By Gerhard Richter
Gerhard Richter's groundbreaking research argues that the idea that of "afterness" is a key determine within the inspiration and aesthetics of modernity. It pursues questions comparable to: What does it suggest for whatever to "follow" whatever else? Does that which follows mark a transparent holiday with what got here ahead of it, or does it in truth tacitly perpetuate its predecessor due to its inevitable indebtedness to the phrases and prerequisites of that from which it claims to have departed? certainly, isn't the very act of breaking with, after which following upon, a manner of retroactively developing and fortifying that from which the holiday that set the move of following into movement had occurred?
The publication explores the concept that and flow of afterness as a privileged but uncanny class via shut readings of writers corresponding to Kant, Kafka, Heidegger, Bloch, Benjamin, Brecht, Adorno, Arendt, Lyotard, and Derrida. It exhibits how the vexed strategies of afterness, following, and coming after shed new mild on a constellation of recent preoccupations, together with own and cultural reminiscence, translation, images, wish, and the historic and conceptual specificity of what has been termed "after Auschwitz." The study's a number of analyses—across a heterogeneous choice of glossy writers and thinkers, assorted ancient moments of articulation, and more than a few media—conspire to light up Lyotard's apodictic assertion that "after philosophy comes philosophy. however it has been altered through the 'after.'" As Richter's complicated examine demonstrates, a lot hinges on our interpretation of the "after." in the end, our so much primary assumptions bearing on sleek aesthetic illustration, conceptual discourse, neighborhood, subjectivity, and politics are at stake.
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Gerhard Richter's groundbreaking examine argues that the concept that of "afterness" is a key determine within the notion and aesthetics of modernity. It pursues questions corresponding to: What does it suggest for anything to "follow" anything else? Does that which follows mark a transparent holiday with what got here prior to it, or does it actually tacitly perpetuate its predecessor on account of its inevitable indebtedness to the phrases and stipulations of that from which it claims to have departed?
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Additional info for Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics
This abiding interest not in what one is but in “how one becomes what one is” is made explicit as the subtitle of Nietzsche’s autobiography Ecce Homo. For Nietzsche, “everything has become [alles aber ist geworden],” as he memorably states in Human, All Too Human, even afterness itself: “Everything has become; there are no eternal facts, just as there are no absolute truths. ”14 From the perspective in which things, persons, and ideas have neither a “natural” essence nor a stable meaning, but have temporally become, even human consciousness and the lure of Geist ’s absolute knowledge are discovered to have had a variegated and contingent history, one that is anything but self-evident and, as such, could have been entirely different.
As Hegel argues in The Phenomenology of Spirit, it “is not difﬁcult to see that ours is a birth-time and a period of transition to a new era. ”8 This new world, this birth time of a new era, is the image of modernity itself, which now must consider itself rigorously in terms of the fundamental afterness it has entered. In response to this gradual yet irreversible birth of modernity, in which, as Hegel puts it, “the Spirit in its formation matures slowly and quietly into its new shape, dissolving bit by bit the structure of the previous world,”9 Fichte developed a system of transcendental philosophy he termed Wissenschaftslehre, in which a renewed emphasis on the distinction between the “I” and the “Non-I” was to address the challenges of reason as the self-critique of reason.
The chapter places the theories of photography found in Kafka’s writings and those that emerge in Derrida’s work into a constellation. By situating Kafka’s and Derrida’s reﬂections on photography in the context of the work of German photographer Stefan Moses, the chapter problematizes the afterness of a photograph and its relation to an allegedly referential original subject, particularly with regard to Moses’s series “Selbst im Spiegel” (Self in the Mirror), a subtly self-conscious and richly textured collection of photographic self-portraits of well-known German writers, philosophers, scientists, and artists.
Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics by Gerhard Richter