“Think” the imagination

Although imagining is not something new, it is true that throughout the ages it has been transformed enough to give rise to a new problematization in different movements. During the twentieth century, the imagination had a privileged place in the conceptual debates about its impact on literary, philosophical, psychoanalytic and political writings, among others. This prominent position has a lot to do with the questioning of certain bases that had so far sustained the West, because with the suspicion besetting other human faculties (the suspicious purity of reason and perception), the imagination could come off relatively of the subordination to which it always was once. Released to some extent from the yoke of the western “logos”, the imagining ability is revealed as a fruitful conceptual operator to capture some dynamics in force at the time when the human is not enough to count of what happen in the world.

Everything seems to indicate that the figure of “human” is a fiction among others and that subjectivity is part of a broader process. The empire of humanity over reality cannot be sustained except by ignoring a whole series of dynamics (cultural, political, linguistic, economic, desiring, etc.) that completely exceeds and of which it is actually an effect, a product, a result. Thus, the “I”, the “conscience” and its “will” no longer have in the principle that founds the meaning, but rather in the marginal areas of the experience, as a random and even dispensable byproduct of a mysterious world. While this perspective has been discouraging for those who can only conceive the world in the form of a building of solid foundations, other views have overcame the initial restlessness, in the attempt to explore the new territories open to experience. Especially in the arts,what is revealed is the research for renovating the modes of access to the world, for investigating the very notion of experience when the subject loses its central place.

With the rupture of the humanist axis, which implies the displacement of the rational consciousness of the constituent and founding place of the real, one of the forces that emerge is that of the imaginary (“non-human” force, then).

It is in the twentieth century that the imagination begins to be invoked to explain all kinds of social, political and literary phenomena. From the more “sociological” notions of imagination, until they take the imagination as an ontological concept (that is, of creation in a strong sense, invention of being) from which to organize a description of social life and at the same time a strategy revolutionary politics.

Max Ernst painting


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