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Hold it Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art Paperback – 25 May 2013


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Review

"Doyle shows how controversial works have been oversimplified by critics and journalists in that they miss the ways these artists deploy their body to politicize processes. She claims that it is paramount to look beyond the feelings people have about this type of performances to understand the concrete challenge it brings out." - Florence Martellini, "Leonardo"

""Hold It Against Me" is forceful and memorable. Jennifer Doyle thinks about difficult art in a way that refreshes its historical impact; she also revitalizes what criticism can do to extend the event that its objects have been to new ethical, political, and aesthetic domains."--Lauren Berlant, author of"Cruel Optimism"

"In "Hold It Against Me", Jennifer Doyle brilliantly interrogates a key aspect of contemporary visual culture: the issue of feeling itself. While art discourse has studiously avoided addressing how we feel, Doyle fearlessly attacks the question head on, exploring her own responses as she charts the resistance to emotion across art criticism and curation. Through this moving, lacerating critique, she provides an entirely new way of thinking about how art can, if we let it, potentially hurt, touch, and transform us."--Amelia Jones, author of"Self/Image: Technology, Representation, and the Contemporary Subject"

"Jennifer Doyle's "Hold It Against Me" offers us a powerful and challenging new voice. The difficulty she describes emerges in work that turns to face us. . . .Doyle has opened up a critical and much needed space for this work and these experiences. She demands that we consider the political and historical stakes in ourselves, to embrace what is intimate and fraught -- and that is no easy feat."--Laura Fried ""Los Angeles Review of Books" "

"In this rich, thought-provoking, and very readable work of scholarship, Doyle poses questions about works of art that cannot be easily described, that bring complicated personal and political subject matter to the fore, and that often evoke strong emotional reactions in the audiences that view them."--Alexis Clements ""Hyperallergic" "

"In "Hold It Against Me," Jennifer Doyle brilliantly interrogates a key aspect of contemporary visual culture: the issue of feeling itself. While art discourse has studiously avoided addressing how we feel, Doyle fearlessly attacks the question head on, exploring her own responses as she charts the resistance to emotion across art criticism and curation. Through this moving, lacerating critique, she provides an entirely new way of thinking about how art can, if we let it, potentially hurt, touch, and transform us."--Amelia Jones, author of"Self/Image: Technology, Representation, and the Contemporary Subject"

"This treatise argues that emotion makes artworks harder, more interesting, more difficult, and yet ultimately more rewarding for their complexity. Though aimed at scholars of performance and visual culture, this densely complex book will reward tenacious readers interested in understanding some of the most moving (and difficult) contemporary art of our time."--Toro Castano ""Library Journal" ""

"Doyle's book is both an endorsement for and an example of what might happen once we venture away from the assurance of that cool scholarly detachment and into the less transparent but perhaps more revealing terrain of affective response. What Doyle discovers in that realm of feelings is not only personal sentiment, but also a complex site where ideology, aesthetics, social convention, and political possibility intersect." --Catherine Zuromskis ""Postmodern Culture" "

"Doyle captures unnerving moments of unease, anxiety, even extreme pain. These images and Doyle's compelling discussion of their difficulty stay with the reader long after closing the book's covers. Perhaps that is what is so successful about Doyle's study. While the actual works explored are many of them fleeting performances, or done by artists who have by now succumbed to the AIDS virus, or are representations of the dead, they persist. They fight. They move us."--Sarah E. Cornish ""Rocky Mountain Review" "

About the Author

Jennifer Doyle is Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. She is the author of Sex Objects: Art and the Dialectics of Desire and co-editor of Pop Out: Queer Warhol, also published by Duke University Press.

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