Georges Didi-Huberman – Constructing Duration

Lecture date: 2006-01-20

‘According to Didi-Huberman, visual representation has an underside in which seemingly intelligible forms lose their clarity and defy rational understanding. Art historians have failed to engage this underside, where images harbor limits and contradictions, because their discipline is based upon the assumption that visual representation is made up of legible signs and lends itself to rational scholarly cognition epitomized in the science of iconology. To escape from this cul de sac, Didi-Huberman suggests that art historians look to Freuds concept of the dreamwork, not for a code of interpretation, but rather to begin to think of representation as a mobile process that often involves substitution and contradiction.’ (Penn State University Press).

Georges Didi-Huberman teaches at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His publications include Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Saltpetri.


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