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The history of the reception of Heidegger’s essay “The Origin of the Work of Art” (over 530 books, articles, and dissertations, including its first and definitive full-length commentary by von Herrmann (Heideggers Philosophie der Kunst: Eine systematische Interpretation der Holzwege-Abhandlung “Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes” (1980)) and extending all the way into the present decade with a collective commentary by Espinet and Keiling (Heideggers Ursprung des Kunstwerkes: Ein kooperativer Kommentar (2011)), has consistently recognized the stakes of the essay as vastly exceeding the domain of aesthetics. In recent years, authors such as William Desmond and Krzysztof Ziarek have sought to inscribe its problematic within the broader critique of the modern Subject and calculative rationality in conversation with the perspectives of Adorno and Benjamin. However, surprisingly few scholars have attempted to interpret the essay from the point of view of Heidegger’s sustained engagement with his main opponent in questions of subjectivity and rationality, Emmanuel Kant, and even fewer – from that of space and time as conditions of the possibility of experience and their transformation in Heidegger’s thinking throughout the 1930s.,However, hints suggesting the centrality and validity of such an approach could already be found in contributions by Emmanuel Martineau, Dominique Janicaud, and Sven-Olov Wallenstein : indeed, the striking resemblance between Martineau’s criteria of space, time, and object (in his comparison of the different versions of the essay) with the conditions of the possibility of experience in Kant’s “Transcendental Aesthetics” could not be reasonably overlooked. It is this resemblance which had initially prompted our inquiry into the relationship between “The Origin of the Work of Art” and Heidegger’s critique of Kant’s analysis of experience as objectivity conditioned by space and time throughout the 1930s. In order to gain an accurate sense of how “The Origin of the Work of Art” might constitute a key aspect – if not the linchpin – of this critique, we have deemed it indispensable to reconstruct the progression of this critique from Heidegger’s four studies of Kant (1927/28, 1929, 1931, 1935) to Sein und Zeit, and to Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis). Having thus traced the major stages of Heidegger’s reflection upon space, time, and object throughout the decade of 1927-1938 in the first three chapters of the dissertation, we were finally in a position to both pose and attempt to answer the question of how “The Origin of the Work of Art” might re-define these notions so as to offer a model of the experience of appropriation which would outstrip not only that of calculative rationality and the Kantian Subject, but also that of Dasein of the epoch of Sein und Zeit.,Chapter 1, “Experience as Objectification (Vergegenständlichung) : Space, Time, and the Subject in Heidegger’s Turn (and Returns) to Kant,” will trace the rise of the problematic of space and time in relation to the question of the experience of being through Heidegger’s sustained studies of Kant beginning with the 1927/28 course Phänomenologische Interpretation von Kants Kritik der reinen Vernunft (GA 25) and ending with the 1935/36 course Die Frage nach dem Ding. Zu Kants Lehre von den transzendentalen Grundsätzen (GA 41). This genealogy will serve to demonstrate the legitimacy and necessity of evaluating the proper spatiality and temporality of the work of art in the three elaborations of the Kunstwerkaufsatz in terms of their contribution to Heidegger’s development of an alternative to Kant’s interpretation of space and time as conditions of objectivity.,Chapter 2, “Existence as Signification (Besinnung) : Dasein as the Measure of Space and Time in Sein und Zeit,” will approach Sein und Zeit as Heidegger’s initial constructive response to Kant’s subjectivization of space and time as pure forms of the intuition. Focusing on §22-24 and §69-72, it will acknowledge the departure of Heidegger’s fundamental analytic of Dasein from the transcendental aesthetic of Kant, while insisting upon the fact that in Sein und Zeit both space and time remain essentially Dasein-commensurate (daseinsmäßig). Having thus outlined space and time as possibilities of Dasein, it will draw upon §24 and §83 in order to anticipate Heidegger’s trajectory beyond Being and Time towards space and time as possibilities of beyng.,Chapter 3, “Being as Ap-propriation (Ereignis) : Time-Space (Zeit-Raum) as the Rift (Riß) of the Abyss (Abgrund) of Beyng (Seyn) in Beiträge zur Philosophie (vom Ereignis),” will provisionally leap over ten years in the development of Heidegger’s reflection upon space and time in order to identify its explicit resurgence in Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis), §238-242. It will bring spatializing and temporalizing into relief as ways of the grounding of the abyss, their primordial unity and difference. In uncovering their most profound origin in the event of the appropriation of being (Seyn), it will mark the latest development in Heidegger’s reflection upon space and time at the close of the decade inaugurated by his confrontation with Kant and thus finally arrive at the vantage point from which it might consider the contribution of the proper spatiality and temporality of the work of art to this trajectory.,Chapter 4, “Poetry as Fusion (Fuge) : Spatiality and Temporality as Schemata of Relationality in the Kunstwerkaufsatz,” will advance an interpretation of the work of art as an intermediate vantage point on being, situated between that of Dasein in Sein und Zeit and that of Abgrund in the Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis). It will argue that the work of art can and must be considered in terms of its proper spatiality and proper temporality, not only in acknowledgement of Heidegger’s privileging of space and time in the analysis its “prototype,” Dasein, in Sein und Zeit, but also in anticipation of his recourse to time-space in the conjecture of its “telos ” – the grounding of the abyss in Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis). In exegeting the proper spatiality and proper temporality of the work of art in the three elaborations of the Kunstwerkaufsatz, it will propose that such an interpretive strategy is uniquely suited to revealing the work of art to be something like a measure of conversion between the space and time of Dasein and the time-space of the abyss. ,[ This chapter will indicate and elucidate any significant changes in the constitutive elements of the proper spatiality and proper temporality of the work of art from one elaboration to the next as they arise. Where appropriate, it will additionally seek to amplify its interpretation of such elements using detail from more extensive treatments in Heidegger’s published writings from the corresponding 1927-1937 period. ],The first section of this chapter, “The Proper Spatiality (eigentliche Räumlichkeit) of the Work of Art,” will identify and analyze conceptual elements that may be responsibly intepreted as forming a broad range of the spatiality of the work of art and of its experience in the three elaborations of the Kunstwerkaufsatz. This range will be provisionally framed, on the one hand, by the literal original setting of the work of art and its “experience” in such a location, and, on the other, by an “archi-spatiality” of being and being there as orientation towards it. The investigation will set out with a humble focus on the commonplace spatiality of the work of art and of its experience, and progressively expand its scope to their proper spatiality. Having distinguished these layers insofar as it is possible and useful, it will trace the transformation of commonplace spatiality into proper spatiality – or, in the final elaboration, into the proper essential space (eigentlicher Wesensraum) of the work of art – back to its primordial source, the “im-proper” spatiality of the nothing (Nichts) or of the abyss.,The second section of this chapter, “The Proper Temporality (eigentliche Zeitlichkeit) of the Work of Art,” will take its point of departure from the following hint found in the first elaboration of the Kunstwerkaufsatz: “…there are no works conforming to their time that might be considered works of art; rather, only those works are works of art, which are at work in such a way that they transform and make their time conformable to themselves.” It will adopt this glimpse of the relationship between the genuine work of art and “time” as a startling perspective from which the work of art might be perceived as an operation of change from commonplace temporality to proper temporality. Insofar as such an operation would itself need to be understood as an aspect of the greater operation of appropriation (Ereignis), this section will attempt to interpret the transformation of “time” by and within the work of art as a means of synchronization between Dasein and the abyss, as a measure of conversion between the space and time of Dasein and the time-space of the abyss. It will begin with a consideration of the commonplace temporality of the work of art understood as historical provenance, expression of an epoch, and consequence of an efficiently causal sequence of production, the “experience” of which must of necessity be posterior, belated – a sanitized and esteemed form of taxidermy. Having diagnosed these distortions of temporality, this section will proceed to examine two ways of interpreting the proper temporality of the work of art and of its experience: (1) as a chronology traceable in light of the free gift of the possibility of attunement extended to being there through the work of art as institution of being, (2) as a synchrony entailed by the event of appropriation in its actuality, experienced as a suspension of “time” by motion in tandem.


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