On Boredom and Contemporary Fashion Photography

Shinkle, E. 2023. Forthcoming. On Boredom and Contemporary Fashion Photography. in: Fashion and Feeling Palgrave Macmillan.

Chapter titleOn Boredom and Contemporary Fashion Photography
AuthorsShinkle, E.
Abstract

This essay uses my own disinterest in fashion photography as a springboard for thinking through the relationship between fashion, boredom, and politics. Boredom, as I show, has a structural – rather than a merely subjective or incidental – relationship with fashion photography. To speak of boredom as structural is to move the discussion beyond judgements around the merit of individual photographers or the content of specific images, and to open up a new space for discussing the complex phenomenology of boredom: its timeframe, its relationship to desire, and the constellation of other affects that come bundled with it. I argue that boredom cannot be understood apart from the affective and cognitive states of dissatisfaction and emptiness – states that are also characteristic of desire itself. Paradoxically, it is in the fashion photograph’s tendency to resist reflective engagement – to invite and incite boredom – that the promise of real political transformation lies. I reflect on this possibility, setting the passivity of boredom as something to be avoided against a more active will to embrace it.

Keywordsfashion
photography
boredom
affect
desire
Book titleFashion and Feeling
Year2023
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication dates
Published2023

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