“Meta-image” : Mitchell’s concept

[Notes from “What do pictures want? Interview with W. J. T. Mitchell” By Asbjørn Grønstad and Øyvind Vågnes From the online magazine Image & Narrative, November 2006 – http://visual-studies.com/interviews/mitchell.html ]

” A picture that is framed, not inside another picture, but within a discourse that reflects on it as an exemplar of “picturality” as such is a meta image. This implies, of course, that any picture whatsoever (a simple line-drawing of a face, a multi-stable image like the Duck-Rabbit, Velasquez’s Las Meninas) can become a metapicture, a picture that is used to reflect on the nature of pictures.”

“Any picture is at least potentially a kind of vortex or “black hole” that can “suck in” the consciousness of a beholder, and at the same time (and for the same reason) “spew out” an infinite series of reflections.”

“.And the aim of the metapicture is to create a critical space in which images could function, not simply as illustrations or “examples” of the power of this or that method, but as “cases” that to some extent (generally unknown in advance) that might transform or deconstruct the method that is brought to them.”

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