Tag Archives: violence

Matthew Herbert: The Politics of Othering

“I’ve completely failed here tonight if that’s what you think I’ve said about my work.” – Matthew Herbert, 23 January 2018

There were a lot of mixed messages emanating from the stage at last night’s “Matthew Herbert: The Politics of Listening” event at the British Library, but one thing was certain: Herbert does not like his work to be questioned.
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Book Review: The Ground of the Image by Jean-Luc Nancy

Cover of "The Ground of the Image"

Jean-Luc Nancy’s exploration of the image in relationship to the sacred feels slightly uneven compared to the other two books of his I’ve read (“Listening” and “The Fall of Sleep”). Two of the nine chapters — the first, “The Image — The Distinct”, and the fifth, “Distinct Oscillation”, contain some of my favorite writing of his, while the rest of the book hits a combination of high and low notes for my tastes. One of those high notes is his critique of violence in chapter two, which becomes so impassioned that his language becomes as coarse as the violence he seeks to shun; similarly, his keen eye for compositional analysis shines in the chapter eight’s analysis of a painting of the Visitation by Pontormo. The low notes tend to come in what I can only describe as needlessly murky writing, as in the meandering exploration of visual Nazism in chapter three, “Forbidden Representation.” Continue reading