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Making: the invisible visible

Hellings, J. (2014) Making: the invisible visible. In: Klimpel, O. (ed.) The Visual Event: An Education in Appearances. Spector Books, Leipzig, Germany, pp. 30-39. ISBN 9783944669625

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Abstract/Summary

In this book essay I argue that modern and contemporary works of art (i.e. paintings, photographs, films, and videos) really ought to retrieve something of their auratic-character, which turns the physical toward the metaphysical, the material toward the immaterial, the visible toward the invisible - making artworks, ‘things among things, something other than [a] thing’ (Theodor W. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory, 86). There is, perhaps, an aura to art or art is a medium or a conduit or a technology for rediscovering and reproducing aura, which makes it something other than a mere thing. Such works of art are constitutively enigmatic, a certain form of magic making: they (re-)distribute the visible and the invisible, they (re-)configure appearance and disappearance. Such works of art may become visual events, which begin an education in and through (dis-)appearances. To achieve this end, I detail Theodor W. Adorno’s and Walter Benjamin’s respective theories of (art’s) aura in the age of technological reproducibility, which I relate to Jacques Rancière’s more recent discussion of the ‘pensive image,’ and I focus my reading on a number of works by Susan Hiller (photographs), John Constable (paintings), Alfred Stieglitz (photographs), and Tacita Dean (photograph and 16mm film).

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Art > Fine Art
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Art > Art History
ID Code:57346
Publisher:Spector Books

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