When I becomes the ‘other’

The image throws in my face an intimacy that reached me in the midst of intimacy-through sight, through hearing, or through the very meaning of words. Indeed, the image is not only visual; it is also musical, poetic, even tactile, olfactory or gustatory, kinesthetic, and so on. (Nancy, 2005, p.4)

There is an expression in French: sage comme une image, literally, “wise as an image”. But the wisdom of the image, if it is indeed a kind of restraint, is also the tension of an impetus or impulse. It is first offered and given to be taken. The seduction of images, their eroticism, is nothing other than their availability for being taken, touched by the eyes, the hands, the belly, or by reason, and penetrated. (2005, p.10)

Representation is not a simulacrum; it is not the replacement of the original thing- in fact, it has nothing to do with the original thing. It is the presentation of what does not amount to a presence, given and completed (or given completed), or it the bringing to presence of an intelligible reality (or form) by the formal mediation of a sensory reality. The two ways of understanding it do not exactly coincide with each other, neither in the divisions they afford nor in their intimate entanglement. Nonetheless, they must be taken together, and the one taken against the other, in order to think the dispute, or the secret, of ‘representation (2005, p.33)

The image presents forms. It is strange, uncanny. Just like hearing our own voice – distanced, unfamiliar – the other.


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