Confronting Images: Questioning the Ends of a Certain History of Art. Georges Didi-Huberman. Pennsylvania State University Press (). 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-Huberman is on the faculty of the &École des hautes &études en. Confronting Images by Georges Didi-Huberman, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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Such, then, is the not-knowledge that the image proposes to us. As so often in postwar French critical writing, metaphors tend toward the extravagant.

Today it seems like the ghostly but still animate vestige of a real drama that would carry all the actors in this imaginary drama toward the camps.

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

This state of affairs disarms us. Moreover, the man is bigger than the house; and if the whole picture is intended to represent a landscape, letters of the alphabet are out of place in it since such objects do not occur in nature. Duration is constructed constantly, all the time, within a certain relation between history and memory, present and desire. Each helping the other to mend its faults. And yet the realities documented by these two photographs, in Kosovo and in Algeria, belong to traged ies occurring in the Muslim world.

And us, before the image? The indispensable find and the unthinkable loss. Didi-Huberman, L’Image survivant e, op. Heir to Kant, didi-hubermaan 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: To open the image, to open logic.


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This postulate in fact pertains xonfronting a movement of identification, of self-recognition and triumphant desire. The first three magic words: Jan Vermeer, The Lacemaker, c. The grandeur and misery of the historian: It is through the processes of 33 Freud,p. Virtus—a word that Angelico must himself have declined in all its shadings, a word whose theoretical and theological history is prodigious, particularly within the walls of Dominican monasteries since Albertus Magnus and Saint Thomas Aquinas—designates precisely the sovereign power of that which does not appear visibly.

Without a doubt, Convert’s work and Merillon’s image belong to different cultural loci; and yet they still exist in accordance with a shared divi-huberman, and it is this epoch that we would need, first of all, to consider, via the two apparently very distinct regions formed by artworks and war photographs. Its mere presentation makes of it the impossible material of a light offered with its obstacle: The English language version is a reworking of an earlier article from How to capture this powerful combination of fragility, fluidity, radical indebtedness, and indestructability in a memorial?

To answer this question, we must listen attentively to the tone adopted by the history of art — the one that still shapes us — toward its object. It sufficed that this particular white be there.

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

Third approxima- tion to renounce the iconographism of the history of art and the tyranny of imitation: Image the contrary, it was designed to advance toward the eye, to disturb it, touch it. So goes the scientistic illusion in the history of art. Like an animal of the wholly captivated sort that Heidegger imagined.


Such a desire names simultaneously the indispensable and the unthinkable of history. For the sight of pain provokes distress; however, the distress should be transformed, through beauty, into the tender feeling of pity. Rousseau condemned writing for being a representation of speech and thereby a destruction of presence.

White, in Fra Angelico, does not pertain to a representational code: In a way reminiscent of Heidegger, the half-forgotten literal meanings geores colloquial phrases are sometimes exploited. The Panofskian model of deduction faced with the Freudian paradigm of over-determination. The thirty-year interval between the death of Fra Angelico and Lan- dino’s pronouncements about his work suffice to introduce a screen of anachronism: Light is shed on interruption stoppage as much by the ” revolutionary interruption” theorised by Walter Benjamin as by the “caesura” recognised by Holderlin as the deep respiration of the poem The history of art, in which the assertive tone of a veritable rhetoric of certainty now prevails — by startling contrast with georgfs exact sciences, where knowledge is consti- tuted in the much more unassuming tone of experimental variation: Now I might be misled into raising objections and declaring that the picture as a whole and its component parts are nonsensical.

Where the crack is closed in the ideal and realism: