Beclouded Visions: Hiroshima-Nagasaki and the Art of Witness

Posted By: Plesiosaurus

Kyo MacLear, "Beclouded Visions: Hiroshima-Nagasaki and the Art of Witness" State University of New York Press | ISBN 0791440052 | 1998 Year | PDF | ~3 Mb | Hardcover: 213 pages

Beclouded Visions is an exploration of the many and varied ways in which atrocity has shaped the requirements of art, vision, and collective memory in the twentieth century. The atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki serve as a starting point, but what begins as a study of visual culture related to the atomic bombings soon generates questions that can be applied to multiple sites and practices of communal remembrance.

Drawing on a diverse array of images--ranging from military photographs to survivor paintings--Maclear asks what it means to see such representations. What does it mean to put a face to horror? Does "seeing everything" make us more humane? Is it possible to become inured to images of violence? She probes the nature of our fascination with images of horror, and she questions our attachment to pictorial realism and graphic memory. Placing philosophers such as Jacques Derrida, Walter Benjamin, and Theodore Adorno in the context of ongoing debates about history and memory, Beclouded Visions provides a refreshing perspective on art, remembrance, and mourning.

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