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The Idea of “Inner Form” and Its Transformation

Tanehisa Otabe ; University of Tokyo, Faculty of Letters, Institute of Aesthetics, Japan

Puni tekst: njemački pdf 355 Kb

str. 5-21

preuzimanja: 1.154



The idea of “inner form” originates from Plotin, the founder of the so-called Neo-Platonism, and had a decisive influence on aesthetic theory from Renaissance to the 18th century. Lessing‘s assumption of “Raphael without hands” in Emilia Galotti (1772) embodies the ideal of Neoplatonist artist, who creates with his purely mental conception, untainted by the material world. Admittedly, the image of a painter who doesn‘t paint reflects the specific problematic nature of Neoplatonist conception of art. The 19th and 20th centuries saw the Neoplatonist thesis that inner form (i.e. conceptualisation) precedes form on body (i.e. production) challenged in many ways. For example, Konrad Fiedler advances the thesis that inner conception is finalised only when it is realised in some concrete matter. Nevertheless, 20th century “industrial design”, which puts conceptualisation before production, may still be described as a descendant of Neoplatonism, albeit an undesired one. Furthermore, by neglecting creation with hands as well as the material and thereby representing industrial mass products as works of art, Duchamp‘s ready made ironically testifies to the survival of Neoplatonist conception of art in the 20th century.

Ključne riječi

Dematerialisation, form on body, fragment, habitus, industrial design, inner form, natural imitation, Rafael without hands, ready made, spirit and letter

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