Seminar

“The Readability of Images. A Critique of Visual Hegemony”

Seminar
“The Readability of Images. A Critique of Visual Hegemony”

Emmanuel Alloa

“The Readability of Images. A Critique of Visual Hegemony”

Literacy has always been an instrument of the democratization of knowledge in its effective struggle against all sorts of hegemony and caste privileges. However, readability is not limited to written texts. In the 1920s, Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin drew attention to the need for a literate point of view in order to decipher the new visual realities of power. Pursuing a similar tradition today would entail questioning the relationships between text and image. Then, is there a grammar pertaining to images? What are the risks of reducing the visible to the readable? There is a multitude of sources such as phenomenology, semiotics, iconology and critical theory that could guide us through the new visual realities. So what sort of liberation could we talk about in the face of the new norms of perception? Can we develop other tools to be able to engage in a critical relationship with our present time? Instead of a unified world-image, images could be the place of a pluralistic and diversified point of view.

Emmanuel Alloa is a faculty member of the Department of Philosophy at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, a senior research fellow at eikones / NFS Bildkritik at University of Basel, and a lecturer at the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Paris 8. French and German phenomenology, contemporary philosophy, and the relationships between aesthetics and politics constitute the main focus of his research. He has held Visiting Professorships by the invitation of various international universities (Kunthistorisches Institut in Florenz; Columbia University, New York; Michoacana University, Mexico; Bauhaus University, Weimar; and University of Vienna). He has received the Latsis Prize in 2016 for his scientific achievements, and the Aby Warburg Prize in 2019.

The event is free of charge. Invitations available from the Akbank Sanat ticket office on the event day, one hour before the event begins.

9 April 2019 Tuesday 18:30

Akbank Sanat

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