On the Uncanny Subjectivity of Art


A critical phenomenology is paired with qualitative data in order to understand the character of subjective experiences of uncanniness through the encounter with art. We are confronted by art as the beings we have been, without recourse to the use of art as a way in which our beings might concretely improve themselves, either through rewriting themselves as part of the larger world or by giving ourselves a dedicated auto-history. It is this feeling of insubstantiality, borne on the currents which move us away from all solid projects or monuments, that disconcerts us the most. The experience of this non-presence in art uncovers the absence of presence in being and world. We have been absented from ourselves in some ethically culpable manner, and to be fully present as beings who live on in the face of death, is to take into an interiority of being the Nothing which stands as our alterity.

Keywords: uncanny, art, subjectivity, being, Nothing, anxiety

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