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Unformatted text preview: hall be annihilated, and the earth will rem ain in its lethargy until another
cons cious nes s com es along to awaken it. Thus , to our inner certainty of being 'revealers ' is added that of being
ines s ential in relation to the thing revealed.
One of the chief m otives of artis tic creation is certainly the need of feeling that we are es s ential in relations hip to
the world. If I fix on canvas or in writing a certain as pect of the fields or the s ea or a look on s om eone's face
which I have dis clos ed, I am cons cious of having produced them by condens ing relations hips , by introducing
order where there was none, by im pos ing the unity of m ind on the divers ity of things . That is , I think m ys elf
es s ential in relation to m y creation. But this tim e it is the created object which es capes m e; I can not reveal and
produce at the s am e tim e. The creation becom es ines s ential in relation to the creative activity. Firs t of all, even if
it appears to others as definitive, the created object always s eem s to us in a s tate of s us pens ion; we can
always change this line, that s hade, that word. Thus , it never forces its elf. A novice painter as ked his teacher,
'When s hould I cons ider m y painting finis hed?' And the teacher ans wered, 'When you can look at it in
am azem ent and s ay to yours elf "I'm the one who did that!...
Which am ounts to s aying 'never'. For it is virtually cons idering one's work with s om eone els e's eyes and
revealing what has been created. But it is s elf-evident that we are proportionally les s cons cious of the thing
produced and m ore cons cious of our productive activity. When it is a m atter of poetry or carpentry, we work
according to traditional nonns , with tools whos e us age is codified; it is Heidegger's fam ous 'they' who are
working with our hands . In this cas e, the res ult can s eem to us s ufficiently s trange to pres erve its objectivity in
our eyes . But if we ours elves produce the rules of production, the m eas ures , the criteria, and if our creative drive
com es from the very depths of our heart, then we never find anything but ours elves in our work. It is we who
have invented the laws by which we judge it. It is our his tory, our love, our gaiety that we recognize in it. Even if
we s hould regard it without touching it any further, we never receive from it that gaiety or love. We put them into it.
The res ults which we have obtained on canvas or paper never s eem to us objective. We are too fam iliar with the
proces s es of which they are the effects . Thes e proces s es rem ain a s ubjective dis covery; they are ours elves ,
our ins piration, our rus e, and when we s eek to perceive our work, we create it again, we repeat m entally the
operations which produced it; each of its as pects appears as a res ult. Thus , in the perception, the object is
given as the es s ential thing and the s ubject as the ines s ential. The latter s eeks es s entiality in the creation and
obtains it, but then it is the object which becom es the ines s ential.
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This document was uploaded on 03/23/2014.
- Summer '14