By Gary Shapiro
Shapiro explores the entire diversity of Foucault's writings on visible paintings, together with the idea of visible resistance, the idea that of the illusion or simulacrum, and his interrogation of the relation of portray, language, and tool in artists from Bosch to Warhol. Shapiro additionally indicates via an excavation of little-known writings that the visible is a big subject in Nietzsche's proposal. as well as explaining the importance of Nietzsche's research of Raphael, Dürer, and Claude Lorrain, he examines the philosopher's figuring out of the visible size of Greek theater and Wagnerian opera and gives a robust new interpreting of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
Archaeologies of Vision may be a landmark paintings for all students of visible tradition in addition to for these engaged with continental philosophy.
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Additional info for Archaeologies of Vision: Foucault and Nietzsche on Seeing and Saying
The Re gentesses fared even worse in the eyes of commentators. With the pos sible excepti on of the standing figure at the right, they were thought to exhibit a frightening coldness. One critic, writing in 1902, says: "These five old ladies, so grimly respectable, so austerely benevolent, so reproachfully prim and well-kept, must have been no small terror to their defaulting sisters who appeared before them-as probably Mrs. Hals had done-on a cha rge of poverty . "24 In 1963 two Dutch scholars, a psychologist and an art historian, published an essay titled "The Malignity of Hals's Governors" in which they sought to question such judgments of the painting.
Even without being aware of these things, the philosopher would notice the prominence of the written word in this picture. Writing is the only action that is being (or has been) performed here; the diagonal lin e suggested by Thomas' s pen, passing through the V formed by their two shoulders and through John's prominent nose, links the text of the sitter with that of the painter. That which is within the frame of the picture points to something, the date seemingly pasted onto the canvas with an irregular piece of paper, which makes us aware of the framing conventions themselves.
A few years after publishing The History of Madness, Foucault wrote The Order of Things, with its analysis of Las Meninas. It was a few years more before the second edition of The History of Madness was issued with the portrait of the regentesses. Why did Foucault in clude this painting by Hals ? Many art historians regard this picture and its companion piece, one of the (male) regents of the old men's home, to be the artist's finest works. They now hang together in the former almshouse, which has become the Frans Hals Museum.
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