© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 IMAGES 4 Also available online – brill.nl/ima DOI: 10.1163/187180010X547639 ROGER I. SIMON University of Toronto IDOLATRY AND THE CIVIL COVENANT OF PHOTOGRAPHY: ON THE PRACTICE OF EXHIBITING IMAGES OF SUFFERING, DEGRADATION, AND DEATH pur pose has been to provide experiences that might inspire and mobilize cohesive societal com- mitments based on the dynamics of recognition, identification, affirmation, and judgment. However, within the conflict-ridden temper of disillusionment fostered by post-Enlightenment, post-Holocaust sen- sibilities, many museums have realized that civic life requires more than a notion of heritage defined on such terms. Beyond the knowledge and admiration of what is institutionally preserved and presented as valuable heritage, many working in the cultural sector have recognized the need for practices of social memory that conceive of cultural inheritance as a process requiring the commitment to critically engage a past that gives rise both to inspiration and despair. Over the last thirty years, many museums have moved beyond presenting exhibitions justified only in terms of aesthetic idealism, historical grandeur, or heroic accomplishments. Thus their more diverse programming now includes exhibitions that offer the challenge of engaging representations of the material realities of suffering, degradation, and death
Images – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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