Artistic Fabulation: Novel Forms of Heroes in the Visual Arts


  • Tünde Varga The Hungarian University of Fine Art


It is significant how the concept of Carlyle’s “heroic clear visuality” was challenged by late 19th-century Black Americans. Nicholas Mirzoeff points out two cases: Sojourner Truth’s tactic, “inverse visuality”, and W.E.B. Du Bois’ “veiled visuality”. My paper examines divergent art works or projects exhibited in 2021-22 to track how a shift from “heroic clear visuality” is present in new visual narratives which demand new ways of “looking”. In my view, new works are radical in their claim for a special form of opacity (Glissant): on the one hand, they recommend a more emphatic counter-visual narrative by Indigenous groups (the former anti-heroes). On the other hand, they demand a mode of bodily seeing – or rather sensing – with the represented (of new non-human heroes). (Haraway). Keywords: counter visuality; opacity; seeing-with; biopolitics; Indigenous culture






I.Forms and Modes of Empathy:Heroes and Anti-Heroes in a Comparative Perspective