Volume 30, 2018
On the Hermeneutics of the Not-yet-in-the-creation of Artworks
This paper intents to explore a seemingly paradoxical issue pertaining to artistic creation, i.e., the phenomenon of artists engaging with their intended to be an artwork, while in the process of its making as if it already existed in place. Although this situation resembles a hermeneutic experience, as described by Hans-Georg Gadamer, it nevertheless lacks the main premises of philosophical hermeneutics, which is the very existence of the authentic object of interpretation in full presence. So, is it still possible to discuss the creation process of artworks in hermeneutical terms, without betraying the foundations of this philosophical standpoint? When Gadamer speaks of dialogue in interpretation, can such a dialogue be established with an artwork to be, an artwork that has not yet been finalized? It will be argued that the ontological status of an artwork, while in its creation process, is actually shifted from an object to a subject from a passive recipient of the artist’s intentions and decisions to a co-constituting agent towards its actual fulfillment as an autonomous entity. Husserl’s constitution theory of intentional objects and Gilbert Simondon’s individuation theory of ontogenesis are revisited and their possible integration with hermeneutics reconsidered towards extending the hermeneutics of the artworks back to their creation process.