Radical Ekphrasis; or, An Ethics of Seeing
In ‘Radical Ekphrasis; or, An Ethics of Seeing’ poet and translator Sophie Collins applies Susan Sontag’s description of photography to another mode of representation: ekphrastic poetry. Presented here as a form of intersemiotic translation—a hermeneutic practice that converts visual representations into verbal representations—ekphrasis is considered in terms of its neglected radical aesthetic and political possibilties. Specifically, through reference to the available theory and contemporary examples of ekphrastic poetry, Collins considers how the conventional ekphrastic dynamic, as informed by sexist formulations of Michel Foucault’s gaze, might be subverted through engagement with alternative strategies, source materials and contexts of reception. Collins concludes this study by reflecting on two of her own ekphrastic poems, ‘Healers’ and ‘Thank You For Your Honesty’.
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