In How to see the world, Nicholas Mirzoeff (2015:[sp]) elucidates that
When visual culture became a keyword and focus of study in and around
1990, … it centred on the question of visual and media representation,
especially in mass and popular culture. The shorthand for understanding
the issues concerning visual culture at that time was to say it was about
the Barbie doll, the Star Trek series and everything concerning Madonna.
By which we should understand that people were centrally concerned
with how identity, especially gender and sexual identity, was represented
in popular culture, and the ways in which artists and filmmakers
responded to those representations. I do not mean to say that these
issues no longer matter but that the ways in which we engage with
them have changed.