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A withdrawn vision: art, realism and the scene of incest

Kilby, J 2004, 'A withdrawn vision: art, realism and the scene of incest' , Journal for Cultural Research, 8 (3) , pp. 317-334.

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Abstract

Via a reading of incest survivor art, this essay explores the possibility of a political aesthetic based on the unrepresentability of trauma. Key to this essay is the idea that trauma cannot be redeemed by art and it is therefore necessary to develop a reading of art that does not seek to resolve the horror of incest. Drawing inspiration from Hal Foster's influential notion of traumatic realism, the aim of this essay is to develop a critical language that pushes the question of representing childhood trauma beyond the models of repression and realism but doing so without collapsing the argument into an anti-realist position. Of critical importance to this analysis is a post-repression model of trauma that puts into jeopardy the idea that history can achieve symbolic recognition. Underpinning this essay is a conceptual move from the “return of the repressed” to the “return of the real” and in so doing I aim to demonstrate the political importance of this shift in thinking about the reality and representation of trauma.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Journal for Cultural Research special issue: Visual Culture, Trauma & Ethics
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Social Research
Journal or Publication Title: Journal for Cultural Research
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1479-7585
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2009 11:58
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2014 09:08
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/1460

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