Stretching out your hands towards impossibility, Georges Didi-Huberman

Inaugural conference

Georges Didi-Huberman © Patrice Normand, Éditions de Minuit
Georges Didi-Huberman © Patrice Normand, Éditions de Minuit

30.09.21 — 14:00

CN D Pantin

Someone stretches out their hand towards a rock face, touches it fleetingly and blows out a halo of powdered pig- ments on it; the gesture becomes an image – a red performance. In order to understand it and overcome the intrinsic difficulties of interpreting wall painting, we will have to follow the path of an anthropology of the out-stretched hand. Georges Bataille will be our guide: for him, any intense and meaningful gesture was a way to “touch the impossible”. Along the humanist trajectory which has been going back and forth between manus agens and manus loquens (the hand that acts and the hand that speaks), we will therefore attempt to turn our gaze towards the choreographies performed by the scholarly and deeply moving hands that stretch out towards the impossible in the works of Caravaggio.

Georges Didi-Huberman is an art historian and philosopher, and he teaches at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. He has taught in several universities worldwide and has received many awards, among which the Aby Warburg award, the Max Weber award, the Alexander von Humboldt prize and, in 2015 the Theodor W. Adorno prize. He has curated several art exhibitions in various international venues. Didi-Huberman has published over sixty books on history and visual arts theory, among which L’œil de l’histoire (five volumes, Minuit, 2009-2015), Ninfa Fluida (Gallimard, 2015), Ninfa profonda (Gallimard, 2017), Ninfa dolorosa (Gallimard, 2019), Désirer désobéir (Minuit, 2019), Pour commencer encore (Argol, 2019), Éparses (Minuit, 2020) and Imaginer recommencer (Minuit, 2021) – which focus on a wide array of Works from the Renaissance to contemporary art, and tackle topics like scientific iconography in the 19th century and how they have been used in 20th-century artistic representations.

of the International
Symposium Dances and Rituals