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AfternessFigures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics$
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Gerhard Richter

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157704

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157704.001.0001

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Afterness and the Image (I)

Afterness and the Image (I)

Unsettling Photography

(p.118) 6 Afterness and the Image (I)

Gerhard Richter

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the medium of photography—arguably the first “new” medium of modernity—as an instantiation of the relation between the figure of following and its representations. It places the theories of photography found in Franz Kafka’s writings and those that emerge in Jacques Derrida’s work into a constellation. By situating Kafka’s and Derrida’s reflections on photography in the context of the work of German photographer Stefan Moses, the chapter problematizes the afterness of a photograph and its relation to an allegedly referential original subject, particularly with regard to Moses’s series “Selbst im Spiegel” (Self in the Mirror), a collection of photographic self-portraits of well-known German writers, philosophers, scientists, and artists.

Keywords:   photography, modernity, following, Franz Kafka, Jacques Derrida, Stefan Moses, afterness, photograph, self-portraits

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