Join the Oakland University Department of Art and Art History for their 2014 lecture series, presenting James Elkins.
Elkins is a renowned art critic and will offer an informal, speculative lecture, presented in three parts.
First, Elkins will look at a brief overview of the ways that academics in the humanities study vision and the gaze, using Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” and some Vermeer paintings as examples. The notion is to suggest some limitations in that kind of study.
Secondly, Elkins will examine other kinds of "seeing," some taken from the book How to Use Your Eyes. X-Rays, sand, postage stamps, ice halos, and a landscape provide the examples.
Finally, an open-ended list of animals will be studied, showing the way each one of them sees the world to show that our own, human vision is not natural or complete. In comparison to animals, human vision is very partial and selective. The animals studied will include scallops, bees, deepwater fish, the nautilus octopi, sea slugs, and chitons.
James Elkins is a renowned art critic and E.C. Chadbourne Professor in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His most recent book is What Photography Is.
He writes on art and non-art images; recent books include Chinese Landscape Painting as Western Art History (Hong Kong University Press) and Art Critiques: A Guide (New Academia). Currently he is editing a book series called the Stone Art Theory Institutes (Penn State Press).