And now, a moment of shameless self-promotion

by Yule Heibel on July 28, 2005

File this under shameless self-promotion, but during one of my perusals of e-learning blogs/ sites today, I came across The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog‘s entry, Librarians Point to Google Scholar from July 26 — snooze…: joke, right? Google scholar has been around for ages already! Naturally, though, I had to take myself on a spin, and came across this delightful (to my ears) excerpt from Johanna Drucker‘s review of my book:

It would be too bad if the apparently narrow focus of this book–five years of post-World War II German art, represented by relatively obscure artists such as Ernst and [sic] Wilhelm Nay–caused it to be overlooked. Inside the deliberately circumscribed limitations of her topic, Yule Heibel makes a profoundly sophisticated contribution to scholarship on post-World War II art history. Concentrating on German artists’ and critics’ efforts to reestablish viable cultural practices, she turns her evaluation of the relatively minor painter Nay into a discussion that has implications for a great range of visual art produced after 1945. This is because the major issue in this study is the concept of artistic subjectivity as a battleground for ideological debate. In the post-1945 era of reconstruction and subsequent Cold War politics, ideas of the arts and the individual artist were freighted with heavy burdens of expectation. Both were to manifest the value-laden aims of the moment–to participate in healing, recovery, and renewal–while assuming the appearance of being mere aesthetic expression. Heibel achieves an exemplary integration of theory-based conception and philosophical analysis, bringing both to bear on a tightly focused study of particular artists and works in their interaction with specific historical circumstances.

The concept of subjectivity that is central to Heibel’s discussion is centered in philosophy rather than psychoanalysis, and she eschews conventional Freudian and Lacanian constructions of subjectivity, with their by now commonplace (in art history) formulas of identification, negation, and fetishism as mechanisms through which to examine the seductive effects of images in their replication of mirror stage activity or presymbolic conditions. Instead, her paradigm foregrounds the dialectic of subject/object relations. She contrasts the positions of Martin Heidegger and Theodor Adorno and their articulations of two radically different… [Unfortunately, not more, since this is an excerpt that points to subscriber content…:-(]

Ok, full disclosure: I count Johanna as a friend, and I admire her work tremendously. But I didn’t put her up to writing the review, and others who I don’t know wrote similarly interesting things. So, allow me to bask a bit in reflected glory from a previous life… 😉


maria July 29, 2005 at 3:00 am

As one who read your book, I am pleased to see this review and its stress on your grounded approach to subjectivity!

Yule Heibel July 29, 2005 at 12:46 pm

Thank you, Maria! And thank you also for blogging about the book a while back. Actually, your remarks are probably the most recent… The book is now 10+ years old, and Johanna’s review was from 2 years after it was published, i.e., from 1997.

Gosh, feels like it’s on life support! 😉 !

Anonymous September 17, 2005 at 5:24 pm

Your blog is realy very interesting.

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