Theory of the Image: Capitalism, Contemporary Film, and Women
"Just about everything in this book is fresh and exciting." —Carol Siegel
Ann Kibbey’s Theory of the Image is based on a concept of the image as a dynamic relation rather than a thing. In three essays Kibbey contends that the image itself is an ideological construct. "The Capitalist Theory of the Image" argues that capitalism enforces social identity and fetishism through religious iconoclastic beliefs about the commodity as image. "Liberating a Woman from Her Image" creates a new feminist approach to women in film, breaking the symbiosis of woman and image at the heart of previous theory. "Relief from the Production of Certainties" challenges conservative and racist agendas informing the assumption that a photograph records an image. The book draws on extensive personal interviews and also provides detailed explications of important films in recent transnational cinema to demonstrate new theories of the image for a global society.
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His examples of the iconic in film are like Peirce's equations and diagrams.
Importantly for film, Eisenstein developed what Peirce did not, an iconic
interpretation of images that specifically addressed the issue of images of people.
The social character of Peirce's indexical sign crossed this boundary between
capitalist society and nature, and in both directions. Reification, by means of the
natural sign, was extended outside the specific social structures of capitalist labor
The photograph (an index) has been judged by a different criterion, the
authenticity of what is depicted in it.33 Consistent with Peirce's theory, the
authenticity of the object is the defining criterion of the authenticity of a
photograph because the ...
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The Capitalist Theory of the Image
Congruence with the Capitalist Economy
Critique of Barthes
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