Monday, February 2, 2015

First Thesis on Art

The foundational or primary gesture of all art is mimesis. Almost equally primal, a secondary gesture, is defamiliarization. The practice of art is an ongoing play, or struggle, between these two. It is in large measure an heuristic struggle.

Defamiliarization gains more prominence in modern art. It becomes crucial as gesture in societies where ideology is more pervasive in its seizure and co-option of the world. To defamiliarize is of course to break this false familiarity.

Heidegger’s thinking on art reveals the real significance, for human beings (Dasein), of defamiliarization.


Edward Hopper: Nighthawks, 1942

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