Jump to navigation Jump to search Ancient Greek philosophical concept Jacques Derrida , shown in this picture, explained his interpretation of parergon in The Truth in Painting, associating it with the so-called "great philosophical question, "What is art? In the Republic , he explained that paideia — the rearing and education of the ideal member of the polis or state — must not be considered equivalent to parergon. The emphasis stems from the perception that both connote a relationship to the essential function, expressed in a rigorous definition. In Greek philosophy, however, parergon is not considered incidental. According to Kant, parergon is what is beyond ergon. He provided three examples of parergon: 1 clothing on a statue; 2 columns on a building; and, 3 the frame of a painting.

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He questions his notion of the universal value of beauty, he does this by referencing their edges, their ends, essentially their frame. Like an accessory that one is obliged to to welcome, neither wholly outside nor inside. This view of aesthetics allows one to view these objects such as the garments on a statue per say as a detachable accessory as it is not organically belonging to the body.

Making this non-area never really attainable. According to Derrida, the outside always comes into the inside in order to define itself as an inside. What about the frame around a painting?

Kant finds that it compromises the beauty of a functional frame if it draws attention to a painting not simply by its form, but by, say, its quality of a golden trim making it luxurious object in that way. In comparison to the wall, the frame is part of the painting, while in comparison to the painting the frame is part of the wall.

To me, the parergon acts a sort of deconstruction of the space. This is where it seems to get problematic for Derrida and for myself. He also suggests books as being this complicated object wheres one cannot depict their ends, their frames. How to treat this book. Is it a book. What is to read this book.

Have I the right to say that it is beautiful and first of all the right to ask myself that. Burnnnn, Derrida 1 Kant 0. Here Derrida is expressing that interrelated dynamics that can exist within media and objects.

Things like titles and wall texts also allow artists to create dialogue via frame, piece and faculties of thought. The space it occupies is not supplemental or organic to its nature.


Jaques Derrida excerpt from Parergon, The Truth in Painting (1978)






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