Beyond Claims of Truth
AbstractPursuing the truth, the virtue and the beauty is the supreme realm of art, and it has become a general concept deeply rooted in our mind. However, is the truth that art pursues a fact that is faithful to actuality, a reality that is existent, or a truth that is logical and thus widely accepted by the general public? Heidegger, a German philosopher, intended to examine the truth of art through “A pair of Shoes”, a master piece of Van Gogh, in his paper “The Origin of Work of Art”. Nevertheless, Heidegger's point was challenged by an American art historian --Schapiro. Schapiro criticized that Heidegger had misjudged a pair of Van Gogh's own shoes as a peasant woman’s. Schapiro's criticism drew French philosopher Derrida into the debate. In his article “The Truth in Painting”, Derrida presented his layer-by-layer deconstruction of Heidegger's and Schapiro's blind pots in their argumentation on the truth of art, using his renowned technique for word games; at the same time, his thinking mode became instantly a target for deconstruction when he tried to turn the tangled concepts into clear distinct words. In this article, we aim to explore statements regarding the “truth” of art in aesthetics theories through the debates among Schapiro, Heidegger and Derrida. We wish to seek a new position for “truth” in art and investigate its significance to art, especially to visual art.
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