Against Positive Images
The introduction lays out the problem to be addressed and summarizes the argument to be made in the rest of the book, taking as its point of reference a 2011 controversy over a proposed public sculpture for Indianapolis by Fred Wilson, which members of the city’s black community saw as presenting a “negative” African American image. Explicitly appropriating as its primary element the figure of a newly unenslaved black man featured in the city’s existing Soldiers and Sailors Monument of 1902, the sculpture design made racial representation itself an object of critical inquiry, and so perfectly exemplified the aesthetic abstractionism championed in this book, which the introduction characterizes in terms of Bertolt Brecht’s “alienation effect.” Noting that critics of the design nevertheless willfully disregarded its critical engagement with the earlier sculpture, the introduction ultimately suggests that visual art is severely limited in its capacity to mobilize abstractionist critique.
NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.