Collects 27 original essays by expert scholars describing the current state of scholarship in art history and visual studies, and pointing to future directions in the field.
Contains dual chronological and thematic coverage of the major themes in the art of our time: politics, culture wars, public space, diaspora, the artist, identity politics, the body, and visual culture.
Offers synthetic analysis, as well as new approaches to, debates central to the visual arts since 1945 such as those addressing formalism, the avant-garde, the role of the artist, technology and art, and the society of the spectacle.
The book is both a history of these ideas (for example, tracing the dominance of a binary model of self and other from Hegel through classic 1970s identity politics) and a political response to the common claim in art and popular political discourse that we are "beyond" or "post-" identity. In challenging this latter claim, Seeing Differently critically examines how and why we "identify" works of art with an expressive subjectivity, noting the impossibility of claiming we are "post-identity" given the persistence of beliefs in art discourse and broader visual culture about who the subject "is," and offers a new theory of how to think this kind of identification in a more thoughtful and self-reflexive way.
Ultimately, Seeing Differently offers a mode of thinking identification as a "queer feminist durational" process that can never be fully resolved but must be accounted for in thinking about art and visual culture. Queer feminist durationality is a mode of relational interpretation that affects both "art" and "interpreter," potentially making us more aware of how we evaluate and give value to art and other kinds of visual culture.