Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts
written by Deborah Haynes
I B Tauris | ISBN 9781780765129
Paperback – 160 pages
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Visionary philosopher and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975) was largely ignored during his lifetime yet his oeuvre has significantly impacted how we think about visual culture. His ideas renewed interest in the word-forming potential of the creative voice and he developed concepts which are bywords within poststructuralist and new historicist literary criticism and philosophy yet have been under-utilized by artists, art historians and art critics. Deborah Haynes aims to adapt Bakhtin's concepts, particularly those developed in his later works, to an analysis of visual culture and art practices, addressing the integral relationship of art with life, the artist as creator, reception and the audience, and context/intertextuality. This provides both a new conceptual vocabulary for those engaged in visual culture – ideas such as answerability, unfinalizability, heteroglossia, chronotope and the carnivalesque (defined in the glossary) – and a new, practical approach to historical analysis of generic breakdown and narrative re-emergence in contemporary art. Deborah Haynes uses Bakhtinian concepts to interpret a range of art from religious icons to post-Impressionist painters and Russian modernists to demonstrate how the application of his thought to visual culture can generate significant new insights. Rehabilitating some of Bakhtin's neglected ideas and reframing him as a philosopher of aesthetics, Bakhtin Reframed will be essential reading for the huge community of Bakhtin scholars as well as students and practitioners of visual culture.