Einleitung. "Indem es sich weigert, eine feste Form anzunehmen" - Kunst, Sichtbarkeit, Queer Theory

  • Kerstin Brandes
  • Sigrid Adorf



“By refusing to crystallise in any specific form”—Art, Visibility, Queer Theory: An Introduction

This issue, entitled “By refusing to crystallise in any specific form”—Art, Visibility, Queer Theory, gathers contributions devoted to the question what queer theory on the one hand and (feminist) art history, visual culture, and media studies on the other have to offer one another. Although the question of visibility is central to both the politics of representation and the discourse of queer theory, which opposes normative definitions of the body and subjectivity, it is seldom tangibly related to the visual field. We hypothesise in this issue that the tools established by critical art history for analysing images within (their) specific contextualisations and areas of tension, such as the manifold interactions between historical images, viewers, and institutional frameworks, can crucially help extend queer theory’s productive engagement with visual culture. Thus, at stake is not only a critical discourse on images, but also the political scope of action that images can provide themselves with, that is, whether and how images can be regarded as agents in the sense of agency and how they might become (artistically) usable.