The Aesthetics of Disengagement: Contemporary Art and Depression by Christine RossThe Aesthetics of Disengagement: Contemporary Art and Depression by Christine Ross

The Aesthetics of Disengagement: Contemporary Art and Depression

byChristine Ross

Paperback | March 5, 2006

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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than half of the world's population will have a depressive disorder at some point in their lifetimes. In The Aesthetics of Disengagement Christine Ross shows how contemporary art is a powerful yet largely unacknowledged player in the articulation of depression in Western culture, both adopting and challenging scientific definitions of the condition. Ross explores the ways in which contemporary art performs the detached aesthetics of depression, exposing the viewer's loss of connection and ultimately redefining the function of the image. Ross examines the works of Ugo Rondinone, Rosemarie Trockel, Ken Lum, John Pilson, Liza May Post, Vanessa Beecroft, and Douglas Gordon, articulating how their art conveys depression's subjectivity and addresses a depressed spectator whose memory and perceptual faculties are impaired. Drawing from the fields of psychoanalysis as well as psychiatry, Ross demonstrates the ways in which a body of art appropriates a symptomatic language of depression to enact disengagement - marked by withdrawl, radical protection of the self from the other, distancing signals, isolation, communication ruptures, and perceptual insufficiency. Most important, Ross reveals the ways in which art transforms disengagement into a visual strategy of disclosure, a means of reaching the viewer, and how in this way contemporary art puts forth a new understanding of depression.
Christine Ross is associate professor and chair of art history and communication studies at McGill University and author of Images de surface: L'art video reconsidere.
Title:The Aesthetics of Disengagement: Contemporary Art and DepressionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.8 inPublished:March 5, 2006Publisher:University of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816645396

ISBN - 13:9780816645398

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Table of Contents

Contents List of IllustrationsAcknowledgments Introduction 1. The Withering of Melancholia2. The Laboratory3. Image-Screens, or the Aesthetic Strategy of Disengagement4. Nothing to See?5. Against the De-mentalization of the Subject NotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"The Aesthetics of Disengagement is the only book on contemporary art that provides a satisfying and profound theory of why art looks the way it does today and how this art is related to broader and deeper structures of subjectivity and meaning in North American and European culture." -Amelia Jones, author of Body Art/Performing the Subject