Response to review essay by Krzysztof Ziarek of Shapiro's Archaeologies of Vision: Foucault and Nietzsche on Seeing and Saying


Krzysztof Ziarek frames the question of art's possibilities in terms of Heidegger's notion of poietic thinking. Relying on that thought -- which he has articulated and explored in powerful and nuanced ways elsewhere -- he asks whether the art of multiplicity is or can be an affirmative form of poietic thinking or whether it is necessarily in thrall to the reign of Technik. In Archaeologies of Vision (AV) I discuss the Heideggerian problematic of presence and absence in the visual discourse or metaphorics characterizing Western thought since Plato. Heidegger drew attention to the specifically visual character of the Platonic eidos and idea. He reads Plato's story of the cave, demonstrating how it obscures obscurity itself, in its artful construction of the stages of philosophical illumination (a demonstration that Luce Irigaray presupposes in "Plato's Hystera.") In Archaeologies of Vision I argue that Heidegger's questioning of vision's role in the Western metaphysical tradition need not be understood as a "denigration" of vision but as a stimulus to rethink what vision is. I claim that Foucault is rethinking vision in the wake of Heidegger and Nietzsche.

Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date

Winter 2007

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2007 BMRCL. This article first appeared in Bryn Mawr Review of Comparative Literature 6, no. 1 (Winter 2007).

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