Lyotard, Between Philosophy and Art – Else Marie Bukdahl, Ph.D

Signs and symbols affixed to the picture surface cannot be translated through concepts and categories. That is why the prime enterprise of visual art is expressing all the things that concepts cannot capture. The figures, situations, signs or abstract sequences that appear in visual art Lyotard characterizes as “depots of narrative energy” (“des dépots d’énergie narrative”) that create other “narratives” and stimulate the viewers to create some for themselves. Visual art does not transmit unambiguous signals. It keeps its secrets.

–  Lyotard, Between Philosophy and Art. Paper given at the Conference of French Philosophy and Contemporary Art at The Center for body, Mind and Culture, Boca Raton, Florida, Dec. 3-4, 2007. By Else Marie Bukdahl, Ph.D. Former president of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, October 2007.