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year: 2016
isbn: 9789042933460
pages: VIII-104
price: 36 euro
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In Response to Echo
Beyond Mimesis or Dissolution as Scopic Regime (with Special Attention to Camouflage)
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Summary:

In his Metamorphoses, Ovid (43 BC - AD 17) tells the story of Echo and Narcissus. Echo's love for Narcissus ended in a cruel twist of fate. Already punished with an echo for a voice, the nymph suffered further as she petrified and her bones became stones. The study of art has long focused on the Narcissus-mirror syndrome as a paradigm for painting (Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472)). Echo had no place in this masculine scopic discipline. Recent approaches have rehabilitated Echo from a visual, cultural and gendered point of view. Echo cries; she cries for an alternative to the mirror paradigm and oculocentrism. She helps us break free from Narcissus in favour of visual modalities such as dissolution, camouflage and contamination, in short, disappearance as an alternative to the scopic regime. In this essay I treat the impact of Echo on art history through the lenses of: gender, speech and hearing; Echo as textilisation and sacrifice; Echo as chthonic art; and, finally, Echo and le désir mimétique. With this approach, I develop a new hermeneutic to reintegrate the sonoric senses, camouflage theory, gender epistemology, and the anthropological substrata of nature, love and death into our Western obsession for mimetic thinking.