This book discusses early modern
English drama as a part of visualculture. But what is visualculture,
and why use this phrase in place of the ‘fine arts’ or the
‘visual arts’? In part, this choice is motivated by
my concern with exploring the plays in their historical contexts.
Shakespeare and his contemporaries would not have recognised the phrase
‘fine arts’. Nor would
Soaking up the rays forges a new path for exploring Britain’s fickle love of the light by investigating the beginnings of light therapy in the country from c.1890-1940. Despite rapidly becoming a leading treatment for tuberculosis, rickets and other infections and skin diseases, light therapy was a contentious medical practice. Bodily exposure to light, whether for therapeutic or aesthetic ends, persists as a contested subject to this day: recommended to counter psoriasis and other skin conditions as well as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and depression; closely linked to notions of beauty, happiness and well-being, fuelling tourism to sunny locales abroad and the tanning industry at home; and yet with repeated health warnings that it is a dangerous carcinogen. By analysing archival photographs, illustrated medical texts, advertisements, lamps, and goggles and their visual representation of how light acted upon the body, Woloshyn assesses their complicated contribution to the founding of light therapy. Soaking up the rays will appeal to those intrigued by medicine’s visual culture, especially academics and students of the histories of art and visual culture, material cultures, medicine, science and technology, and popular culture.
This book discusses early modern English drama as a part of visual culture. It concerns the ideas about 'making and unmaking' that Shakespeare and his contemporaries may have known and formulated, and how these ideas relate to the author's own critical assumptions about early modern aesthetic experience. The study of drama as a part of visual culture offers the perfect context for an exploration of pre-modern aesthetic discourse. The book expounds the author's approach to plays as participants in a lively post-Reformation visual culture in the process of 're-formation'. It then focuses on the social meanings of patronage of the visual arts in a discussion of Paulina as patron of Hermione's image in The Winter's Tale. The discussion of The Winter's Tale pivots around the play's troubling investment in patriarchal notions of 'perfection'. The book also explores image-breaking in Robert Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. This play presents an instance of onstage iconoclasm in the supernatural destruction of a demonic brazen head, a quasi-magical figure that had been depicted in English literature since at least the twelfth century. In focusing on the portrayal of invisibility in The Two Merry Milkmaids, the book explores early modern preoccupation with processes of visual construction in a play in which there is very little artisanal activity.
represent bodies consuming therapeutic light – soaking up its rays –
and the natural surroundings and technological paraphernalia enabling such
exposures. Together they offer a salient point of entry into the history and
visualculture of light therapy in Britain during the early twentieth
century, the subject of this book. This supplement, which collapsed medical
and popular conceptions of light therapy, evinces the central role light
prototypes that were never realised – as well as video-interviews with designers.
The museum’s director, the designer Alexandra Sankova, aimed to demonstrate to a young generation that post-war Soviet visualculture was not
only propaganda and to present a complex approach to design, of the kind
professed at VNIITE. As she explained, ‘according to the contemporary
idea of design, an object should possess at least two qualities: functionalism and consumer appeal. Is this idea compatible to the notion of “the
Soviet?” Our exhibition aimed to answer this question.’9 The
the nurses. The patients, by comparison, appear
ghostly and unfinished, barely noticeable next to their attendants’ crisp
white uniforms and goggled faces.
Langdon’s choice of medium may be a rarity – it is the only
British painting of light therapy I have seen – but her choice of subject is
certainly not. The nurse is a ubiquitous figure in the visualculture of
light therapy, ever present in archival photographs as an
that phenomena doubly served the sciences. 36 This is exemplified by the
contemporaneous growth of spectroscopy as a field.
Spectroscopy emerged, according to Klaus Hentschel, as a
visualculture that came to dominate the sciences from the late nineteenth
century onwards, in part because of the use of photography to aid it
visualising and measuring the electromagnetic spectrum. 37 Spectroscopes, alongside various
A new production culture and non-commodities
After the two turns in Soviet material and visualculture – the Khrushchevera aesthetic turn and the mid-1960s anti-functionalist turn – Soviet material culture became a site of great plurality and diversity, otherwise rarely
associated with the Brezhnev era. Whereas VNIITE theorists explored
the possibilities of flexible and user-sensitive systemic designing, as the
preceding chapter has discussed, the critics and practitioners of decorative art chose self-reflection as their foremost professional strategy.
, though obviously not
unique to it. 10 We
encounter this intervention so frequently – in illustrated newspapers,
advertisements, popular treatises, medical handbooks, and institutional
archives – that it epitomises light therapy’s visualculture. 11 This intervention is
exemplified by an image in a promotional booklet
for the Peebles Hydropathic Hotel (Hawick), which offered light therapy to
processes in a single
reaction, or as one and the same thing – consequently emerges as
extraordinarily complicated within the primary literature and imagery. 7 Black-and-white
photography, the major medium of light therapy’s visualculture, epitomises
the ambiguity when we consider how difficult it is to differentiate between
the hues of erythema (red) and pigmentation (brown) when presented in tones
of grey. Take the photograph