Definition queries do work on Raster Catalogs. And, at minimum, the raster catalog should have a "Name" column holding the name of the file loaded by each raster catalog object.
Here is one way to accomplish what you are talking about though:
- Under Layer properties for the raster catalog layer in ArcMap, go to the Display tab and use one of the two "Display as wireframe..." options. Make sure setting fairly conservative so only a small number of images, if any, are displayed
- Switch to the selection tab. Check the checkmark for "and draw rasters".
- Optionally, you can change the selected features symbol under "with this symbol" to "No color" for fill color and "No color" for outline color. This will take away the cyan outline on selected tiles for the raster catalog layer only.
Now, most of your raster catalog should display as a wireframe. If you want an image to be displayed, just switch to the selection cursor and select the wireframe tile that you want to be visible. When you clear the selection, you image will revert back to wireframe.
An image mosaic dataset will give better control over image display than a raster catalog, especially through the Mosaic tab. (And it will have better display performance at small scales.)