Pictorial Rationality, Trans-culturalism, and the Work of Art

Andrews, Jorella G.. 2021. 'Pictorial Rationality, Trans-culturalism, and the Work of Art'. In: Critical Phenomenology & Merleau-Ponty’s Open Futures: 45th Annual Conference of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle. Western University, Canada 22 - 24 October 2021. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

In this paper I ask what Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of pictorial rationality might bring to contemporary debates about how best to address transcultural violence, and in addition, about the role that the work of art may play in this regard. Given that transcultural violence is often so problematically triggered by visual cues – albeit cues characteristic of what Merleau-Ponty has referred to as a convention-bound, prosaic vision – I argue that the perceptual understandings and evaluations offered by his notion of pictorial rationality are as urgently required as they are animating and energising in diverse contexts including in my own field of Visual Culture where, ironically, debates are predominantly antagonistic to the visual which tends to be understood as overwhelmingly reductive, oppressive and mastering.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Merleau-Ponty, transcultural violence, pictorial rationality

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


24 October 2021Published

Event Location:

Western University, Canada

Date range:

22 - 24 October 2021

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

10 Dec 2021 14:27

Last Modified:

10 Dec 2021 14:27



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