Edited By Szymon Wrobel
From Agamben to Saville’s Bellies. Transgression into the Animal Condition in Post-Humanity, Primitive Humanity and Contemporary Art
The reflection presented in this article in three distinct “steps of inspiration” (Agamben, ethnology and art) interrelate apparently distant spheres of problems and cultural phenomena. The starting point is given by Agamben’s idea of the apocatastatic “opening of the community,” overcoming the human condition defined by exclusion. The second move will explore an ethnological inspiration. We will reflect upon the archaic search of transcendence through the animal and in the animal, corresponding to the stage of man before the “invention of monotheism” which introduced the concept of divinity defined by reduction and abstraction. As a working hypothesis, it is assumed that the monotheistic concept of God radically driven away from any biological analogy precedes and shapes the concept of humanity defined by exclusion from the universality of biological life.
Agamben; Saville; ethnology; contemporary art; animal condition; post-humanity; primitive humanity; transgression into animality.
In this experimental reflection, I will follow three steps of inspiration: Agamben, ethnology, art. Namely, trying to connect and interrelate apparently distant spheres of problems and cultural phenomena, I will progress towards a commentary concerning the works by a contemporary British artist, Jenny Saville. The starting point is established by Giorgio Agamben in his essay L’Aperto. L’uomo e l’animale (2002), bringing into consideration a medieval image: a 13th century illumination of Hebraic Bible conserved in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan. The miniature illustration, of mystical and messianic inspiration, refers to the vision...
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