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2023, Vol.69, No.

  • 1.

    The Unexpected Consolation: The Bubonic Plague in Western Europe and the Visualization of Pain from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century

    Yu Na Han | 2023, 69() | pp.6~31 | number of Cited : 0
    After the outbreak of the Black Death, pictorial representations of the pain caused by the plague became increasingly popular, the zenith of which was between the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. These images have attracted scholarly attention mainly as historical records describing the symptoms of the disease and its medical treatments. The goal of the present study, however, is to demonstrate that they played an “unexpected” role in comforting contemporary viewers: for those who were already contaminated, the images gave shape to their current pain, while for the noninfected, they materialized the fear of possible infection and the following pain. Here, the images can be understood as “objectified pain” in Elaine Scarry’s term, allowing an otherwise inexpressible inner state to be communicated to the external world, and thereby offering emotional catharsis. In the images of pain, the viewers also discovered the fact that they were not alone in suffering ― a crucial mechanic of consolation particularly emphasized by modern practices of bibliotherapy. Lastly, adopting Aby Warburg’s ideas, these images are to be considered as a kind of Pathosformel embodying Europeans’ efforts in the age of the bubonic plague to sublimate the inexplicable crisis as well as to orient themselves in that chaotic world.
  • 2.

    A Study on Artworks Based on Liminal Subjectivity in the Post-Corona Era: Focusing on the Concept of Multi-Phrenia and Persona

    Won-Joon Yoo | 2023, 69() | pp.32~52 | number of Cited : 0
    In 2023, the world is slowly emerging from the pandemic caused by the coronavirus. However, the coronavirus has spread the universal perception of a different way of life to people around the world. This study examines the process in which the characteristics of divisive subjects are recognized by modern people from the elements of mask wearing and online non-face-to-face activities forced by the COVID-19 era, and analyzes the appearance of borderline subjectivity in contemporary art. The COVID-19 situation promoted life in a completely non-face-to-face environment. Many face-to-face activities were converted to non-face-to-face activities, and the importance of an online environment that replaces reality was highlighted. Each individual was given the opportunity to create an alternative self and be freed from various constraints in reality. In an online environment that differentiates time-space into a multilayered style, art acts as a place where various identities are projected, which has differentiated the artist himself beyond the formal aspect of the artwork. The coronavirus situation strengthened this online environment, revealing different boundaries in terms of setting relationships between writers and avatars, and making art as a multilayered self-projection body.
  • 3.

    The Pathogenic Mediums of Contemporary Art: Jean-Luc Nancy and the Post-COVID Community

    Jong-Chul Choi | 2023, 69() | pp.54~80 | number of Cited : 0
    This paper analyzes the emergence of pathogenic mediums in contemporary art ― saliva, sweat, blood, odor, fungus, and bacteria ― and seeks to articulate the messages such art conveys in this pandemic era through the insights of Jean-Luc Nancy and his community theory. The artists discussed in this paper are Anicka Yi, Pierre Huyghe, and Sun Choi, whose works have been commonly framed in relational aesthetics, post-human discourse, or Anthropocene theory. Considering such frames to be a little off the point, this paper suggests that the rise of pathogenic mediums has to do with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the dire reality our community faces in this global crisis. In order to find a connection between viral infection and communal affection, this paper examines the notion of community Nancy formulated in his writings Inoperative Community, An All-Too-Human Virus and Intruder. In other words, the outbreak of COVID-19 is an event that awakens the essence of our community as a space for “exposition,” for the “singular plural” actualized through a certain “infection or affection” by which the innermost otherness of the subject comes to light. As this paper claims, the pathogenic artists provide an opportunity to lead us back to the community by awakening the inherent otherness in all of us distressed long enough in social distancing and lockdown.
  • 4.

    McLuhan and the Problem of Media Origins: Primordial Language, Mimesis, and Metaphor

    Yong-Sung Paik | 2023, 69() | pp.82~114 | number of Cited : 0
    This paper discusses the central thesis of Marshall McLuhan’s posthumous work, The Laws of Media: A New Science, which is that media are metaphors: that they are a form of language and as such are metaphors that translate experience from one form to another. This raises the question of the origins of spoken language (the medium) itself, because if we do not capture how the first words become metaphors, we are left with a seemingly self-evident unbridgeable gap between literal and figurative meanings. Foster argues that humanity’s first words were born out of a process of symbolization through affective mimesis, and that “phememes” then constitute the first media translations and metaphors of human experience. This is consistent with McLuhan’s emphasis on layers of primordial mimesis. McLuhan’s metaphor theory gains its ontological source through the translational function of these phememes and the origin of the figure/ground dynamic that he himself emphasizes. We also critically discuss the limitations of a transmission-theoretic or left-brain approach to metaphor theory. McLuhan’s metaphor theory thus extends beyond language in the narrow sense to the medium as a whole, and in particular to the quadruple action of the medium’s tetrad.
  • 5.

    Landscape and World in Marguerite Duras’ Film The Truck

    CHUNG Lak-Kil | 2023, 69() | pp.116~138 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Many critics have associated Marguerite Duras’ artistic world with issues of loss, absence, and impossibility existing in the realm of melancholia. However, the film The Truck presents a subtle exploration of a world that cannot be captured in the realm of melancholic imagination. Drawing on Walter Benjamin’s thoughts on the storyteller, this study first explores how the space of The Truck is related to the oral tradition, which is led by the voice. This voice, in conjunction with the ontological ability of the camera, opens up to a world beyond the subjectivity of the author. The landscape in this film evokes a sense of absence through the separation of voice and image. This landscape is that of atheism as “a retreat of the divine” proposed by Jean-Luc Nancy. In conclusion, this world of The Truck, which has been worked on between literature and film, offers a landscape of atheism, and this landscape is connected to a certain world outlook. It can be called the openness of the world.
  • 6.

    The Aesthetics of Jean-Marie Schaeffer and the Theory of Costly Signaling

    Ji-Min Son | 2023, 69() | pp.140~160 | number of Cited : 0
    This paper introduces the aesthetics of Jean-Marie Schaeffer and offers explanations regarding his aesthetic position and his theory of art, otherwise known as the “theory of costly signaling.” His aesthetic investigations are firmly fixed on phenomenological description and structural analyses of the actions and facts constituting aesthetic experience and artistic activity, with heavy reliance on scientific disciplines to support them. His claim is that, in observable cases, the essential condition of aesthetic experience is the active use of attention hinged upon satisfaction in relation to an object. In the artistic context, this would mean the most basic role of artworks is to invite the viewer’s attention to induce or suggest gratification within that attentional experience. This attempt by the artist must always take into account the perpetual uncertainty regarding the success of communication and activation of pleasurable experience, which is inevitably costly, i.e., requires time and energy. This conditioned attempt is structurally homologic, as opposed to functionally analogous, to the mating behavior of the male bowerbird. The underlying rationale is that there is a continuity between aesthetic experience, which requires cognitive attention, and artistic activity, which ought to attract attention, a continuity made possible by neurobiological principles that are themselves the result of evolution.