Reading Pictures: the Impossible Dream?

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Title Reading Pictures: the Impossible Dream?
Author Woodrow, Ross Daniel
Publication Title ACUADS 2009 Conference: Interventions in the Public Domain
Editor Ross Woodrow
Year Published 2009
Place of publication Australia
Publisher ACUADS and Queensland College of Art, Griffith University
Abstract In this paper I will chart the seismic shift that has occurred over the past three decades in attitudes towards the interpretation of visual images. My strategy implies the argument that the reading, and by implication refereeing, of visual images would appear to be an inevitability given the accelerating change of attitudes towards pictures as containers of determinate knowledge. French critical theorists (Foucault, Barthes, Derrida et. al.) dominated debate on interpretation of text and image in the 1980s where my survey begins. Michel Foucault dismissed the image (in Madness and Civilization 1959/1988) as a fascinating site for the madness of dreams but one standing outside of reasoned interpretation because of an inherent excess of meaning and deeply hidden attributes and allusions. Generally, however, when images were discussed using identifiable interpretive strategies in the 1980s the framework was a variant of semiotic analysis. (Marin, Eco and Barthes – who famously, diverges from this mode in Camera Lucida). I use W. J. T. Mitchell's text Iconology: Image, Text Ideology 1986 as a focal text from the 1980s and follow this with two of his publications on images, one form 1995 and another from 2005 to demonstrate the dramatic shift in the approach to pictures across almost three decades. Around these focal texts by Mitchell I reference other texts and trends that culminate in the more recent proliferation of texts related to visual studies and the reemergence of aesthetics.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.acuads.com.au/conf2009/conf2009.htm
Copyright Statement Copyright remains with the author 2009. The attached file is posted here with permission of the copyright owner for your personal use only. No further distribution permitted. For information about this conference please refer to the publisher's website or contact the author.
ISBN 978-1-921291-90-6
Conference name ACUADS 2009: Interventions in the Public Domain
Location Birsbane, Australia
Date From 2009-09-30
Date To 2009-10-02
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/29873
Date Accessioned 2010-03-26
Language en_AU
Faculty Queensland College of Art
Subject Art Theory
Publication Type Conference Publications (Full Written Paper - Refereed)
Publication Type Code e1

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