What is the essence of the work of art?
What kind of truth does the art reveal?
How is this truth exposed?
In his The Origin of the Work of Art (1935), Heidegger conceives of art as a wrestling arena - World vs. Earth - from which truth is unfolded.
Using Van Gogh's shoes paintings Heidegger shows how the exposure of truth in art happens:
"From the dark opening of the worn insides of the shoes the toilsome tread of the worker stares forth... On the leather lie the dampness and richness of the soil. Under the soles slides the loneliness of the field-path as evening falls...this equipment is pervaded by uncomplaining anxiety as to the certainty of bread, the wordless joy of having once more withstood want, and trembling before the impending childbed and shivering at the surrounding menace of death. This equipment belongs to the earthy and it is protected in the world of the peasant woman." (p. 33)
The full text is available to download from the "Files" section.
The suggested reading is pages 31 - 38.
We're going to think through Heidegger's ideas of art and challenge their relevance to our experience of art in the world today.