necessary for an individual to realize how absolutely impossible it is to explain visual content and its effects, whether in the realm of arts and technology, science or politics without a discussion of their contexts, forms, and histories.

In visual culture, it becomes history by drawing attention to the visual object’s nature, rather than the role of the viewer/critic, or the embodied subjectivity of the author or subject. This second approach to visual images claims the importance of identity in the sense that every interpretation differs according to the subject position. “Far from suggesting that an explanation follows from a particular identity according to some essential or defining characteristic, this [approach] assumes that subjectivity is always in a state of flux and that while all knowledge is situated, it is never fixed” (Haraway, 1988).

Virtually or aesthetically speaking, body imagistic and cultural knowledge are located and never permanent. Expressive bodies, arts and sign languages achieve (im)possible readings due to volatile subjectivities. Given that the human figure has always been artistically exploited in its formal and anatomic visions. We will than present a template sign for the meanings and dominant interpretative paradigms of body’s visual image, approaching the implicit diversity and fragmentation in postmodern narrative perspectives and their communicative accomplishments.

Keywords: Body Image, Deconstruction, Medium, Immediacy

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Pereira, Anabela Conceição, Body and Visual Image – New Readings: Deconstruction, Medium and Immediacy (December 7, 2009). ESA, 2009, European Society or European Societies, Research Network 02, Sociology of the Arts, The Production of Artistic Meanings, Iscte-IUL, 4 September 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1728064

Anabela Conceição Pereira (Contact Author)

ISCTE-IUL ( email )

AV. das Forças Armadas
Av. Professor Anibal Bettencourt
Lisbon
Portugal

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