Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art (Paperback)
  • Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art (Paperback)
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Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art (Paperback)

(author)
£22.99
Paperback 232 Pages / Published: 01/04/2013
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In Hold It Against Me, Jennifer Doyle explores the relationship between difficulty and emotion in contemporary art, treating emotion as an artist's medium. She encourages readers to examine the ways in which works of art challenge how we experience not only the artist's feelings, but our own. Discussing performance art, painting, and photography, Doyle provides new perspectives on artists including Ron Athey, Aliza Shvarts, Thomas Eakins, James Luna, Carrie Mae Weems, and David Wojnarowicz. Confronting the challenge of writing about difficult works of art, she shows how these artists work with feelings as a means to question our assumptions about identity, intimacy, and expression. They deploy the complexity of emotion to measure the weight of history, and to deepen our sense of where and how politics happens in contemporary art.

Doyle explores ideologies of emotion and how emotion circulates in and around art. Throughout, she gives readers welcoming points of entry into artworks that they may at first find off-putting or confrontational. Doyle offers new insight into how the discourse of controversy serves to shut down discussion about this side of contemporary art practice, and counters with a critical language that allows the reader to accept emotional intensity in order to learn from it.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822353133
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 376 g
Dimensions: 232 x 158 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Jennifer Doyle's Hold It Against Me offers us a powerful and challenging new voice. The difficulty she describes emerges in work that turns to face us. . . .Doyle has opened up a critical and much needed space for this work and these experiences. She demands that we consider the political and historical stakes in ourselves, to embrace what is intimate and fraught - and that is no easy feat." -- Laura Fried * Los Angeles Review of Books *
"Doyle blends scholarly critique with personal experience, producing a deep and broad analysis which is as much a critique of contemporary art criticism as contemporary art." * Publishers Weekly *
"This treatise argues that emotion makes artworks harder, more interesting, more difficult, and yet ultimately more rewarding for their complexity. Though aimed at scholars of performance and visual culture, this densely complex book will reward tenacious readers interested in understanding some of the most moving (and difficult) contemporary art of our time." -- Toro Castano * Library Journal *
"In this rich, thought-provoking, and very readable work of scholarship, Doyle poses questions about works of art that cannot be easily described, that bring complicated personal and political subject matter to the fore, and that often evoke strong emotional reactions in the audiences that view them." -- Alexis Clements * Hyperallergic *
"Doyle's book is both an endorsement for and an example of what might happen once we venture away from the assurance of that cool scholarly detachment and into the less transparent but perhaps more revealing terrain of affective response. What Doyle discovers in that realm of feelings is not only personal sentiment, but also a complex site where ideology, aesthetics, social convention, and political possibility intersect." -- Catherine Zuromskis * Postmodern Culture *
"Doyle captures unnerving moments of unease, anxiety, even extreme pain. These images and Doyle's compelling discussion of their difficulty stay with the reader long after closing the book's covers. Perhaps that is what is so successful about Doyle's study. While the actual works explored are many of them fleeting performances, or done by artists who have by now succumbed to the AIDS virus, or are representations of the dead, they persist. They fight. They move us." -- Sarah E. Cornish * Rocky Mountain Review *

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