Sensuality and Power in Visual Culture
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- Published 2006
- Isbn 9173052701
- Edition 2
- Type Paperback
- 250 pages
The present collection of essays sits in a broad "cultural studies" cum "visual studies" field of topical interest connecting the visual with a whole range of disciplines: art history, literary and historical analysis, aesthetic criticism, post-colonialism, media studies, gender studies, psychology, sociology - in their complex offerings and dressings. Image-making and its consumption are interrelated physical or sensuous acts that engage the total reservoir of our faculties. In this performative there is no ocularcentrism, this book claims; sight occupies no hegemony over the other senses. Touching, seeing, viewing, listening collaborate; the hand/eye of the "producer" and the eye/ear to the "viewer" co-operate and collapse into a moment of mutuality that lacks closure. The book points out visuality's co-operative, sensory and reconciling function in the everyday routines and the aesthetical manifestations of seeing, speaking, writing, and acting.
It is also concerned with the socio-historical and colonial realm of visual experiences, from discussions of the power relations in portrait making (ingress, Madame de Senonnes), photography (Strömholm's photos of transsexuals), fashion companies (Sisley) to colonial iconography in South African autobiographies. The book should be useful for both students of visuality in culture formation as well as general readers interested in this new terrain of the multiperspective.