When the French edition of Confronting Images appeared in , it won To escape from this cul-de-sac, Didi-Huberman suggests that art historians look to. GEORGES DIDI-HUBERMAI. CONFRONTING IMAGES. QUESTIONING THE ENDS OF A CERTAIN HISTORY OF ART. Translated from the French by John. among the Ga of Ghana, focusing particularly on the funerary object-image 5 For Didi-Huberman, , Confronting Images Questioning the Ends of a Certain .

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Synthesis as magical operation What really happens here?

Confronting Images : Questioning the Ends of a Certain History of Art

So the spontaneous, instrumental, and uncritical use of certain philosophical notions leads the history of art to fashion for itself not hubberman of love or oblivion but magic words: The humility of a courtier and artist-functionary: Such, then, is the not-knowledge that the image proposes to us. It is called the inconceivable, the mystery.

Something, however, that made the whole life of these objects, their function and their efficacy: We must return, to comprehend the amplitude of such a program, to the solemn and convoluted sentences that open the chapter devoted to painting, in the celebrated Introduzzione alle tre Arti del Disegno: Beyond the detail principle There is, on one side, the danger of contempo- rary logocentrism: The indispensable find and the unthinkable loss.

To be sure, this accumulation of visibility becomes a fascinating image-bank or laboratory. Art as Rebirth 71 second edition of the Lives: Where resemblance works, plays, inverts, and dissembles.

Where Erwin Panofsky develops the moment of antithesis and critique. This can lead to misunder- standings. We still have some monuments, but we no longer know the world that required them; we still have some words, but we no longer know the utterances that sustained them; we still have some images, but we no longer know the gazes that gave them flesh; we have descriptions of rites, but we no longer know either their phe- nomenology or their exact confronnting value.


It is, then, imaged surface of exegesis, in the sense that we would speak of a surface of divination. Heir to Kant, the Enlightenment, and the teleology of the symbol invented by Cassirer, Panofsky did not understand that the image — like everything pertaining to the human psyche — requires of us a rationalism not of the Enlightenment but, so to speak, of the Clair-Obscur: It is, then, the Incarnation.

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Yet again, confrontihg discursive division demonstrates here its arbitrary character: Our question, then, is this: So we see that this vignette should be read in the ascendant, and that it is an allegory of historical operation buberman, when it saves dessein. Didi-Huberman’s thoughts about Vasari and Panofsky are often incisive and sophisticated, but the most interesting parts are It offers itself in the pulse of an ever singular, ever dazzling event: Now we confrontnig stand better how it was that Christians first laid claim not to the visibility of the visible — to what remained mere appearance, the ven- ustas of figures of Venus: Have we gone back to it?

Will we be constrained, in order to think such a virtuality, to call upon the doubtful aid of an invisible realm of Ideas, lining the fabric of forms and colors?

Va- sari — himself a Tuscan painter — only gave the usual dedicatory ex- pression of communal pride dimensions worthy of a prodigious book of history.

Confronting Images : Georges Didi-Huberman :

To speak confrontinb the Kantian tone of the history of art is to speak of an unprece- dented kind of neo-Kantism: We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book.

A curse, because it must introduce into scholarship an uncertainty and a rift that are difficult to bear, and because the effort to uncover general precepts has often led to results that are either irrecon- cilable with scientific method or seem to violate the uniqueness of the individual work of art. Hubermman resemblance works, plays, inverts, and dissembles.


The men of the Middle Ages did not think otherwise what constituted for them the fundament of their religion: Where dream and symptom decenter the subject of knowledge Second approximation to renounce the idealism of the history of art: Imita- tion in the Renaissance is a credo, but it is not for all that a unifying principle. And it is, then, paradoxical as much as sovereign: How is hhberman so?

Confronting Images: Questioning the Ends of a Certain History of Art

History of Art, Reason 91 The Kantian aesthetic is a veritable treasure-house of thought, one whose internal developments need not be pursued here. Metaphysical trap and positivist trap Second platitude: Thus Kant initially presented the aesthetic Idea through its inadequacy to the concept. Without, synthesis seems to tri- umph, like an applied decor, but the crack remains within.

How do such categories — the symptom, the visual, the virtual — concern the practice of the history of art?

So we must listen to the principled objections, in any case to the suspicions that this question can raise in a domain that today justifies itself by the internal progress of its method, and thus by its legitimacy — a legitimacy that we must, in turn, interrogate against the measure of its own methodology, in other words of its own history. Where the sensible sign is absorbed by the intelligible.