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Stilling the punch: boxing, violence and the photographic image

Nead, Lynda (2011) Stilling the punch: boxing, violence and the photographic image. Journal of Visual Culture 10 (3), pp. 305-323. ISSN 1470-4129.

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Boxing is arguably one of the most visually arresting of sports; its images as potent and corporeal as the sport itself. This paper focuses on one category of boxing picture, the photograph of a head punch – the image taken at the moment when the gloved fist of a boxer makes contact with the opponent’s face. Features distorted by the force of the blow, the head recoiled with its weight and power, the image is both fascinating and repulsive. To understand the aesthetics of this genre of boxing image is to comprehend some of the most fundamental questions concerning the pleasures and horrors of visual representation. To gaze at the stilled moment of this attack on the face is to reflect on the complex historical relationship between violence and the photographic image

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): aesthetics, the body, boxing, masculinity, pain, photography, sport, violence
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > History of Art
Depositing User: Lynda Nead
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2012 16:47
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2014 12:11

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