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Linda Zhengová — The Ambiguity of Visual Representations of Trauma

The Ambiguity of Visual Representations of Trauma — Linda Zhengová, 2020

The Ambiguity of Visual Representations of Trauma examines the role of ambiguity in visual representations of trauma, specifically, within the medium of photography. Linda Zhengová’s research is centred around pinpointing the inexactness in photography through a visual analysis where ambiguity appears to be an important visual component in relation to imagery dealing with trauma, enabling the viewer to experience the art empathically.

Publication The Ambiguity of Visual Representations of Trauma
Artist(s) Linda Zhengová
Publisher published by the artist

The thesis is concerned with the connections between photography and trauma, “between unutterable shock and the most elevated or supreme form of human communication and representation, between traumatic non-experience and aesthetic experience.”

The concept of non-experience is key to this research and can be defined as an encounter with an extreme form of heaviness that formulates a block in a person’s body and mind. According to philosopher Maurice Blanchot, it is an experience which “ruins everything, all the while leaving everything intact.” In the text, the concept is subsequently discussed in relation to trauma theories and trauma-related art.

The text is divided into four chapters where Linda Zhengová discusses visual representations of both collective and individual traumas. She specifically investigates how the (non-) experience of trauma can be turned into practices within the visual arts and how such practices are characterized by visual ambiguity.

The Ambiguity of Visual Representations of Trauma
by Linda Zhengová
Softcover, 110 x 180 mm, 83 pages, first edition: 10 copies
Self-published in The Hague, The Netherlands in July 2020
Text: Linda Zhengová
Design and production: Lukasz Gula

Point of sale for online PDF: https://shop.lindazhengova.com/product/ambiguity-online/

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