Abject VisionsPowers of Horror in Art and Visual Culture

Abject VisionsPowers of Horror in Art and Visual Culture

Rina Arya and Nicholas Chare

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780719096280

Publisher: Manchester University Press


The rich variety of essays in Abject Visions: Powers of Horror in Art and Visual Culture demonstrate that abjection as a concept continues to hold great value as an aid to cultural understanding and a prompt to critical reflection. They communicate the enduring power and relevance of the abject by explaining how it conveys ideas about aesthetic, social and moral conventions with regards to representation and viewing. Theories of the abject are key to understanding the contemporary. This is because abject art and literature are not bound to a particular period or geographical location. They adapt to reflect changing times and contexts. The essays in this volume cumulatively demonstrate that abjection is not singular but plural and multiform. In their chosen themes and artists, the contributors draw on the ideas of Georges Bataille and Julia Kristeva, and others such as Judith Butler, Hal Foster and Rosalind Krauss, as part of their approach to extending current ways of conceiving abjection. The majority of the essays focus on the visual arts although there are also considerations of how attending to the abject can inform readings of film, theatre and literature, a fact which attests to its interdisciplinary relevance.