Sunday, July 06, 2008

Questioning, no answers


We inquire into the nature of art. Why do we inquire in this way? We inquire in this way in order to be able to ask more truly whether art is or is not an origin in our historical existence, whether and under what conditions it can and must be an origin.

Such reflection cannot force art and its coming-to-be. But this reflective knowledge is the preliminary and therefore indispensable preparation for the coming of art. Only such knowledge prepares its space for art, their way for the creators, their location for the preservers.

In such knowledge, which can only grow slowly, the question is decided whether art can be an origin and then must be a head start, or whether it is to remain a mere appendix and then can only be carried along as a routine cultural phenomenon.

Are we in our existence historically at the origin? Do we know, which means do we give heed to, the nature of the origin? Or, in our relation to art, do we still merely make apeal to a cultivated acquaintance with the past?

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The whole essay, "The Origin of the Work of Art "deliberately and tacitly moves on the path of the question of the nature of Being. Reflection on what
art may be is completely and decidedly determined only in regard to the nature of Being. Art is considered neither an area of cultural achievement nor an appearance of spirit; it belongs to the disclosure of the appropriation by way of which the "meaning of Being" (cf. Being and Time) can alone be defined. What art may be is one of the questions to which no answers are given in the essay. What gives the impression of such an answer are directions for questioning.

Martin Heidegger, "The Origins of the Work of Art"(tradução de Albert Hofstadter, Perennial Classics)

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