The endeavor to define the specific inner experience of a viewer’s encounter with an image – whether in literature, music or visual arts, on canvas or the silver screen – is one of the fundamental pillars of the reflection on art and its unique position in the life of the society as well as of an individual. While there were many artistic movements and styles in the history of western culture, some of which, such as the Baroque, brought the richness of the means of expression and the emotions of the viewer to the fore, while others, especially those that dominated the second half of the 20th century, deliberately limited the formal means of expression and penetrated the depths of the conceptual levels of the artwork, a strong complex emotional and physical experience has remained one of the crucial perspectives from which we collectively view images regardless of social differences.
However, today, reflections on the role of affect in relation to art go beyond aesthetics and the question of affectivity is currently discussed in the field of humanities and social sciences; which, as some contemporary authors believe, saw an “affective turn“ in the early 21st century. What role can be attributed to our physical and sensory perception in relation to visual culture which is mass produced, distributed and perceived? Do physicality and sensuality have a place in the culture of technical images; and if so, where? Is it really true that, as W. J. T. Mitchell claims, images live and love and we live and love images (and hate them and long for them and fear them and…)?
JOSEF VOJVODÍK (art theorist and historian): “Cinema is a >phantomachia<”: Images, shadows, affects
JIŘÍ ANGER (film theorist): The affective interval and the transformations of corporeality in a film image
FRANTIŠEK FEKETE (artist, curator): Self-portrait as Sinéad O’Connor (EXTENDED)
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