Fugitive Visions: Art and the Eidetic Image

Session Convenors

Elizabeth Buhe, Institute of Fine Arts (NYU) ebuhe@nyu.edu

Amy Rahn, Stony Brook University (SUNY) amy.rahn@stonybrook.edu

Session Abstract

Eidetic imagery – vivid pictures seen ‘in the mind’s eye’ – has been a powerful and ongoing source of artistic inspiration. Yet, modernist privileging of disembodied vision and positivist opticality has suppressed the realm of the eidetic: an expansive category that includes subjective spiritual, mystical, synesthetic, hallucinatory, and visionary experience.

This panel solicits papers addressing artists past and present who have employed eidetic imagery in the creation or content of their work, as well as from scholars crafting methodological approaches for understanding and historicising artists’ visionary processes. Can art stimulate eidetic experience in its beholders? How might a hermeneutics of the eidetic contribute to a more expansive art history? How do artists represent the invisible? What perceptual modalities and sensory crossovers are engaged in creating or apprehending such art? Can the highly individual nature of reverie or inner vision paradoxically allow artists to communicate with art’s diverse audiences?

Many art historical moments invite such questions. Prehistoric rock art’s intricate patterning is believed to derive from forms visualised during altered states, while, in the 19th-century, Symbolists instrumentalised individual visions in pursuit of sweeping artistic insight. More recently, Joan Mitchell claimed she painted ‘from remembered landscapes that I carry with me’. Following the work of scholars like Marcia Brennan, Todd Cronan, Linda Dalrymple Henderson, and Martin Jay, this panel invites papers that implement or productively critique methodologies such as affect, feminism, neuroscience, new materialism, and phenomenology to excavate traces of eidetic experience that haunt art’s past, but not yet its history.

To offer a paper
Please email your paper proposals direct to the session convenors, details above.

Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because it will appear online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 5 November 2018

BACK TO 2019 Annual Conference