Historiography

Catherine M. Soussloff's Absolute Artist. The Historiography of a Concept PDF

By Catherine M. Soussloff

This can be the 1st e-book to research the artist's biography as a rhetorical shape and literary style instead of as an unassailable resource of truth and data.

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Explicit, then, in all Re- On the Threshold of Historiography I 39 naissance biography is the issue of the model, or exemplar. 59 This is evident most clearly in the genre of biography. "61 Arnoldo Momigliano established how essential the ideal of the hero, such as Heracles, Theseus, and Oedipus, was to the earliest examples of biography, although he infers the existence of these biographies from fragments only. 64 They find ample evidence to the contrary in ancient Greek writing on the project of history itself.

It is time to bring back the stench and sweetness of the bodies of the artists, of their histories, of the writing about them, and of their political realities. Let me conclude by examining the expectations that the genre of biography, especially the biography of the artist, elicits from us. These expectations have to do with the representation and location of the real and with the social contract that the genre of the biography embodies for our culture. For, in our historical reality as readers, expectations are the counterparts to generic conventions.

46 Quite literally in the art historical discourse, then, the "giveness" of the name speaks. The constructedness of the name in the discourse on the Nicodemus, for example, cannot be questioned, only recognized as a mark of the "act" of the sculpture itself. Names and naming in the biographies of artists and the discourse of art history become performative of the process of art making itself. Thus, at the end of the biography of the artist, when the performance ends in death, it is the body, rather than the name of the artist, that becomes emphasized.

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Absolute Artist. The Historiography of a Concept by Catherine M. Soussloff


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