Color between materiality and signification

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I want in this article to discuss the ambiguity of color between representation, materiality, and abstraction. What dimension of the artwork do we capture when we focus on color? Is the fascination with color a fantasy to escape the cut of the signifier, that is the symbolic order, or could it testify to a traumatic or/and revelatory encounter with the beyond of the symbolic order, the cut or opening in the symbolic order itself? In that case, could that explain why color in our culture is connected to femininity, given that Lacan defines the feminine position as the one related to the cut in the symbolic order? I shall start by reflecting on the connection between color and femininity at stake in the “chromophobia” of our culture, and finish by affirming a more “chromophile” (and femininity-friendly) liaison. The argument will pass through the different conceptions of color involved in Didi-Huberman’s concept of “pan” and Merleau-Ponty’s concept of “flesh”, and the different conceptions of “flesh” to be found in Merleau-Ponty and Eric Santner. A last important concept will be the concept of “incarnation” as used by Didi-Huberman to designate what happens when signifiers do not so much signify an abstract meaning as materialize them. Could color, like the yellow in Vermeers painting, be an “incarnation” in that sense?
Original languageDanish
Title of host publicationAnalyzing the Cultural Unconscious : Science of the Signifier
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9781350088368
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 235740850