By Jacques Derrida
Athens, nonetheless continues to be is a longer remark on a sequence of pictures of up to date Athens through the French photographer Jean-Franois Bonhomme. yet in Derrida's arms statement regularly has a manner of unfolding or, larger, constructing in numerous unforeseen and together illuminating instructions.
First released in French and Greek in 1996, Athens, nonetheless continues to be is Derrida's so much sustained research of the photographic medium in dating to the heritage of philosophy and his such a lot own mirrored image on that medium. right away photographic research, philosophical essay, and autobiographical narrative, Athens, nonetheless is still provides an unique idea of images and throws a desirable gentle on Derrida's existence and work.
The ebook starts off with a type of verbal photograph or aphorism that haunts the whole ebook: we owe ourselves to death.Reading this word via Bonhomme's pictures of either the ruins of historic Athens and modern scenes of a still-living Athens that also is on its approach to break and demise, Derrida interrogates a philosophical culture that runs from Socrates to Heidegger during which the human-and specifically the philosopher-is suggestion to owe himself to loss of life, to a definite considered dying or comportment with reference to dying.
Combining philosophical speculations on mourning and dying, occasion and repetition, and time and distinction with incisive statement on Bonhomme's pictures and a story of Derrida's 1995 journey to Greece, Athens, nonetheless is still is one in every of Derrida's such a lot obtainable, own, and relocating works with no being, for all that, any much less philosophical. As Derrida reminds us, the note photography-an eminently Greek word-means the writing of light,and it brings jointly this present day right into a unmarried body modern questions on the murals within the age of mechanical replica and lots more and plenty older questions about the connection among mild, revelation, and truth-in different phrases, a complete philosophical culture that first got here to mild within the shadow of the Acropolis.
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Extra resources for Athens, Still Remains: The Photographs of Jean-Franois Bonhomme
6. The technical thing (a human thing as well, but this time without a face) seems to defy classification even more. Why? Beyond the difficult distinction between tool and machine, between everyday implements (chairs and glasses in A Few Moments in the Neon Café [no. 3], the little bench of Photographer on the Acropolis [no. 9], the scales of the Athinas Market [no. 22], the bouzouki of Bouzouki Player [no. 23]) and machine-tools (the street organ, radios, telephones, the fan, the cameras themselves), one has to acknowledge that nothing is altogether natural in this world, everything is shot through with law, conventionality, technology (nomos, thesis, tekhne¯ ).
Indd 38 8/13/10 1:29:34 AM try to adapt all the Platonic categories here, for example, the “mimetic” and the “phantasmatic,” just give it a try, and have a field day! 5. The human thing (the thing with a human face, subcategories: artists, a photographer and the specter of an absent painter, merchants and passersby, and then merchants of art or of pastimes, like the organgrinder). 6. The technical thing (a human thing as well, but this time without a face) seems to defy classification even more.
Here, then, is the heliograph: he wears a hat on his head, but he is still too exposed because the parasol or the reflector behind him is no longer over his head, protecting, it would seem, only other photographic images, already a few reproductions, no doubt. You can make out another camera, much smaller, behind him. And in front of him, on a Delphic tripod, a camera from another age is looking at him, unless it is looking elsewhere, perhaps equipped with a delay mechanism. ” He dreamed that all these photographs would take these things by surprise, in order or out of order, at random, there where they happened to be found.