The Optical Unconscious

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The Optical Unconscious

Δημοσίευση από Psychoanalysis Forum Την / Το Πεμ Μαρ 20, 2008 1:51 am

Smith, Terry (Terry E.)
The Optical Unconscious
Modernism/modernity - Volume 2, Number 1, January 1995, pp. 193-196

The Johns Hopkins University Press


Rosalind E. Krauss - Book Review: The Optical Unconscious -
Modernism/Modernity 2:1 Modernism/Modernity, 2.1 (1995) 193-196 Book
Review The Optical Unconscious The Optical Unconscious. Rosalind E.
Krauss. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993. Pp. 353. $24.95. In the
first decades of this century, when psychoanalysis seemed the newest
science, and photography, for decades the most enterprising recorder of
modernity's accelerating impact on the world, was turning into the
cinema, some sought for connections between the two phenomena. In his
1931 "A Small History of Photography," Walter Benjamin leapt to this
connection: "It is through photography that we first discover the
existence of this optical unconscious, just as we discover the
instinctual unconscious through psychoanalysis." He obviously had in
mind Muybridge and Marey's chronometries, celebrated on all sides as
revelations of the stilled secrets of animal and human locomotion.
Although his comment vividly evokes the sense of astonishment at the
curtain suddenly going up on two wonderlands, one material, the other
fabulous -- there all the time, yet opaque beneath the thick veil of our
physical and psychic limitations -- it is an odd, even superficial,
analogy. Perhaps because it is about photography and psychoanalysis as
spectacles that present their wares to the people and court publicity.
In 1936, in "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,"
Benjamin uses this analogy again; in...

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