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

Vasari indeed drew up lists, gave dates, researched details. What we read there, of course, is a story — a historia such as Alberti deemed the reason and final cause for all painted composi- tions 2. The history of art as second religion, devoted to the immortality confrknting ideal men Metaphysical ends and courtly ends. If the mother-goddess were to have a favorite attribute or emblem, it did be a stylus that knows how to draw. Everything is finally visible because art is over art being a thing of the past.

A work of art becomes famous? This hypothesis might seem surprising. It is a fresco in the monastery of San Marco in Florence.

Confronting Images: Questioning the Ends of a Certain History of Art By Georges Didi-Huberman

Some images in the original version of this book are not available for inclusion in the eBook. Jan Vermeer, View of Delft detailc.

The Interpreta- tion of Dreams is a special case: The indispensable find and the unthinkable loss. It is every bit as much — and even more exactly — something that in the present comes back to us as from a great dis- tance, touches us most intimately, and, like an insistent but unpredictable work of return, delivers up its sign or its symptom.


The history of art was born with such confronitng.

Yes, in a sense this would suffice: The fact that art can be conceptualized as dying implies that it probably has been conceptual- ized as nascent, which implies that it began and that it developed dialectically to its ultimate point, something that we might call its 44 Confronting Images auto-teleology.

Imita- tion in the Renaissance is a credo, but it is not for all that a unifying principle.

Now it is troubling for us to find in this structure of belief something like an exponential construction of the two aspects experienced almost tactilely before the utterly sim- ple chalky material of Fra Angelico: Marrying the past in imagination is necessary, but it is not sufficient.

There is, on one side, the danger of contempo- rary logocentrism: It is the curse and the blessing of Kunstwissenschaft that its objects necessarily lay claim to an understanding that is not exclusively historical. Where dream confrontinf symptom decenter the subject of knowledge. Likewise, it purged its descriptive conditions, its vidi of visibility, so as to allow the visual event of the white its full figuring force.

Description When the French edition of Confronting Images appeared init won immediate acclaim because of its far-reaching arguments about the structure of images and the histories ascribed to them by scholars and critics working in the tradition of Vasari and Panofsky. An incontrovertible judgment, a judgment calculated to make one want to do the same thing for all the pictures in the world. To open the image, to open logic The risks are great, of course.

We are at the point where the discourse about art seems to have succeeded in naming the vital principle of its object, by using the philosophical con- cepts of the intellect and of the form or Idea — magically made instru- mental by the term disegno. This crack is, fundamentally, what separates knowledge from truth. Vasari provides a still more precise figuration of all this in the woodcut that doubles as frontispiece and final page in the Giun- tina edition Fig. We are heir to all that.


On questioning the denial of the symptom. Anachronism is not, in history, something that must be absolutely banished — in dkdi end, this is no more than a fantasy or an ideal of equivalence — but rather something that must be negotiated, debated, and perhaps even turned to advantage. No longer the crystalline permanence but the chronology of a story. Simple reason, or how discourse invents its object It was a structural point of transformation, the durable implemen- tation of a type of discourse whose basic premises confrinting be questioned by no one until the eighteenth century, in Spain, Ger- many, or even Holland.

Confronting Images : Georges Didi-Huberman :

There is, however, an alternative to this incomplete semiology. Work is not function. We still have hubsrman 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 efficacy value.