Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Photography Off the ScaleTechnologies and Theories of the Mass Image$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Tomás Dvorák and Jussi Parikka

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781474478816

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474478816.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

7 Photography's Mise en Abyme: Metapictures of Scale in Repurposed Slide Libraries

7 Photography's Mise en Abyme: Metapictures of Scale in Repurposed Slide Libraries

(p.113) 7 Photography's Mise en Abyme: Metapictures of Scale in Repurposed Slide Libraries
Photography Off the Scale

Pollen Annebella

Edinburgh University Press

Long abundant, photography’s ubiquity and multiplicity has undoubtedly intensified in recent years. Photographs proliferate in the digital domain at an unprecedented scale, offering the partial realisation of many longstanding desires from a global encyclopaedic mapping of the visual world to a museum without walls. Photographic multitudes, however, also embody multifarious fears: of visual noise and mindless repetition, of metaphorical promiscuity and overpopulation. To engage with the apparently unmanageable excess of images is, it seems, to gaze into the abyss. This chapter considers the photographic abyss through an examination of the visual and literary device of mise en abyme and through WJT Mitchell’s concept of the metapicture. Through an exploration of contemporary artists who explore photographic enormity as their subject matter, particularly in relation to works that utilise obsolete photographic materials – in the form of 35mm slides from deaccessioned art history slide libraries – this chapter examines how such works and such materials employ and embody metapictorial strategies. As the works constitute images of images of images, this chapter argues that they offer a productive metapictorial site for surveying desires and anxieties about image abundance and excess.

Keywords:   Mise en abyme, metapicture, photography, 35mm slides, contemporary art, scale, abyss, excess, abundance

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.