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Chiasmi International

Volume 22, 2020

Mirrors and Other Technologies

Edoardo Fugali
Pages 235-248

Merleau-Ponty e Cézanne
visione e pittura come tecnologie incarnate

The aim of this article is to demonstrate the intrinsically technical nature of visual perception and pictorial performance through their common anchorage in the corporeity that brings them into existence. As with any other artistic technique, painting reveals itself to be the natural extension of a technological attitude already rooted in the sensorimotor devices of the body in action; painting is led to inhabit a world that is of the same nature as corporeal agents, because the objects that populate it share with it the ontological element of the “flesh”. Through Merleau-Ponty’s analyses of Cezanne’s pictorial works, I demonstrate that the main purpose of painting is, analogically with the descriptive analyses made possible by the phenomenological reduction, to render intersubjectively evident the hidden work of vision before its sedimentation in an accomplished perceptual scene. As the experiments of contemporary neuroscience also demonstrate, perception is by and large a reconstructive process of “image-making” rather than an allegedly accurate reproduction of the spectacle of the world. Painting, on the other hand, both in terms of creation and for the observer, employs the same sensorimotor resources as instruments.