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A Violent Embrace
Art and Aesthetics after Representation
renée c. hoogland



Interfaces: Studies in Visual Culture

Dartmouth College Press
2014 • 232 pp. 59 illus. (16 color) 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Art / Visual Culture

$45.00 Paperback, 978-1-61168-491-9
$85.00 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-490-2

$44.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-492-6

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



“Arguing on behalf of the undefinable affective responses produced by images, A Violent Embrace posits that reactions to art are not only politically useful and aesthetically insightful, but that they take us beyond the limits of formal analysis, criticism, semiotics, and generic expectations. This book is essential to those who are engaged in debates about digital and visual culture, art, and affect theory.” —Judith Roof, Rice University

An urgent defense of aesthetics and the power of art

Instead of asking questions about the symbolic meaning or underlying “truth” of a work of art, renée c. hoogland is concerned with the actual “work” that it does in the world (whether intentionally or not). Why do we find ourselves in tears in front of an abstract painting? Why do some cartoons of the prophet Muhammad generate worldwide political outrage? What, in other words, is the compelling force of visual images, even—or especially—if they are nonfigurative, repulsive, or downright “ugly”? Rather than describing, analyzing, and interpreting artworks, hoogland approaches art as an event that obtains on the level of actualization, presenting “retellings” of specific artistic events in the light of recent interventions in aesthetic theory, and proposing to conceive of the aesthetic encounter as a potentially disruptive, if not violent, force field with material, political, and practical consequences.

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Reviews:

“Provocative, insightful, and eloquent, hoogland engages her reader in the reconceptualization of contemporary culture as an immediate and embodied experience. Writing with a sense of urgency and conviction, hoogland offers moving discussions of contemporary art: from Louise Bourgeois’s sculpture to photographs of Detroit as still life. Joining the growing number of critics whose frustrations with the limits of ideological critique have led them toward theories of affect, event, and encounter, this book provides a vital addition for all those compelled by this gearshift in critical theories of art and culture.” —Jackie Stacey, The University of Manchester

“In this beautiful and urgent book, renee hoogland proposes a new, radical (and even militant) aestheticism, one that is fit for the 21st century. We live in a time "after representation," when images do not simply depict or refer to objects, but have an uncanny life of their own. A Violent Embrace takes full account of this strange, spectral vitality, and mobilizes it in the interest of a better life to come.”—Steven Shavir, DeRoy Professor of English, Wayne State University

“[A] challenging and provocative study.” —ARLIS/NA, Art Libraries Society of North America



RENÉE C. HOOGLAND is an associate professor of English at Wayne State University and the author of Elizabeth Bowen: A Reputation in Writing and Lesbian Configuration. She is the editor of Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts.






Wed, 5 Nov 2014 15:54:31 -0500