Ghost in the Shell: Photography and the Human Soul, 1850-2000

Overview

In this book Sobieszek presents a wide-ranging study of the camera portrait as a reflection and catalyst of cultural beliefs about human nature. He demonstrates that photographed faces over the past 150 years - whether on silver plates, in fashion shots, or in video stills - raise questions of essence and appearance that also lie behind activities as varied as philosophy, fiction, painting, psychiatry, film, forensics, anthropology, masquerade, gender studies, and plastic surgery.. "The book's three essays ...
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Overview

In this book Sobieszek presents a wide-ranging study of the camera portrait as a reflection and catalyst of cultural beliefs about human nature. He demonstrates that photographed faces over the past 150 years - whether on silver plates, in fashion shots, or in video stills - raise questions of essence and appearance that also lie behind activities as varied as philosophy, fiction, painting, psychiatry, film, forensics, anthropology, masquerade, gender studies, and plastic surgery.. "The book's three essays explore traditional, modern, and postmodern approaches to the camera portrait. "'Gymnastics of the Soul': The Clinical Aesthetics of Duchenne de Boulogne" investigates the nineteenth-century certainty that, in the words of Arthur Schopenhauer, "the outer person is a picture of the inner." This belief was pursued in physiognomy, phrenology, and pathognomy, popular pseudosciences of the day that were the culmination of a long tradition including the work of Giambauista della Porta, Charles Le Brun, and Johann Kaspar Lavater. Modernism brought an apparent end to these pursuits through a new awareness of the subjectivity inherent in the use of the camera. In "'Tolerances of the Human Face': The Affectless Surfaces of Andy Warhol," the author places Warhol's photo-silkscreened portraits in the modern contexts of social and anthropological classification and the symbolism of fame, but suggests that physiognomy has not been entirely silenced. Finally, "'Abstract Machines of Faciality': The Dramaturgical Identities of Cindy Sherman" explores the theatrical aspects of portraiture, tracing a continuum that links Sherman's work to the demonstrations of hysteria staged by thenineteenth-century French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, Surrealist masks, performance art, and the use of schizophrenia and multiple selves as metaphors for the postmodern human condition.. "The photographs collected here - works by Diane Arbus, Julia Margaret Cameron
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262194259
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/1999
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Director's Foreword
Acknowledgments
Preface:
Ghost in the Shell
Introduction:
Photography and the EXpressive Face
Coda:
Ligatures of the Human Face
I. "Gymnastics of the Soul"
The Clinical Aesthetics of Duchenne de Boulogne
II. "Tolerances of the Human Face"
The Affectless Surfaces of Andy Warhol
III. "Abstract Machines of Faciality"
The Dramaturgical Identities of Cindy Sherman
Catalogue of the EXhibition
Lenders to the EXhibitions
Selected Bibliography
IndeX
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