PL EN


2010 | 2(8) |
Article title

Dlaczego Warburg?

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Abstracts
PL
For many years, Aby Warburg had been widely known and unread,  and it was only in the 1980s that the situation radically changed. The present paper addresses the issue of Aby Warburg’s present-day popularity. The scholar turned his attention  to tiny, heterogeneous   details  that  flawed the  purity  and  unity of works of art  (inanimate accessory forms, draperies  and  hair,  or  figures composed  all’antica).  An  interest  in margins is characteristic of the postmodern  way of thinking, one sensitive to otherness, to the deconstruction  of seemingly coherent narrations  and microhistories. Ernst Gombrich emphasised the fact that Warburg was a man of the nineteenth  century. The key evidence of that was to be his concept of culture, derived directly from the evolutionism. Yet,  the  Warburgian  vision of culture  cannot  be understood  merely as a dead, historical idea. The notions of Pathosformel and Nachleben der Antike embrace problems that are fundamental  for all aspects of cultural studies. Warburg investigated, how old values are  transformed  into  new ones.  Nowadays memory, as a social and cultural phenomenon,  is one of the most important  subjects of research, whereas before World War II this problem, with the exception of the research of Warburg and Halbwachs, was hardly explored. Therefore  the concepts of the Hamburg scholar are still interesting and inspiring also in that regard. Additionally, the expansion of the scope of scholarly interest  to embrace  all manifestations  of visuality is in keeping  with the  postmodern pictorial turn or iconic turn. German  Bildwissenschaft, too, grows out directly from the ideas of Warburg. The scholarly discipline pursued by the Hamburg intellectual may be called ‘cultural seismography’: while finding in old and contemporary paintings symptoms of shakes contained in the recurrent  Pathosformel filled with ever new contents, he discerned the imminent threats,  and from the height of his observatory tower – that is, the refuge of his vast library – he was able to pass the diagnosis on.
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published
2010
online
2015-10-23
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bwmeta1.element.ojs-issn-2084-3860-year-2010-issue-2_8_-article-4812
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