David Goldblatt is Professor of Philosophy at Denison University in Ohio.In his intriguing new book, David Goldblatt examines what he calls "the complex logic of ventriloquism" and its relationship with art, philosophy and the artistic process. In the conversational exchange between ventriloquist and dummy, Goldblatt recognizes a speaking in other voices, illusion without deception, talking to oneself, effacing oneself as speaker, being beside oneself - the ancient Greek notion of Ecstasisi - and the animation of inanimate objects as an unabashed anthropomorphism.
Like ventriloqual dummies, artworks take on personalities, characters of their own, often saying what the artist herself would or could not say in voices distinct from her (our) daily modes of expression. Goldblatt uses ventriloquism as an apt metaphor to help understand a variety of artworld phenomena - how the vocal vacillation between ventriloquist and dummy work is mimicked in the relationship of artist, artwork and audience, including the ways in which artworks are interpreted. Moreover, Goldblatt uses theconcept of ventriloquism to generate insights into many of our important philosophers' writings on the arts, discussing the work of Nietzsche, Foucault, Derrida, Cavell, Wittgenstein, among others. Featuring a critical commentary by Garry L. Hagberg and preface by series editor, Saul Ostrow.
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