In Berfois, Gerardo Muñoz reviews Jean-Luc Nancy's The Banality of Heidegger.
the principle of general equivalence entails an extreme and unprecedented form of evil. Hence, Nancy concludes, rightly so, in my opinion, that no generality can contain or exempt a true opening from its system. Then, we must assume that there is really no authentic “letting be” in Heidegger’s thought. In fact, the exclusive-inclusive status of Judaism in Heideggerianism is hyperbolic to the disastrous limitations of the ‘letting be’ in his philosophy. This will also be consistent with Giorgio Agamben’s reservations in L’uso dei corpi (Neri Pozza, 2014) of the gelassenheit as shorthand for the logic of the political ‘ban’. The philosophical status of the Jew in Heidegger, starting in the thirties onward, is marked by the assumption that the Jew is the main figure (and its gestalt, meaning that is also giving shape) of Western decline. This formulation is only possible from the standpoint of the condition of equivalence. The kernel of equivalence in Nancy’s Banality of Heidegger is the strongest critique, as far as I am aware, directed against Heidegger’s antisemitism.
Ergo, the banality of beyng.
The essay concludes with Nancy’s two pleas to continue thinking with and through Heidegger: first, to break away with the historical mode of progress as a world conquest made by man with “exponential finalities” and second, to reject any substantial intromission into a new “ontology”, while opening errancy against any destinial metapolitics. One wonders to what extent the late Heidegger came to subscribe the second position, or if the Ereignis is the continuity of thought in banality and bad faith (Nancy seems to think the latter).
“Do we deal with Heidegger?” asks Hawthorne. “I think we must. But we must do so in the understanding that he was a Nazi. We don’t not read his texts. But we read them carefully. That should also be the case with white philosophers. Just because they’re white doesn’t mean that they’re written off. But we need to be careful.”
This, though, is a false analogy. What concerns many about Heidegger is not his skin colour or his identity but his political views.
Asking whether Heidegger’s Nazi views should affect the way that we understand his philosophical ideas is different from insisting that, because Aristotle or Kant or Arendt were white, we should be careful in the way we read their writings.
“Whiteness is not a useful category when talking of philosophy,” says Appiah. “When people speak, they speak ideas, not identity. The truth value of what you say is not indexed to your identity. If you’re making a bad argument, it’s a bad argument. It’s not bad because of the identity of the person making it.”
If Christian Norberg-Schulz’s endowment of inanimate objects with life is not enough to grind your gears, and the sentimentality of the expression doesn’t appal, he continues: ‘Since time immemorial, Nordic man has experienced a close relationship with wood.’ This manages the impressive trick of being both silly and sinister, and as such it points unmistakably to the Heideggerian foundation (which is certainly not of poured concrete) that lies beneath all such appeals to craft.
Norberg-Schulz was one of the first to import Heidegger’s critique of technological manufacture into architectural discourse. It was popularised by the yet more pathos-filled burbling of Pallasmaa (who calls door handles ‘the handshake of a building’) and injected into British academia with superficial conceptual integrity by Vesely. This is all philosophically odious, and its physical fruits are equally inedible: in high architecture you have the hotel lobby-esque over-richness of Williams and Tsien’s Barnes Foundation and, in a more avant-garde mode, Peter Salter’s absurd houses in Ladbroke Grove.
In Art Daily, new exhibit in Frankfurt: Into the Third Dimension: Spatial Concepts on Paper from the Bauhaus to the Present.
The start of the exhibition invites visitors to ponder a question taken from Art and Space (1969) by Martin Heidegger (1889–1976). This work undertakes to determine what distinguishes an artistic investigation of space from one predicated upon mathematical and physical laws. The first chapter of the exhibition immediately breaks down established preconceptions of space.
The final chapter, and highlight of the exhibition, is dedicated to Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida (1924–2002) and his artistic/philosophical exchanges with Martin Heidegger (1889–1976). Art and Space (1969), a book of collages by Chillida illustrating a text written by Heidegger, achieved particular fame. These collages symbolized Chillida’s spatial concept as formulated in the second and third dimension: spatial transgressions and reductions, the relationships between volume and form, fragmentation and dynamism, emptiness as a material with which to create space. Accompanying the book is a vinyl record containing a reading of Martin Heidegger’s text. Visitors have the opportunity to listen to this recording at an audiostation in the exhibition.
Heidegger presents two views on the subject of modern art, one being that it is rather an anti-art (which we will get to later) and the other being the possibility that it is art. Heidegger states, when talking of abstraction and conceptualism (such as Duchamp’s Urinal), that it is art, but it is not rooted in a particular people, rather it is the product of industrialization, the universalism present in mechanical reproduction, in techno-science, precisely because it is, referring to the works of Kandinsky, “without object.” Furthermore, Heidegger states it “belongs to the world,” no longer producing the world of a people or nation and expressing their exigency for meaning, rather modern art in many ways possesses the same dynamic as enframing and capital do: dominating, subverting, and implementing its universalizing template to uproot the meaning-making of art.
Set in 1949, the play imagines the rumored love affair between famous novelist Mary McCarthy and young aspiring academic Paul de Man. Later in his life, de Man gained worldwide notoriety as the foremost American promoter of deconstruction, a concept inspired by German philosopher Martin Heidegger. The story exposes de Man's hidden past in war-torn Belgium, where he was suspected as an embezzler and Nazi collaborator.
"At a time when the concept of what "truth" is draws more and more interest, this play looks back to the roots of the controversy," said Leaf. "Does objective reality actually exist? If so, what are the consequences of a philosophy that denies that reality?"