What do pictures want ?

Mitchell W.J.T.

What do pictures want ? : the lives and loves of images

Chicago (Ill.) ; London : University of Chicago Press, 2005, 1 vol. (XXI-380 p.-16 p. de pl.).

ISBN 978-0-226-53248-6

Résumé :

Why do we respond so powerfully to the images and pictures we see in everyday life ? Why do we behave as if pictures were alive, possessing the power to influence us, to persuade us, seduce us, or even lead us atray ?
According to W.J.T. Mitchell, we need to reckon with images not just as inert objects but as animated beings with desires and drives of their own. What do pictures want ? highlights Mitchell’s profoundly influential thinking on picture theory, ranging across the visual arts, literature, and mass media. Mitchell applies characteristically brilliant and wry analyses to Byzantine icons and cyberpunk films, racial stereotypes and public monuments. Opening new vistas in iconology and the emergent field of visual culture, he also considers the importance of Dolly the sheep – who, as a clone, fulfills the ancient dream of creating a living image – and the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11, which, among other things, signifies a new and virulent form of iconoclasm.

W.J.T. Mitchell is the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished service professor in the Department of english language and literature and in the Department of art history at the University of Chicago. He is the author or editor of several books, including Picture theory, Iconology, and Landscape and power, all published by the University of Chicago Press. He is also the editor of Critical inquiry.

Axe de recherches :

  • Axe transversal : Cultures visuelles

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