The Image: Disaffect in the theatre of representation

Crone, Bridget. 2010. The Image: Disaffect in the theatre of representation. Journal of Visual Arts Practice, 9(2), pp. 123-198. ISSN 1470-2029 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This essay addresses the image as it appears in current contemporary art practice, principally through an examination of the work of Turner Prize nominees, The Otolith Group, as well as Hito Steyerl, Rabih Mrou, Gail Pickering and Tom Nicholson. Following an interest in the possibility of an image without a dependency upon a relationship with a human subject or viewer, the essay explores the consequences of the proposition that an image has a life beyond representation. This question is addressed through the three parts suggested by the essay's title first, the status of the image as being beyond representation but instead characterized by its operation and by its relationship to the event; second, the image as presence and the question of theatre as a process of intensification of the image's presentation and the accompanying experience of the image within the affective field; and finally to the question of disaffect. The essay ends with the proposition of disaffect as the reinsertion of the interval the gap that is lost through the smooth space of affect. Disaffect is here a strategy for the curatorial to approach the question of the unbinding, the unraveling of the centrality of the subject within the representative order. And by contrasting Alain Badiou's notion of the event with that Gilles Deleuze, the question of the outside is reintroduced as is, the essay argues, the subsequent unbinding of the centrality of experience to the curatorial project, therefore offering instead a focus on structure and on methodology rather than on the binding (of subject with experience, of experience with knowledge and so on) of affective processes

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Identification Number (DOI):


Gilles Deleuze; Jacques Rancire; affect; body; disaffect; human; image; participation; presence; representation; subject

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


December 2010Published

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Date Deposited:

16 Dec 2015 20:37

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:55

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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