Beclouded Visions: Hiroshima-Nagasaki and the Art of Witness

by Kyo Maclear

State University of New York Press | October 15, 1998 | Trade Paperback

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Beclouded Visions is an exploration of the many and varied ways in which atrocity has shaped the requirements of art, vision, and collective memory in the twentieth century. The atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki serve as a starting point, but what begins as a study of visual culture related to the atomic bombings soon generates questions that can be applied to multiple sites and practices of communal remembrance.

Drawing on a diverse array of images-ranging from military photographs to survivor paintings-Maclear asks what it means to see such representations. What does it mean to put a face to horror? Does "seeing everything" make us more humane? Is it possible to become inured to images of violence? She probes the nature of our fascination with images of horror, and she questions our attachment to pictorial realism and graphic memory. Placing philosophers such as Jacques Derrida, Walter Benjamin, and Theodore Adorno in the context of ongoing debates about history and memory, Beclouded Visions provides a refreshing perspective on art, remembrance, and mourning.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 213 pages, 8.95 × 5.92 × 0.56 in

Published: October 15, 1998

Publisher: State University of New York Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0791440060

ISBN - 13: 9780791440063

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– More About This Product –

Beclouded Visions: Hiroshima-Nagasaki and the Art of Witness

by Kyo Maclear

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 213 pages, 8.95 × 5.92 × 0.56 in

Published: October 15, 1998

Publisher: State University of New York Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0791440060

ISBN - 13: 9780791440063

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Atomic Visions

Because There Were and There Weren''t Cities Called Hiroshima and Nagasaki

2. Art from the Ashes

3. The Art of Witnessing

4. Strange Gaze

5. Mourning the Remains

6. The Limits of Vision

7. Witnessing Otherwise

Conclusion: Memory Matters

Notes

Works Cited

Index

From the Publisher

Beclouded Visions is an exploration of the many and varied ways in which atrocity has shaped the requirements of art, vision, and collective memory in the twentieth century. The atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki serve as a starting point, but what begins as a study of visual culture related to the atomic bombings soon generates questions that can be applied to multiple sites and practices of communal remembrance.

Drawing on a diverse array of images-ranging from military photographs to survivor paintings-Maclear asks what it means to see such representations. What does it mean to put a face to horror? Does "seeing everything" make us more humane? Is it possible to become inured to images of violence? She probes the nature of our fascination with images of horror, and she questions our attachment to pictorial realism and graphic memory. Placing philosophers such as Jacques Derrida, Walter Benjamin, and Theodore Adorno in the context of ongoing debates about history and memory, Beclouded Visions provides a refreshing perspective on art, remembrance, and mourning.

About the Author

Kyo Maclear is an independent writer and visual artist based in Toronto, with a special interest in the issue of historical memory in twentieth-century art.

From Our Editors

Using images from military photographs to survivor drawings, Kyo McClear explores the ways in which atrocity has shaped 20th-century art, vision and collective memory. Starting with the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this study of visual culture broadens to include multiple sites and practices of remembrance. Beclouded Visions places the philosophies of Derrida, Benjamin and Adorno in the context of continuing debate over history and memory to provide a fresh view of art, mourning and tribute.

Editorial Reviews

"This is an exceptional and compelling piece of scholarship. The book works its themes across a number of disciplinary concerns, touching on what is both the common experience in attending to commemorative and witness art, and the most profound philosophical issue of the limits and functions of horror''s representation." - John Willinsky, University of British Columbia
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