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The desire to see: Western iconoclasm and the return of the empty image

Dora E Martinez-Ramos, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Taking as a guiding thread the idea of absence or emptiness as a constitutive trait of all images, this dissertation reviews how this idea has been defended or ignored throughout diverse iconoclast moments in Western Christian civilization, focusing on the possible consequences that the basculating movement of acceptance-rejection of the image's emptiness might have for contemporary approaches to the image. The iconoclast debate from the eighth century, and the works of Freud and Lacan will be used as paradigmatic moments to penetrate into the difficult relationship man has had with images and the imaginary throughout an extended period of Western Christian history.

Subject Area

Art History|Philosophy|Religion|Philosophy

Recommended Citation

Martinez-Ramos, Dora E, "The desire to see: Western iconoclasm and the return of the empty image" (2003). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3110529.