Monday, January 08, 2007

The Painting is Invisible

So says Jean-Luc Marion. Actually he's not quite that audacious. What he says is, "The painting is invisible; it makes visible. It makes visible in a gesture that remains by definition invisible–the effect, the upsurge, the advance of givenness" (Being Given, p. 52). For Marion the painting is an example of a phenomenon that can be reduced to neither its objectness nor its beingness, but to its givenness. He says, "appearing always has the rank and function not of a representation submitted to the imperial initiative of the gaze of consciousness, but of an event whose happening stems not so much from a form or from real (therefore imitable) colors as from an upsurging, a coming-up, an arising–in short, an effect" (p. 49). Further:

In Cartesian terms, one would say that the visible of the painting has for its effect neither a perception (used in reference to physical things) nor an emotion (used in reference to my body), but a passion (used in reference to the soul). The effect makes the soul vibrate with vibrations that evidently represent neither an object nor a being and which cannot themselves be described or represented in the mode of objects or beings. And yet, only this "effect" in the end allows us to define the phenomenality of the painting and therefore, with it, the phenomenality of what shows itself in itself and starting from itself.

(pp. 50-51)

Two questions: (1) Where is pathos when it's not at home? and (2) Where is the cause in Marion's phenomenology?

Update. Marion later says that "givenness is never defined as a principle or ground precisely because it delivers the given from any demand for a cause by letting it deliver itself, give itself" (p. 73). This almost confirms my suspicion that Marion sees in givenness an effect with no cause. Can there be effects without causes? This is a question that arises from Marion's portrayal of givenness.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 1:01 PM.


Anonymous John said...

Hi, Im from Melbourne.
Perhaps these 5 related references will Illuminate this subject.


January 17, 2007 7:21 PM  

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