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Phenomenology 2010

Volume 4, 2011

Selected Essays from Northern Europe

Hans Rainer Sepp
Pages 493-502
DOI: 10.7761/9789731997728.20

Possible Necessities
A Phenomenological Analysis of Yves Tanguy’s The Palace of the Windowed Rocks

When Ives Tanguy painted his mysterious imaginary landscapes he realized in artistic form a tableau that shows never-seen, quasi-real imaginary things within a quasi-real imaginary space. The imagination that presents such things is totally free—accompanied by “the feeling of an absolute freedom,” as Tanguy said—, whereas the product is a world that not only looks as if it were real but appears as a coherence of facts put together with unshakeable necessity. The imagination is free because it undertakes the ultimate challenge: it creates imaginary products in a way that they give the impression of being real. This imagination realizes itself like the dreaming I but in a state of not-bounding-itself (better to say: as an imaginative force that both reveals and confirms the self-bounding imagination); and it realizes a kind of world experiencing with correlative objects that seem to be real (comparably to a trompe l’oeil) although they can never be found within the real world (contrary to a trompe l’oeil).