The Ground of the Image

The Ground of the Image

4.09 (56 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

If anything marks the image, it is a deep ambivalence. Denounced as superficial, illusory, and groundless, images are at the same time attributed with exorbitant power and assigned a privileged relation to truth. Mistrusted by philosophy, forbidden and embraced by religions, manipulated as "spectacle" and proliferated in the media, images never cease to present their multiple aspects, their paradoxes, their flat but receding spaces.

What is this power that lies in the depths and recesses of an image-which is always only an impenetrable surface? What secrets are concealed in the ground or in the figures of an image-which never does anything but show just exactly what it is and nothing else? How does the immanence of images open onto their unimaginable others, their imageless origin?

In this collection of writings on images and visual art, Jean-Luc Nancy explores such questions through an extraordinary range of references. From Renaissance painting and landscape to photography and video, from the image of Roman death masks to the language of silent film, from Cleopatra to Kant and Heidegger, Nancy pursues a reflection on visuality that goes far beyond the many disciplines with which it intersects. He offers insights into the religious, cultural, political, art historical, and philosophical aspects of the visual relation, treating such vexed problems as the connection between image and violence, the sacred status of images, and, in a profound and important essay, the forbidden representation of the Shoah. In the background of all these investigations lies a preoccupation with finitude, the unsettling forces envisaged by the images that confront us, the limits that bind us to them, the death that stares back at us from their frozen traits and distant intimacies.

In these vibrant and complex essays, a central figure in European philosophy continues to work through some of the most important questions of our time.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 18.8mm | 371.95g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0823225402
  • 9780823225408

Review quote

Offers more recent and more focused reflections on the nature of representation and art, especially painting. * -Book Forum * . . .A series of discrete analyses and reflections . . .the best pieces make noteworthy contributions to themes connected with images, imagination, representation, aesthetics, and with direct and indirect relevance to thinking about religion. * -Journal of American Academy of Religion * This collection of nine chapter-essays, translated from those published in French in 2003-4 describes Nancy's recent work on images and visual art. * -Art Book News Annual *
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About Jean-Luc Nancy

Jean-Luc Nancy (Author)

Jean-Luc Nancy is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Universite Marc Bloch, Strasbourg. His wide-ranging thought is developed in many books, including Expectation: Philosophy, Literature; The Possibility of a World; The Banality of Heidegger; The Disavowed Community; and, with Adele Van Reeth, Coming (all Fordham).

Jeff Fort (Translator)

Jeff Fort is Associate Professor of French at the University of California, Davis, and the translator of more than a dozen books, by Jean Genet, Jacques Derrida, Maurice Blanchot, Jean-Luc Nancy, and others.
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Rating details

56 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 39% (22)
4 38% (21)
3 16% (9)
2 7% (4)
1 0% (0)
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