Francesca Woodman and the Kantian Sublime

1st Edition

Claire Raymond

Routledge
Published October 3, 2016
Reference - 186 Pages
ISBN 9781138246683 - CAT# Y312601

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Summary

In her feminist inquiry into aesthetics and the sublime, Claire Raymond reinterprets the work of the American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958-1981). Placing Woodman in a lineage of women artists beginning with nineteenth-century photographers Julia Margaret Cameron and Clementina, Viscountess Hawarden, Raymond compels a reconsideration of Woodman's achievement in light of the gender dynamics of the sublime. Raymond argues that Woodman's photographs of decrepit architecture allegorically depict the dissolution of the frame, a dissolution Derrida links to theories of the sublime in Kant's Critique of Judgement. Woodman's self-portraits, Raymond contends, test the parameters of the gaze, a reading that departs from the many analyses of Woodman's work that emphasize her dramatic biography. Woodman is here revealed as a conceptually sophisticated artist whose deployment of allegory and allusion engages a broader debate about Enlightenment aesthetics, and the sublime.

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