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American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 18 June 1960, in New York City.

Performance artist, writer, art historian, curator. Multimedia, video, film, Internet art. Multiculturalism, feminism.

Coco Fusco studied semiotics at Brown University (1982) and received a MA in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University (...

Article

Amanda du Preez

Term used to indicate the complex visual matrix incorporating the one who looks as well as the one who is looked at. This means the one who imposes the gaze and the one who is the object of the gaze are both implicated in the construction of the gaze. The concept was addressed initially by Sigmund Freud’s concept of scopophilia (‘pleasure in looking’ or voyeurism) and later in Jacques Lacan’s formulation of the mirror stage and its role in identity formation. Lacan formulated the complex role of the gaze in constructing the relation between interior self and exterior world as two kinds of subjects—not only as a powerful subject gazing at the world but also as a lacking, objectified subject encountering the gaze outside himself. For the most part the link between the gaze and power is entrenched in theories on the gaze, since the directed gaze of the powerful subject has the ability to subjugate and even petrify its objects as exemplified in the terrifying gaze of Medusa in Greek mythology. The construction of the gaze happens within an asymmetry of power. In recent times, the gaze has become a trope within visual culture for the critical analysis of several entwined ideas concerning class, race, ethnography, sex, gender, religion, embodiment, ideology, power, and visuality. In this article the powerful directed gaze is analysed through the categories of the clinical gaze, colonial gaze, touristic gaze, and the male gaze. Finally, theorizing possibilities of going beyond the gaze are considered....

Article

German, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1961, in Brussels.

Installation artist, video artist.

From 1979 to 1985 Höller studied agronomy in Kiel, before embarking on his artistic career. His work is based on the future and the Darwinian theory of the evolution of the species as developed most famously by biologist Richard Dawkins. This theory repudiates, as far as evolution is concerned, any notion of romanticism about universal love and the well-being of species. Effectively, genes programme the living organism in a selfish way; their primary function is replication. So Carsten Höller's works, which are mainly interactive installations, take pleasure in demythologizing our so-called altruistic, but unconsciously selfish, behaviour and propose new approaches to the subject, particularly in the fields of sex and passion. Nevertheless, the human species has the ability to operate in the cultural domain, as demonstrated in his video, ...

Article

Sook-Kyung Lee

One of the characteristics of Korean contemporary art is a continuous effort in employing and interpreting international art practices and discourses. Art movements from Europe and North America in particular, including Abstract Expressionism, Art informel, Minimalism, Conceptual art and Post-modernism, have influenced many Korean artists’ styles and ideas since the 1950s, providing formal and conceptual grounds for critical understandings and further experiments. Whilst some artists who maintained traditional art forms such as ink painting and calligraphy exercised modernist styles and abstract forms largely within the norms and conventions of traditional genres, a large group of artists proactively adapted to Western styles, employing new materials and techniques as well as the notions of avant-garde and experimentalism (see fig.).

A major critique of the reception of Western art and aesthetics came from ‘Minjung art’ (People’s Art) in the 1980s as part of instigating a nationalist and politically charged art strategy. Several art historians and critics who emerged in the 1990s also expanded the scope of the debate with postcolonial and pluralist points of view. The shift in social, economic and political environments played an important role in changing sensibilities in art, along with the advances of technology and new media in the 2000s. The high degree of diversity and sophistication of Korean art in terms of media and subject matters became widely acknowledged within and outside the nation, and an increasing number of artists started to work on the cutting edge of international art....

Article

Shana Gallagher Lindsay

Shana Gallagher Lindsay

Post-structuralism is a term given to a critical movement that formed in succession to the structuralist theories of the 1960s, in some cases propounded by the same, mostly French, philosophers, but in which some of the basic hypotheses challenge those of Structuralism.

Post-structuralism in the USA was a hybrid. In the American art world, transformed in the post-war period through the rise of the professionalized art school, with its increased emphasis on reading theory and philosophy, post-structuralism became a guiding force. The term ‘post-structuralism’ denotes various developments in the fields of continental philosophy and critical theory. It can be said to be one of the many interdisciplinary threads that formed the complex fabric of Post-modernism. Though the tendency originated in Europe, it was never clearly defined. Indeed, the term is more widely used in American academic circles, and very few practitioners accept the label ‘post-structuralist’. Post-structuralism involves a critique of metaphysics, of the concepts of causality, of identity, of the subject, and of truth....

Article

Peter A. Nagy

Indian new media artists and theorists . Raqs Media Collective was formed in 1991 by New Delhi artists, Jeebesh Bagchi (b 6 July 1965), Monica Narula (b 13 June 1969) and Shuddhabrata Sengupta (b 12 Feb 1968), who met when they were studying for their masters’ degrees in mass communication at Jamia Milia University, New Delhi. The collective have explained the significance of their name in stating that:

Raqs is a word in Persian, Arabic and Urdu that means the state that whirling dervishes enter into when they whirl. It is also a word used for dance. At the same time, Raqs could be an acronym, standing for “rarely asked questions.”

Their practice incorporates new media, digital art, documentary filmmaking, photography, media theory and research, writing, criticism and curation ( see fig. ).

In 2002 they shot onto the international art world stage by being included in ...

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....