Beautiful Suffering available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- University of Chicago Press
Susan Sontag once remarked that since the invention of the camera, photography has “kept company with death.” And indeed, images of suffering human beings and devastated landscapes appear regularly in the popular media and even in contemporary art. This volume explores these painful images from the past few decades of photography, weighing in on the intense critical debate that has arisen in recent years around depictions of acute human suffering—especially those that are beautifully rendered.
Drawing on works from advertising, photojournalism, art photography, and conceptual art, Beautiful Suffering features reproductions of all the pieces in the Williams College Museum of Art exhibition that shares its name—including portrayals of AIDS sufferers, Abu Ghraib prisoners, refugees, and casualties of war. It also includes five critical essays that engage the works themselves as well as the larger issues the exhibition confronts: Is it inherently problematic to seek aesthetic pleasure in a rendering of pain? And if so, why? These essays, composed by scholars in fields as diverse as art history and political science, are perfect complements to the powerful images of suffering that probe some of the most pressing issues we face today.
|Publisher:||University of Chicago Press|
|Product dimensions:||10.50(w) x 9.50(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Mark Reinhardt is professor of political science, Holly Edwards is a lecturer in Islamic art, and Erina Duganne is a Mellon post-doctoral fellow in the history of photography, all at Williams College.
Table of Contents
Traffic in Pain
Mark Reinhardt and Holly Edwards
Picturing Violence: Aesthetics and the Anxiety of Critique
A Genealogy of Orthodox Documentary
Photography After the Fact
Cover to Cover: The Life Cycle of an Image in Contemporary Visual Culture
The Pain of Images
Exhibition in Retrospect