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The Pensive ImageArt as a Form of Thinking$
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Hanneke Grootenboer

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226717951

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226718002.001.0001

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Theorizing Stillness

Theorizing Stillness

(p.21) Chapter One Theorizing Stillness
The Pensive Image

Hanneke Grootenboer

University of Chicago Press

This chapter defines the category of pensive images as not representing a narrative or a meaning, but as articulating thought. In contrast to self-reflexive images (such as Las Meninas) that have produced discourse, pensive images’ main characteristic is stillness, a productive silence. They do not so much trigger thought as arrest it. The chapter explores the concept of stillness, starting from recent discussions around the still image in photofilmic video art of Fiona Tan to the debate about stillness’ relation to thought in theory of photography of Barthes, Mulvey and Bellour to Lessing’s pregnant moment.

Keywords:   still life, video installation art, film still, photofilmic, Fiona Tan, slow looking, pensive spectator, pensive image, Raymond Bellour, punctum and studium

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