Almost a century after Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and while the debate about the agency of objects is taking place, the subject of this article is the power of the «classical» in contemporary culture. In today’s world, the chronological order according to which artefacts are produced is no longer the deciding factor for understanding their historical value and aesthetic quality. If the Minoan Knossos invented in Crete by the archaeologist Arthur Evans (making ample use of cement during the first decades of the twentieth century) is classical, what is left of the classical once it is divorced from its past nature? According to Michel Foucault, for whom our age is organized around spatial rather than temporal criteria, originals and copies of Greco-Roman art can be thought of as natural bodies—variously distributed on a local and global scale—, and their relationships can be described by highlighting their topological relationships rather than their genetic ones. Relics and fossils. The reference method I use here is cladistics: a system of visualization employed in evolutionary biology that understands the history of life’s structure based on a series of branching diagrammes that represent the order of kinship between organisms, showing the path that is most likely to connect them. Instead of explaining evolutionary processes as a series of causes and successive effects whose connection produces isolated events, cladistics contemplates a range of possibilities visualized with a junction that represents the ensemble of shared characteristics that we would expect to be present in a hypothetical ancestor common to two or more species. This approach scientifically supports the evidential paradigm with which it has more than a few analogies. The history of borrowing between the natural and human sciences is thereby further enriched. Inserting the possible in the past, as Henri Bergson already suggested, allows us to rethink the process of imitation in terms of metamorphoses, and in particular «pseudomorphoses». Oswald Spengler used this mineralogical term to explain how new cultures penetrate alien cultures, assuming their form while corrupting the content, and becoming corrupted themselves, thereby giving life to an extraordinary process of pretence. This article ends by suggesting that the «classical» is, in its different incarnations, a uniquely pseudomorphic process, and that it is none other than this that allows it to participate in the dialectic between high culture and the profane world, which, according to media scholar Boris Groys, is what produces the new.
|Titolo:||Le metamorfosi del classico: corpi naturali, artefatti materiali e nuove pseudomorfosi|
|Parole Chiave:||riproducibilità tecnica; storia naturale; agency degli oggetti|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore M-FIL/04 - Estetica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|