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Face in Trouble – From Physiognomics to Facebook

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Edited By Olga Szmidt and Katarzyna Trzeciak

This book analyzes unobvious relations between historical definitions of the face and its contemporary usage in popular culture and social media, like Facebook or Instagram. Bringing together a wide range of methodologies, it includes essays from manifold disciplines of the humanities such as philosophy, literary and art criticism, media and television studies, game studies, sociology and anthropology. The authors focus on both metaphorical and material meanings of the face. They grapple with crucial questions about modernity, modern and postmodern subjectivity, as well as with origins of certain linguistic terms and popular, colloquial phrases based on the concept of the face.

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White sculpted faces: Between the Medusa’s gaze and prospopopeic blindness in Irving Feldman’s All of Us Here (Katarzyna Trzeciak)

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Katarzyna Trzeciak

White sculpted faces: Between the Medusa’s gaze and prospopopeic blindness in Irving Feldman’s All of Us Here

This article examines the sculpted faces in poems by American author Irving Feldman. Starting from Michel Serres’ philosophical investigations into sculptures as representations of the dying human body, the article goes further into the myth of Medusa and the question of the sculptural gaze. Feldman approaches George Segal’s sculptures from a literary perspective to raise the dialectical issue of solitude, the opacity of matter and the viewer’s gaze. Viewers in the poems of All of Us Here have to cope with the sculptural opacity of matter, and to rethink the status of their human gaze.

Keywords: sculpture, statues, Irving Feldman, Medusa’s gaze, monument

What is a statue? Is it a piece of material, like wood, bronze or stone? A human double? The word ‘statue’ holds a broad range of meanings. In the philosophical anthropology of sculpture elaborated in Michel Serres’s Statues we read that statues are a supplementary population representing the people in human history [Serres 2015, p. 5]. Actually, the statue represents, and roots the dying, entropic human body, revealing the presence of a corpse, of our decaying materiality. It doubles the cadaver, not the living body. ‘This means that the statue conceals our fear of the living body as well, our anxiety over its wastes and sensitivities.’ [Gross 2006, p. 21].

The reality of the...

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