A Picture Held Us Captive
Author Danielle Dutton's A Picture Held Us Captive asks what it means for a writer to work "with" someone or something else—to make art in dialogue with an energy not one's own. Dutton (born 1975) explores ekphrastic fiction, looking at a wide range of writers and artists including John Keene and Edgar Degas; Eley Williams and Bridget Riley; Ben Lerner and Anna Ostoya; Amina Cain and Bill Viola; Lydia Davis and Joseph Cornell; as well as her own textual responses to visual artists Richard Kraft and Laura Letinsky. A Picture Held Us Captive—which includes a series of images at once illustrative and refusing simple illustration—considers the ways in which ekphrasis operates as a diptych. A work of both commentary and self-reflection, Dutton considers a dialectic between art’s ability to make strange what has grown familiar and the writer’s desire to make recognizable the experience of one artwork in the space of another.