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Agamben's Philosophical Lineage$
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Adam Kotsko and Carlo Salzani

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474423632

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423632.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 05 April 2020

Aby Warburg

Aby Warburg

Chapter:
(p.208) 22 Aby Warburg
Source:
Agamben's Philosophical Lineage
Author(s):

Adi Efal-Lautenschläger

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423632.003.0023

One preliminary point which must be stated regarding Agamben’s relation to the art historian Abraham (‘Aby’) Moritz Warburg (1866–1929) is that this line of questioning is not reducible to problems regarding imagery or ‘visual’ art. Agamben says explicitly that ‘only the myopia of a psychologizing history of Art could have defined [Warburg’s art history] as a “science of the image”’ (ME 53). Although most scholarship on Warburg has indeed viewed the latter’s work as laying the foundations for image and visual studies, in Agamben’s account Warburg ushers the humanities towards another kind of inquiry, one having more to do with the concept of time than with any sort of imagery or visual phenomena. In this, Agamben’s reading of Warburg differs substantially from those of major art historians influenced by Warburg, such as Horst Bredekamp (Bildakt)1 or Georges Didi-Huberman (images malgré tout).2 In fact, Agamben’s reading of Warburg’s art historical inquiries can be elaborated as a fruitful critique of the recent ‘imagist’ turn in the history of art, viewing visual artworks as being primary and essentially ‘images’.

Keywords:   Aby Warburg, Imagism, Art History, PATHOSFORMELN

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