Essay on Confronting Images

Essay on Confronting Images

Length: 1639 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Georges Didi-Huberman is critical of the conventional approaches towards the study of art history. Didi-Huberman takes the view that art history is grounded in the primacy of knowledge, particularly in the vein of Kant, or what he calls a ‘spontaneous philosophy’. While art historians claim to be looking at images across the sweep of time, what they actually do might be described as a sort of forensics process, one in which they analyze, decode and deconstruct works of art in attempt to better understand the artist and purpose or expression. This paper will examine Didi-Huberman’s key claims in his book Confronting Images and apply his methodology to a still life painting by Juan Sánchez Cotán.
In Confronting Images, Didi-Huberman considers disadvantages he sees in the academic approach of art history, and offers an alternative method for engaging art. His approach concentrates on that which is ‘visual’ long before coming to conclusive knowledge. Drawing support from the field of psycho analytics (Lacan, Freud, and Kant and Panofsky), Didi-Huberman argues that viewers connect with art through what he might describe as an instance of receptivity, as opposed to a linear, step-by-step analytical process. He underscores the perceptive mode of engaging the imagery of a painting or other work of art, which he argues comes before any rational ‘knowing’, thinking, or discerning. In other words, Didi-Huberman believes one’s mind ‘sees’ well before realizing and processing the object being looked at, let alone before understanding it. Well before the observer can gain any useful insights by scrutinizing and decoding what she sees, she is absorbed by the work of art in an irrational and unpredictable way. What Didi-Huberman is s...

... middle of paper ...

... over time – and the viewer’s personal experience, essentially her history. This gets very near to a common sense perspective – what we look at, and what we think about what we see has much to do with who we are and what we have experienced in life. Thus, art may be described as an interaction between the viewer, influenced by her experiences, with the work of art, inclusive of its history and the stories built up around it over time. When we look at art, we must acknowledge that the image is temporally stretched – there is more to it than meets the eye at present. What we learn from Didi-Huberman’s approach is to give this temporal ‘tension’ its due. Didi-Huberman describes and defends the importance of of how we look at artistic works: images that represent something determinate, while always remaining open to the presentation of something new and different.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Making Impossible Peace : Confronting The Moral Dilemmas Of Peacemaking

- Making Impossible Peace: Confronting the Moral Dilemmas of Peacemaking in a Conflicted World Bonny Ibhawoh Perspectives on Peace Lecture, McMaster University, Sept 28, 2015 Introduction I would like to begin in my talk today by thanking President Deane for the Perspectives on Peace initiative and this lecture series. The opportunity for open dialogue about peace and peacebuilding that this forum offers is one that I think will serve our University and larger community well. I am also pleased to see a diverse audience here today....   [tags: Peace, War, Cold War, World peace]

Better Essays
1787 words (5.1 pages)

Confronting Death in Richard Wilbur's The Pardon Essay

- Confronting Death in Richard Wilbur's The Pardon Death is the issue at the heart of Richard Wilbur's poem "The Pardon." This is apparent from the opening line, "My dog lay dead five days without a grave." What is not immediately apparent, however, is that this is not simply a poem about a young boy's sadness over the loss of his dog. What Wilbur discusses in this piece is much more profound, cutting through the superficialities of death and confronting fears and doubts that all of us experience at different points in our lives....   [tags: Wilbur The Pardon Essays]

Better Essays
1849 words (5.3 pages)

The Descent of Alette: Confronting the Male Hegemony Essay

- The Descent of Alette by Alice Notley follows Alette's journey through the underground subway system, which ends up being a whole different world. Alette's mission to take down the oppressive tyrant that controls this underground world, symbolizes her desire to confront male hegemony. Through refrences to the thesis, form, and historical context it is undeniable that the author is taking the reader on a journey through Alette's struggle with patriarchy. At different points throughout the poem Notley repeats the thesis of the story....   [tags: poem, power, equality]

Better Essays
938 words (2.7 pages)

The Matrix Of Domination Is Justified Through The Generation And Dissemination Of Controlling Images

- According to Beaueboeuf-Laufontant, racialization can be defined as the placement of groups in particular statues within the matrix of domination is justified through the generation and dissemination of controlling images. As a result of overaching ‘’matrix of domination”, a few statuses are considered normative and deserving of first class citizenship while most others are deemed constitutive of deviance and requiring subordination. As representations of subordinated groups, controlling images guide behavior toward and from these persons, constrain what is seen and believed about them, and when internalized, profoundly influence the self-perceptions of the marginalized....   [tags: White people, Black people, Race, Racism]

Better Essays
1525 words (4.4 pages)

Characters as Portrayed Through Themes and Images in The English Patient

- Characters as Portrayed Through Themes and Images in The English Patient     While the four main characters of The English Patient are extremely powerful, and important to the reader's understanding of the story, they cannot stand alone without the patterns of imagery, symbolism and metaphor which underpin the text, and offer a complexity which extends beyond the literal level. These patterns reveal information about each character, and provide significant links between characters and ideas which lead to a greater understanding of the novel....   [tags: English Patient Essays]

Better Essays
2370 words (6.8 pages)

The Emotional Significance of Images and their Effects on Memory Performance

- Individuals often perceive emotionally-charged memories as more vivid than boring ones. While this line of thinking is intuitive, does the emotional significance of faces, words, and other stimuli have an actual effect on memory performance. A number of studies have examined this relationship, indicating that emotionally negative and positive stimuli both improve memory performance over neutral stimuli. However, other studies have addressed a number of caveats that add ambiguity to the equation....   [tags: Emotional Significance of Images]

Better Essays
2968 words (8.5 pages)

How Advertising Images Manipulate Your Choices and Spending Essay

- Every day, two things surround individuals: money and images. These two items surprisingly correlate with one another, and at times create conflict. Images are seen everywhere. The average American is exposed to over 3,000 images every single day. (Killbourne, & Pipher, 2000) These 3, 000 images affect an individual’s financial decision, without them even knowing it. These choices affect them both short term and long term. This can be seen through the increase in sales after a new phone goes on sale, or when Black Friday occurs....   [tags: Images and Buying Habits]

Better Essays
2028 words (5.8 pages)

Les Belles Images par Simone de Beauvoir Essay

- Le sujet des Belles images est le féminisme mais pas seulement » Qu’en pensez-vous . Justifiez votre réponse en vous appuyant sur des exemples tirés du roman. "Les Belles Images" par Simone de Beauvoir a souvent été classé comme un roman féministe. Cependant, Beauvoir a rejeté cette catégorisation. C'est parce que "Les Belles Images" n'est pas uniquement un roman féministe, il est aussi une exploration de l'existentialisme. Dans cet essai, je vais discuter le roman de Beauvoir sous les thèmes de l'existentialisme et le féminisme....   [tags: Les Belles Images]

Free Essays
1247 words (3.6 pages)

Essay Images And Images Of Images

- A product of reality for just a moment Many people believe that photographs are used to capture memories and moment of time and emotions present at the time it was taken. However, a photograph does more than capture memories and moment of time, it is also a tool of art that facilitate a form of communication through the expression of our thoughts and ideas. It is an important resource that immortalizes historical figures and moment as well as helps us to regain mobility on our “conscious thoughts and awake desire” ( Sontag, pg.17)....   [tags: Photography, Image, Photograph, IMAGE]

Better Essays
1585 words (4.5 pages)

On Images Essay

- On Images Concrete images are like pictures in the mind's imagination which have been transferred from real objects through the eyes. Abstract images also exist in the imagination, but are not easily described or communicated. Both images interplay in various ways as a person experiences emotional, dream and pure thought states of consciousness. Despite the interplay, the two kinds of images do not merge or meld into a third image type as a graduation between the two. Concrete images change, sometimes drastically....   [tags: Senses Philosophy Papers]

Free Essays
2687 words (7.7 pages)