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Response to What is Visual Culture and Art History - Book Report/Review Example

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Response to What is Visual Culture and Art History

As if agreeing to Mirzoeff, Arnold explores -- using the postmodern perspective (i.e., deconstruction) -- the system and philosophy pertaining to the theory and practice of art history. She argues that the traditional way of interpreting or reading art is, generally, through its historical or chronological order. Like a postmodernist, Arnold substantially challenges this traditional art history by contending that, at certain epoch, paintings as visual art have different themes or subject matter; in general, art in itself could not be wholly categorized merely for the time period it was created.
Mirzoeff explores visual culture, in the postmodern sense, as the outcome from the crisis inherent in modernism. Similar to Arnold, Mirzoeff’s thesis considerably departs from the academic-centered (i.e., traditional) interpretation of art or visual culture; examples of this traditional display or rendering of art are exhibits in the museum and Hollywood movies at the cinema. However, visual culture is generally a departure from the “structured, formal viewing settings” (Mirzoeff 7). In citing Rogoff, paintings in the postmodern era may be seen on a book, movies may be viewed on the home television, among other things (qtd. in Mirzoeff 7). Moreover, watching television as a peculiar mode of habit, if not custom, becomes a “part of domestic life” rather than an individual activity. On the other hand, Arnold cites the canonical art historians such Pliny and Vasari and how their approach in understanding or viewing visual art fundamentally transformed or affected the concept and praxis of art history. She says that the bias of the chronological-centered art historians has become the catalyst for the emergence of the almost revolutionary question concerning the “importance of canon in art history” (Arnold). In the process, Mirzoeff’s thesis involving modernism and postmodernism is substantially ...Show more
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and Dana Arnold’s Art History fundamentally examine or re-examine the definition and interpretation of the visual art. In particular, Mirzoeff presents the ambivalent characteristics of the broad term “visual culture.” He…
Response to What is Visual Culture and Art History
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