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'It doesn't reveal itself': erosion and collapse of the image in contemporary visual practice

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christian MievesORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Routledge, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The article explores the extent to which ‘pictorial art’ resists legibility, transparency and coherence. The analysis of three artistic case studies, Idris Khan, Maria Chevska and Jane and Louise Wilson, serves to investigate established hierarchies in our perception of visual referents. In the discussion the article inquires the means of erosion, veiling and dissemblance as ways to critique assumption of the homogeneity of the image. All artists cast a view on the external world by diverting it, defacing it and distancing themselves from the external environment. However, the distancing is never disconnected from the everyday and never succumbs to abstraction. The article argues that the crisis of the image offers a productive framework that allows artists to draw attention to the absence of logical structure and the instability of the visual sign.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mieves C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Visual Art Practice

Year: 2018

Volume: 17

Issue: 2-3

Pages: 206-224

Online publication date: 19/07/2018

Acceptance date: 10/07/2017

Date deposited: 18/09/2019

ISSN (print): 1470-2029

ISSN (electronic): 1758-9185

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14702029.2018.1466455


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