Unreal Nature

October 27, 2014

Someone’s Passage In Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:41 am

… they are now objects that preserve and manifest the traces of someone’s passage in time.

This is from Art as Existence: The Artist’s Monograph and Its Project (2006) by Gabriele Guercio:

… The idea of the artist’s oeuvre as a multidimensional whole began with Passavant’s Raphael monograph [published in 1839] and created a new paradigm in the history of the monograph.

… While emphasizing a sense of movement within Raphael’s oeuvre, Passavant also shifts significantly back and forth in time among the artist’s works. Just as he takes Raphael’s earlier production into account in appreciating the mutations demonstrated in the Deposition, his knowledge of Raphael’s future achievements allows him to grasp what the artist had not yet achieved. This dialectic between earlier and later works has a double effect: it allows him to assess the value of the Deposition in and of itself while exposing the picture’s place in the artist’s lifelong process of becoming.

As Passavant’s catalogue of Raphael’s pictures tackles issues of attribution and chronology, including and excluding works by virtue of their affinities and differences, it accounts for their diversity. In this way, Raphael becomes both his pictures’ empirical individual author and a principle of organization ultimately safeguarding the cataloguing process. Passavant considers Raphael’s pictures less as independent entities to be grouped through static, externally imposed criteria than as entities to be approached dialectically from within. Each of them exists in and can be comprehended in terms of a network of relations of closeness and distance, continuity and change, and it is this network that grounds Passavant’s vision of a whole.

… No longer relegated to a domain apart from that of life, the artworks acquire something that escapes understanding unless one goes behind the dichotomies of art and life, representation and reality. This happens not only because artworks weave together visual and temporal dimensions or express various states of being and becoming. Along with revealing these remarkable properties, they are now objects that preserve and manifest the traces of someone’s passage in time.

My most recent previous post from Guercio’s book is here.

-Julie

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