Here are my thoughts (so far):
Jeff Wall "The Destroyed Room" (1978)
Is this too obvious?
Jeff Wall "View from an Apartment" (2005)
I also like this, for no very obvious reason except perhaps I'm currently using a postcard of it as a bookmark. There's also something about the density of everyday life that seems to echo what I'm trying to think about dissolving.
This (or other images), from Masataka Nakano's "Tokyo Nobody" (something nicely apocalyptic about his work, and the book is amazing.
On the "long list" there's Titian's "Flaying of Marsyas" (1570-76) (too pretentious?) and I really love Caravaggio, but then nothing seems suitable. I'm starting to wish I was clever / famous enough to have one of those annoying openings when an artwork allegorises the project as a whole (Cf Foucault's The Order of Things, and the descent into stylistic tic in new historicism); I'm not.