robert pippin, philosophy by other means

Interpretation is simply identical to fully experiencing a work as a work of art; everybody does it, must do it.4 It has nothing to do with merely “translating” the work into another version of content or finding something hidden. If there is something to understand, something that raises a question, demands something of us beyond what a first experience reveals, it is “right there.” It simply needs to be understood. A second or third or fourth reading or viewing is not boring deeper until something hidden is found; it is appreciating better and better what is simply “present.”5 The fact that we feel the need for rereading or re-viewing is interesting in itself. It means that we sense that the novel, say, “knows something,” and that by having read the novel, we now know something we did not, but we cannot yet say what it is and we know that another look or viewing or reading is necessary. That deeply felt and often deeply gratifying moment of insight when it becomes clear what it is we know but could not say is not something we can offer to another simply by formulating and saying it. We have to help another see it, feel that moment as well in the experience of the work.

jacques ranciere, future of the image

According to this logic, it is impossible to delimit a specific sphere of presence isolating artistic operations and products from forms of circulation of social and commercial imagery and from operations interpreting this imagery. The images of art possess no peculiar nature of their own that separates them in stable fashion from the negotiation of resemblances and the discursiveness of symptoms. The labour of art thus involves playing on the ambiguity of resemblances and the instability of dissemblances, bringing about a local reorganization, a singular rearrangement of circulating images.