Visual Display

Culture Beyond Appearances: Discussions in Contemporary Culture #10

A “highly recommended” (Library Journal) contribution to the interdisciplinary debate about how cultural differences are implicit within visual forms

“Lynne Cooke and Peter Wollen have assembled a fascinating collection of complex and provocative essays that use contemporary theory to explore the history of visual display. A range of distinguished contributors tease out the techniques of performance and pedagogy, and the politics of sexuality and ethnicity, that underwrite modernity’s spectacular tapestry. Anyone interested in the history (and the future) of visual culture will find the essays in this volume illuminating reading.” —Leslie Camhi, writer and cultural critic

Visual Display explores the politics of visual representation through provocative essays by a distinguished group of scholars, historians, cultural critics, and curators. The essays, which span a broad range of subjects, including sci-fi movie making, modern medical imaging, tourist art, politico-economic charting, eighteenth-century cabinets of curiosity, and museology, seek to uncover how different cultural contexts translate the meaning of visual information.

With contributions by:

  • Edward Ball
  • Stephen Bann
  • Susan Buck-Morss
  • Scott Bukatman
  • Lisa Cartwright
  • Ludmilla Jordanova
  • Jean-Hubert Martin
  • Ann Reynolds
  • Ralph Rugoff
  • Eric Santner
  • Susan Stewart
  • Marina Warner
  • Peter Wollen
  • Discussions in Contemporary Culture is an award-winning series co-published with the Dia Center for the Arts in New York City. These volumes offer rich and timely discourses on a broad range of cultural issues and critical theory. The collection covers topics from urban planning to popular culture and literature, and continually attracts a wide and dedicated readership.


    “A smorgasbord of topics. . . . The discourse is lively and conversational, and the profuse illustrations are well produced. A fine choice in a substantive series . . . highly recommended. ”
    Library Journal
    “The framing of perceptions, conceptions, even the creation of deceptions through the context-building devices of display are powerfully revealed in this fascinating book. As a collection, these essays leap from the realm of art exhibitions and culture to social, political, scientific, medical, and economic arenas, offering an expanded view of the operations of display as it shapes the world around us—or at least our idea of it. The book is essential reading to anyone making or interpreting culture today.”
    —Mary Jane Jacob, independent curator

    Goodreads Reviews