Download e-book for kindle: Figures of History by Jacques Rancière

By Jacques Rancière

During this very important new publication the prime thinker Jacques Rancière keeps his reflections at the consultant strength of artworks. How does paintings render occasions that experience spanned an period? What roles does it assign to people who enacted them or those that have been the sufferers of such occasions? Rancière considers those questions on the subject of the works of Claude Lanzmann, Goya, Manet, Kandinsky and Barnett Newman, between others, and demonstrates that those concerns are usually not in simple terms restrained to the spectator yet have better ramifications for the heritage of paintings itself.

For Rancière, each photograph, in what it indicates and what it hides, says anything approximately what it truly is permissible to teach and what needs to be hidden in any given position and time. certainly the picture, in its act of revealing and hiding, can reopen debates that the legitimate old list had supposedly decided as soon as and for all. He argues that representing the previous can imprison heritage, however it may also unencumber its actual which means.

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You must not have time to breathe. You must prepare yourself to forget everything – and fast. You must get ready to be nothing and to want nothing’ (Fortini). Fighting the nihilistic anaesthesia borne by the double play of the speaking image and the bestowed voice forces us, therefore, to suspend the double power of the image that speaks both through its sense and through its insignificance. It forces us to turn away from the evidence of these bodies that make their sufferings and their words shine at the same time, to separate the words from what they make us see, the images from what they say.

From the terrace where Fortini is rereading his text, wresting it once more from the silence of the written pages, the camera slips far away to explore the places where the massacres occurred. In those mute hills crushed by the sun and deserted villages, only the words of commemorative plaques remember, and say, without showing it, the blood that once stained these oblivious lands. Against tell-all Romantic poetics and the see-all information-world machine, we must pit the loneliness of the voice, its resonance alone confronting the mutism of the earth that says and shows nothing.

In Bucharest, in that month of December 1989, Harun Farocki and Andrej Ujica 29 the unforgettable tell us, something unheard-of happened: cinema not only recorded the historic event but created that event. We might add that if cinema does actually create the event, this may well be because of its specific power to make historic any apparition behind any window whatsoever. 30 3 The threshold of the visible But doesn’t this mean accepting a little too conveniently the illusions of cinéma-vérité and history as offered in the images produced by the winners?

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