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Art/Porn
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Do we really know pornography when we see it? Pornography is condemned for being "too close" whilst erotica is defended as "leaving room for the imagination." And the art of the nude is treated as something much more special, located even further away from the potential of arousal. Art/Porn argues that these distinctions are based on an age-old antithesis between sight and touch, an antithesis created and maintained for centuries by art criticism. Art has always elicited a struggle between the senses, between something to be viewed and something to be touched, between visual and visceral pleasure. Images compel the senses in ways that are both taboo and intrinsic to art. Contemporary responses to images of the nude embody this longstanding tension. Our fears about the materiality of art when in close proximity to our own bodies exist alongside a regulation of sensory response which dates back to Antiquity. Art/Porn reveals how - from fondling statues in Antiquity to point-and-click Internet pornography - the worlds of art and pornography are much closer than we think.
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Table of Contents

Contents Introduction: Pornography in Visual Culture 1. Art and Erotic Enjoyment 2. Art Made Flesh: the physical contact of art 3. Pygmalion: photographing the nude in the 19th Century 4. The Object of Pornography: Photography and the Fetish 5. Hard Core Art: Digital Porn and 'New' Media 6. Sex in the Museum: Pornography without Touching Conclusion: Pornography and surveillance culture Notes Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

Also available in hardback, 9781847880574 GBP55.00 (March, 2009)

About the Author

Kelly Dennis is Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

Reviews

"This is a daring and provocative study of the historical conception of "pornography" and, in particular, of its relation to questions which have helped define art since its beginnings: the antagonism between painting and sculpture, the representation of female sexuality, the deeper implications of sexuality and subjectivity for art and its history, and the struggle between art and photography. Reading Art/Porn clarifies why we often are so moved and impassioned by art. After it, we may never again view art or pornography in the same way." Eduardo Cadava, Princeton University

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