How can 21st century visual culture become more responsive to an ethics of seeing, where images of the Other are not exploited in the service of sensation, propaganda, or commerce? Can visual art summon us from self-absorption and ordinary assumptions about other people and change our approach to the world?
In response to these questions, I investigate ‘the face,’ a notion introduced by the work of French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, as a way to explore how the Other reveals itself. I further consider what it means to become ethically responsive to the Other and awaken to what is precarious in another life, i.e to recognize our moral responsibility.
Applying the ideas of Levinas, Jean Baudrillard, and Judith Butler, I survey contemporary paintings, photography, and installation art to search for a set of precepts, formulated to address how ethics can participate in the production and viewing of images of the Other.
Low Residency MFA in Visual Studies (LRVS)