Thursday, January 12, 2006

pure imagination

"Pure conceiving is the basis of every work of art. And it is always directed at two features: at the ideas and at nature in the process of de-forming itself. This means that every work of art is grounded in the imagination. Perhaps, even probably, to varying degrees. However, imagination is always incapable of constructing a work of art because as a de-forming agent it must always refer to something formed beyond itself, which then, when it enters the work, must itself become of fundamental importance for the work.

Whenever such a formed element does not enter the work but is kept at a distance from it, for reasons of sentiment, pathos, or irony, such works regard the world of forms as a text to which they provide a commentary or an arabesque. Because they point beyond themselves, they are no more pure works of art than are riddles."

"The exact opposite of imagination is prophetic vision. Pure prophetic vision can not form the basis of a work, yet such vision enters into every great work of art. Prophetic vision is the ability to perceive the forms of the future; imagination is the awareness of the de-formations of the future. Prophecy is genius for premonitions; imagination is the genius for forgetting. Their perceptive intention is not based in either case on a cognitive intention (anymore than clairvoyance), but in a different manner in each instance."

"The imagination knows only constantly changing transitions. "
"In the great drama of the passing away of nature, the resurrection of nature repeats itself as an act. (Sunrise)/ Imagination plays a role on the last day of the world and the first. "

"Pure imagination is concerned exclusively with nature. It creates no new nature. Pure imagination, therefore, is not an inventive power. "(Imagination | Walter Benjamin Selected Writings Vol. 1 p 281-2)