By Jacques Derrida
Athens, nonetheless is still is a longer statement on a chain of photos of latest Athens through the French photographer Jean-Franois Bonhomme. yet in Derrida's fingers statement consistently has a manner of unfolding or, greater, constructing in numerous unforeseen and collectively illuminating instructions.
First released in French and Greek in 1996, Athens, nonetheless is still is Derrida's such a lot sustained research of the photographic medium in courting to the heritage of philosophy and his so much own mirrored image on that medium. without delay photographic research, philosophical essay, and autobiographical narrative, Athens, nonetheless is still provides an unique conception of images and throws a desirable mild on Derrida's existence and work.
The publication starts off with a type of verbal photograph or aphorism that haunts the total booklet: we owe ourselves to death.Reading this word via Bonhomme's photos of either the ruins of historical Athens and modern scenes of a still-living Athens that also is on its approach to damage and dying, Derrida interrogates a philosophical culture that runs from Socrates to Heidegger within which the human-and specially the philosopher-is notion to owe himself to loss of life, to a definite considered dying or comportment with reference to demise.
Combining philosophical speculations on mourning and dying, occasion and repetition, and time and distinction with incisive remark on Bonhomme's images and a story of Derrida's 1995 journey to Greece, Athens, nonetheless continues to be is one in all Derrida's so much available, own, and relocating works with out being, for all that, any much less philosophical. As Derrida reminds us, the note photography-an eminently Greek word-means the writing of light,and it brings jointly at the present time right into a unmarried body modern questions on the murals within the age of mechanical replica and lots more and plenty older questions about the connection among gentle, revelation, and truth-in different phrases, a complete philosophical culture that first got here to gentle within the shadow of the Acropolis.
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Extra resources for Athens, Still Remains: The Photographs of Jean-Franois Bonhomme
The debt does not wait for the funeral stele or the inscription on a sepulture. The most living thing can let the debt be heard, as soon as it is taken in photography, the baby chick in its cage or the bouzouki player. indd 48 8/13/10 1:29:35 AM all these musical instruments, radios, telephones, and tape recorders did not recall it, the phonogram of this music of death would resonate here in black and white, from one photo to the next. Like a silent song. Like a dirge of mourning that recalls, for example, Demeter weeping for Persephone, who had been abducted by Hades and whom Theseus, yes, him again, tried to carry away by descending into the underworld.
Three deaths, three instances, three temporalities of death in the eyes of photography—or if you prefer, since photography makes appear in the light of the phainesthai, three “presences” of disappearance, three phenomena of the being that has “disappeared” or is “gone”: the first before the shot, the second since the shot was taken, and the last later still, for another day, though it is imminent, after the appearance of the print. But if the imminence of what is thus due for death suspends the coming due, as the epoch of every photograph does, it signs at the same time the verdict.
Like a dirge of mourning that recalls, for example, Demeter weeping for Persephone, who had been abducted by Hades and whom Theseus, yes, him again, tried to carry away by descending into the underworld. 24). Does not Persephone reign over this entire book, Persephone, wife of Hades, the goddess of death and of phantoms, of souls wandering in search of their memory? But also (and this is another world of significations with which the figure of Persephone is associated) a goddess of the image, of water and of tears, at once transparent and reflecting, mirror and pupil?