Forthcoming January 2021
Vision is both the metaphorical and the physical operation of seeing; it is the neural process by which images reach our faculties for the interpretation of meaning. What lacks in most contemporary discourse on image is how the biological process of vision has been indebted. Biopolitical subject production is executed, for the most part, by the eye: online contracts, terms and conditions, consent for access to cookies. From the legal system to communication platforms, vision’s role is tightly woven within infrastructure. Indebted Vision sheds some light on this hardly graspable but highly enervated space between the body and the world.
Rachal Bradley and Inka Meißner provide a recalibrated take on the accepted art historical narrative of appropriated images, laying out an argument through the analysis of the use of appropriation in Andy Warhol’s Race Riot works (1963-64) and Cady Noland’s Tanya as a Bandit and Oozewald (both 1989). For Bradley and Meißner, the strategy of appropriation in these artworks presents the notion of an ‘indebted vision’, encompassing the audience in a potential space of communality and mutual agency. To address the indebted dimensions of vision is to find an erotic moment within the infrastructure that surrounds and determines individual behaviour and social organisation.
Rachal Bradley is a British writer and artist based in London. She currently teaches at London Metropolitan University.
Inka Meißner studied art and critical studies in Leipzig and Vienna; she lives and works in Berlin.