about

Iconophilia is edited by Nigel Lendon. I’m an artist, art historian and curator with an interest in the fields of minimalist and conceptual art. I have a particular interest in the relation between tradition and innovation in the nexus between cross-cultural art, outsider art, and the avant-garde. I’m currently working on the war art of Afghanistan.

Mostly this blog reflects on contemporary visual culture, and the boundaries of art. I respond to things I find compelling, or images worth thinking about, or opinions worthy of a response. Occasionally I stray into reflections on our surroundings, and the natural world, and sometimes I assign the status of iconicity to unlikely objects and images.

If you’ve read this far, you might also be interested in the sidebar category READING, LOOKING where you will find a whole bunch of posts and links I think you might be interested in, but which don’t appear on the front page. It’s an open project, and I welcome readers’ submissions and links to images and stories you think may fit iconophilia’s evolving sensibility.

The plan is for iconophilia to be a Friday blog, ready for your weekend reading, unless I find breaking news that’s too hot to wait for the next Friday! Or if corrections are required…

And this little Share/Save box sits at the bottom of each post and is an easy way to forward a post to a friend’s email, or to any of the social networking sites. If you enjoy a post, share it, spread the word…

Further thoughts on the title:

“Iconophilia is respect not for the image itself but for the movement, the passage, the transition from one form of image to another. By contrast, idolatry would be defined by attention to the visual per se. Thus iconoclasm may be defined either as what attacks idolatry or as what destroys iconophilia, two very different goals. Because it seems so difficult to resist the temptation inherent in all images, that is to freeze-frame them, the iconoclast dreams of an unmediated access to truth, of a complete absence of images. But if we follow the path of iconophilia, we should, on the contrary, pay even more respect for the series of transformations for which each image is only a provisional frame. In other words, we should be iconophilic in all domains at once, in art, in science, and in religion.”

Bruno Latour, (here) “How to be Iconophilic in Art, Science, and Religion”, in Picturing Science, Producing Art, Peter Galison and Caroline A. Jones (eds.) 1998: 418-440.