Maurice Merleau-Ponty Term Paper

Pages: 2 (684 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Art  (general)

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Philosophy of Art: What is the function of art in Maurice Merleau-Ponty's essay "The Intertwining -- the Chiasm" from the Visible and the Invisible

In his essay the Intertwining -- the Chiasm" from the Visible and the Invisible Maurice Merleau-Ponty writes against the conventionally conceptualized function of art that constructs an artifact as an subject to be gazed at by the objective, cool, and distanced eye viewer. Before the deconstructionists began their philosophical work in unpacking the relationship between art and gazer, the functionality of art was seen as something that was a tool of humans, not a tool that worked upon the human consciousness. But Maurice Merleau-Ponty argues that the relationship of the two, of art and artist, and art and appreciator of art is intertwined, not polarized.

The relationship between the two, suggests Merleau-Ponty is much like a person being touched by the hand of another person. The eye of the viewer touches the painting, for example, yet the subject of the painting touches and changes the objective eye of the viewer. The act of creating a work of art changes the artist, as the artist after the work's creation is not the same artist, before the process took place.

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Moreover, once one has been touched, and then the hand has been withdrawn, the sensation of change that has occurs only comes after the termination of the touch, the gaze. For example, "either my right hand really passes over into the rank of the touched, but then its hold on the world is interrupted, or it retains its hold on the world, but then I do not really touch it." (148) in other words, I am only conscious of having been touched if I remember the moment before the moment of the touching occurred. Then, the hand of the other person is withdrawn after the 'touching' experience, and then I realize something has transpired and that a change has occurred.

Term Paper on Maurice Merleau-Ponty Assignment

Similarly, after the viewer walks away from a work of art, he or she realizes that his or… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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