Sunday, April 19, 2009

Empathy ... aesthetics ...

Anselm Kiefer, Sternenfall ('Falling Stars'), 1995

“I entrust my individual life to the lifeless form, just as I do with another living person. Only ostensibly do I remain the same although the object remains an other. I seem merely to adapt and attach myself to it as one hand clasps another, and yet I am mysteriously transplanted and magically transformed into this other.”
Robert Vischer (who invented the term 'empathy' - originally in German, Einfuhtung, in 1873)

“Aesthetics is born as a discourse of the body. The vital distinction the term signifies for its inventor, Alexander Baumgarten, is not between art and life but between the material and the immaterial: between things and thoughts, sensations and ideas, what is bound up with our creaturely life of perception as opposed to what belongs in the mind. It is as though philosophy suddenly wakes up to the fact that there is a dense, swarming territory beyond its own mental enclave, threatening to fall utterly outside its sway. That territory is nothing less than the whole of our sensate life – the business of affections and aversions, of how the world strikes the body on its sensory surfaces, or what takes root in the guts and the gaze and all that arises from our most banal, biological insertion into the world.”
Terry Eagleton, The Ideology of the Aesthetic, 1990

Anselm Kiefer, Die Sechste Posaune (The Sixth Trumpet*), 1996

*The sixth trumpet is sounded at the Apocalypse by an angel - it is a signal to bring on the calvary, to destroy one third of humanity.

1 comment:

Roger said...

Recently come across your blog - now bookmarked for the use of such beautiful, intriguing & beguiling images; thnak you