The history of art is inextricably tied up with the history of the image. Critical debates about contemporary art involve different concepts of and questions about the image. Is it possible to liberate the image from the theological shadow of the icon? Can the ‘aesthetic image’ be brought back from aestheticism to what Jacques Rancière calls ‘the political stakes of a montage of the sensible’? Or must aesthetics be thought anew in the hyper-present of contemporary art?