Visual culture or art?

Martin, Stewart ORCID logoORCID: (2008) Visual culture or art? In: Bildwissenschaft und Visual Culture Studies in der Diskussion. Hemingway, Andrew and Schneider, Norbert, eds. Kunst und Politik (10) . V&R unipress, University of Osnabrück. ISBN 9783899715309. [Book Section]


This essay explores the limits of Visual Culture Studies in grasping the historical and cultural specificity of ‘art’. It argues that the contemporary conception of art is formed by an expanded sense of its possibilities from romanticism to the avant-gardes, which is crucial to its cultural significance, especially as a critical reflection on contemporary capitalist culture. The essay demonstrates that this is irreducible to issues about visuality emphasized by the disciplinary self-understanding of Visual Culture Studies. It also argues that other disciplines such as Art History have been inadequate to this conception. Finally, the essay attempts to outline what an adequate disciplinary self-understanding of contemporary art would be. Thus, the essay emphasizes a surprisingly submerged issue surrounding the formation of Visual Culture Studies and its relation to art, and proposes an original alternative to this issue. The essay is derived from an invitation to speak at the conference ‘Bildwissenschaft und Visual Culture Studies in der Diskussion’, at the Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Universität Karlesruhe, Karlesruhe, 23- 24 February 2008; and is published in a special issue of Kunst und Politik derived from the proceedings of that conference.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Visual Culture and Curating cluster
Item ID: 11640
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Depositing User: Shrikant Chavan
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2013 09:59
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:28

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