Photography, Trace, And Trauma by Margaret IversenPhotography, Trace, And Trauma by Margaret Iversen

Photography, Trace, And Trauma

byMargaret Iversen

Paperback | February 23, 2017

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Photography is often associated with the psychic effects of trauma: the automatic nature of the process, wide-open camera lens, and light-sensitive film record chance details unnoticed by the photographer—similar to what happens when a traumatic event bypasses consciousness and lodges deeply in the unconscious mind. Photography, Trace, and Trauma takes a groundbreaking look at photographic art and works in other media that explore this important analogy.

Examining photography and film, molds, rubbings, and more, Margaret Iversen considers how these artistic processes can be understood as presenting or simulating a residue, trace, or “index” of a traumatic event. These approaches, which involve close physical contact or the short-circuiting of artistic agency, are favored by artists who wish to convey the disorienting effect and elusive character of trauma. Informing the work of a number of contemporary artists—including Tacita Dean, Jasper Johns, Mary Kelly, Gabriel Orozco, and Gerhard Richter—the concept of the trace is shown to be vital for any account of the aesthetics of trauma; it has left an indelible mark on the history of photography and art as a whole.
Margaret Iversen is professor emerita of art history at the University of Essex. She is the author of several books, including Beyond Pleasure: Freud, Lacan, Barthes, and coauthor of Writing Art History: Disciplinary Departures, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Title:Photography, Trace, And TraumaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:184 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.7 inPublished:February 23, 2017Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022637016X

ISBN - 13:9780226370163

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Table of Contents


1          Exposure
2          Indexicality: A Trauma of Signification
3          Analogue: On Zoe Leonard and Tacita Dean
4          Rubbing, Casting, Making Strange
5          Index, Diagram, Graphic Trace
6          The “Unrepresentable”
7          Invisible Traces: Postscript on Thomas Demand


Editorial Reviews

“Elegant and thought-provoking, Photography, Trace, and Trauma takes an approach to the photographic that is simultaneously expansive and fine-grained. Through case studies across a range of media, Iversen develops a compelling aesthetics of trauma, according to which the artwork models an openness to being marked by time and contingency.”