Martin Heidegger was a twentieth-century German philosopher whose ideas played an incredibly crucial role in understanding art. He is highly respected for his relatively controversial contributions to existentialism, phenomenology, and hermeneutics, as well as the development of an idea of human reality being lost in daily and inauthentic life (Korab-Karpowicz, n.d.). Moreover, leading postmodern theorists have embraced Heidegger’s opposition to technological world domination and positivism and criticism of traditional metaphysics. In his 1950 essay “The Origin of the Work of Art,” Heidegger explores the concepts of Truth and Being and uses these terms to explain the essence of art.
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To begin with, the philosopher stated that aesthetics’ use of the categories of content and representation to conceive and analyze a great work of art is wrong. These concepts are unacceptable and unsuitable for exploring the Being and Truth of art since they do not reveal its essence. Therefore, while claiming the deep interconnection of art and truth, Heidegger tries to explain that only art is the unique form that can show the hidden aspects of the represented objects and equipment that people do not usually notice in their everyday lives (Korab-Karpowicz, n.d.). The philosopher also believed that merely describing a painting, even in great detail, does not truly reveal the equipment and truthful essence of a depicted thing but objectifies it. On the contrary, precisely art shows things as they are and allows truth to happen.
I found these ideas interesting and essential but relatively difficult to understand and perceive. However, I feel that I agree with Heidegger about the power of art and its unique ability to reveal the hidden truth. Indeed, when I am in an art gallery, I see a great work of art and cannot describe it because it seems so complicated. At the same time, I know that internally I do understand and perceive its essence since the Truth and Being of that painting are unhidden by art.
Korab-Karpowicz, W. J. (n.d.). Martin Heidegger (1889—1976). Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web.