The Power Institute Foundation for Art and Visual Culture

Putting a Face on Things (eBook)


By Michael Carter

As the Modernist dream of a world purged of archaic decor and ornamentation recedes we should remember that the diet of a raw, unmediated universe has always unsettled Homo Sapiens. Putting a Face on Things: Studies in Imaginary Materials looks at some of these mediations: How do we transform the stuff of the world and impart it with familiarity? How do pets come to be invested with pleasing form? How did provocative woman? And why is oil paint the ultimate 'plastic' material, capable of mimicking everything under the sun - and a few other things besides? Taking its inspiration from Gaston Bachelard's idea of a material imagination, this book looks beyond the labour that ensures physical survival to the elaboration of the world into forms that accommodate our collective desires.

About the Author

Michael Carter is an honorary associate of the Art History and Theory Department at the University of Sydney Australia. His previous book is Framing Art: Introducing Theory and the Visual Image.

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