Iconoclasm

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Iconoclasm – the alteration, destruction, or displacement of icons – is usually considered taboo or profane. But, on occasion, the act of destroying the sacred unintentionally bestows iconic status on the desecrated object. Iconoclasm examines the reciprocity between the building and the breaking of images, paying special attention to the constructive power of destructive acts. Although iconoclasm carries with it inherently religious connotations, this volume examines the shattering of images beyond the spiritual and the sacred. Presenting responses to renowned cultural anthropologist and theorist Michael Taussig, these essays centre on conceptual iconoclasm and explore the sacrality of objects and belief systems from historical, cultural, and disciplinary perspectives. From Milton and Nietzsche to Paul Newman and Banksy, through such diverse media and genres as photography, the popular romance novel, pornography, graffiti, cinema, advertising, and the dictionary, this book questions how icons and iconoclasms are represented, the language used to describe them, and the manner in which objects signify once they are shattered. An interdisciplinary, disconnected, and non-linear consideration of the historical and contemporary relationship between the sacred and the profane, Iconoclasm disrupts entrenched views about the revered or reviled idols present in most aspects of daily life. Contributors include T. Nikki Cesare Schotzko (Toronto), Christopher van Ginhoven Rey (Pomona College), Helen Hester (West London), Emily Hoffman (Arkansas Tech), Natalie B. Pendergast (Yukon College), Beth Saunders (Maryland), Adam Swann (Glasgow), Michael Taussig (Columbia), Angela Toscano (Iowa), Brendon Wocke (Perpignan).

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