While many acknowledge that Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault have redefined our notions of time and history, few recognize the crucial role that "the infinite relation" between seeing and saying (as Foucault put it) plays in their work. Gary Shapiro reveals, for the first time, the full extent of Nietzsche and Foucault's concern with the visual. Shapiro explores the whole range of Foucault's writings on visual art, including the theory of visual resistance, the concept of the phantasm or simulacrum, and his interrogation of the relation of painting, language and power in artists from Bosch to Warhol. Shapiro also shows through an excavation of little-known writings that the visual is a major them in Nietzsche's thought. In addition to explaining the significance of Nietzsche's analysis of Raphael, Durer and Claude Lorrain, he examines the philosopher's understanding of the visual dimension of Greek theatre and Wagnerian opera and offers a powerful new reading of "Thus Spoke Zarathustra". "Archaeologies of Vision" should be a valuable work for all scholars of visual culture as well as for those engaged with continental philosophy.
Gary Shapiro is a professor of philosophy and Tucker-Boatwright Professor in the Humanities at the University of Richmond. He is the author of three previous books, including Alcyone: Nietzsche on Gifts, Noise and Women and Earthwards: Robert Smithson and Art after Babel.