Real Deceptions: The Contemporary Reinvention of Realism

ISBN : 9780190676124

Jennifer Friedlander
371 ページ
156 x 235 mm

Real Deceptions develops a new theory of realism through close consideration of myriad contemporary art, media, and cultural practices. Rather than focusing on transgressing deceptions which distort reality, the book argues that reality lies within the deceptions themselves. That is to say, realism's political potential emerges not by revealing deception but precisely by staging deceptions-particularly deceptions that imperil the very categories of true and false. In lieu of perceiving deception as an obstacle to truth, it shows how deception functions as the truth's necessary conduit. Categories invoked in realist works, such as trompe l'oeil, illusion, hypervirtuality, and simulation help to establish how realism can be seen as moving from the creation of mere epistemological uncertainty to radical ontologically-based indeterminacy. The book cultivates this schema by considering productive connections between insights from Jacques Lacan and Jacques Ranciere. Real Deceptions not only applies these theoretical frameworks to art and media examples, but also engages in the reverse move of using the "cases" to further the theories. This dual approach points to the ways in which efforts to produce realist representations often give rise to the destabilizing Real.


Introduction: Realism and Deception
Chapter 1: The Realistically Deceptive, or the Deceptively Real? Ron Mueck and the Internal Illusion
Chapter 2: Documentary REAL-ism: Catfish and This is Not a Film
Chapter 3: An Uncertain Indeterminacy: Aliza Schwartz
Chapter 4: A Ruse for the Real: Christoph Schlingensief's Deportation Installation
Chapter 5: The Faux and the Schmo: Parodying Reality TV
Chapter 6: Corporeal Realism: Bodyworlds and Cloaca
Chapter 7: Something I Can't Quite Articulate: Breast-feeding and the Real
Chapter 8: Melancholia and the Real of the Illusion
Conclusion: On Being Duped


Jennifer Friedlander is the Edgar E. and Elizabeth S. Pankey Professor of Media Studies/Associate Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College. She authored Moving Pictures: Where the Police, the Press, and the Art Image Meet (Sheffield Hallam University Press, 1998) and Feminine Look: Sexuation, Spectatorship, and Subversion (State University of New York Press, 2008). She has published articles in Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture; CiNeMAS: Journal of Film Studies; Subjectivity; (Re)-turn: A Journal of Lacanian Studies; Journal for Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society; Subjectivity; and International Journal of Zizek Studies.