Reading Images: Rearticulating the visible. Towards a critique of images
15.03.2017 – 16.03.2017
Free entry. Limited places
It is almost a truism that the proliferation of images in the contemporary world is inversely proportional to our ability to say what they correspond to; and that our eyes, tired from the frantic stream of images, have lost their critical capacity.
These sessions by Emmanuel Alloa aim to overcome this situation of impotence by reformulating the question of what an image is. Asking this question might suggest a situation of disorientation, because "images tend to proliferate, to decline into plural forms, to multiply in a flow that immediately evades the One". We must also return to the concept of reading, which reaches its own limit in contact with pictures.
Images weave relationships between distant spaces and the places where they are displayed – they build these links. In fact, the images we see are often a broken link. In these sessions we would like to explore the fact that, precisely because of their structure, images also have the power of a link that remains to be built.
Wednesday 15 March, 7 pm. Virreina LAB
The power of representation: Anthropologies of the image
What is representation? It has persistently been considered that representations are secondary things, copies of real things. However, the genealogy of the concept allows us to retrieve another meaning: representation as intensification. To what extent are visual representations not so much a copy as an intensification of real things? Can we find in the "anthropological passion for the image" a hint of another way of conceiving living things, a context of the current discussion on the anthropology of images that opens new perspectives on the relationship between life forms and the life of forms?
Thursday 16 March, 7 pm. Virreina LAB
New ways of looking, or how (not) to read images
Contemporary images do not lack visibility, but they do lack readability. Although we are over-literate, we are still unprepared to decipher the new visual realities that more than ever determine our lives. How can we learn new ways of looking and use reading as a critical tool of the present? We will use the work of Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin, semiotics and iconology to reconsider emancipation in response to the spectacle of images and thereby invent new ways of producing meaning.
Emmanuel Alloa is a philosopher and professor of Cultural Theory and Philosophy at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He also lectures in Vienna and Paris. His books, translated into several languages, deal with contemporary philosophy, phenomenology, and the relationships between aesthetics and politics. Works translated into Spanish include the book La resistencia de lo sensible (2009) and the article "La tiranía de la transparencia y el derecho a la opacidad". In addition, he edited the three volumes of the series entitled Penser l'image I-III (2010-2017).