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2008 | 1 | 1(4) | 210-231
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NON-FRONTAL GAZE. ANAMORPHOSIS IN MODERN IDEAS OF REPRESENTATION (Kulisowe spojrzenie.Anamorfoza w nowozytnych ideach reprezentacji)

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The revival interest of anamorphosis, especially among postmodern theorists, may at first appear puzzling, due to its seeming reliance upon notions subjectivity and a general hostility to the objectivity of perspective construction. In perspective construction the picture is conceived of as a window, whereby depicted objects (or images) not parallel to picture plane are foreshortened as they are projected onto that plane as seen from a fixed eye position (the projection point). In anamorphosis, the same geometrical laws are used to stretch or elongate a image so that it appears distorted on the picture plane. Perhaps the apparent subjectivity of all this (namely, that the world appears differently from different points of view) explains the appeal of anamorphosis among some contemporary writers but sometimes metaphors construed on this base are wrong and confused. The author has begun its article with the regerence to Bruno Latour who uses anamorphosis as a metaphor for the conflict between science and religion from about 1450 to 1550. He uses, as a crucial example, Holbein's 'The Ambassadors', a painting that conveniently fits into his time period. Latour uses anamorphosis as a metaphor because he sees within the phenomenon an opposition between two incompatible viewpoints. The author believes that Latour's interpretation (it is not impossible to view both the skull unskewed and the ambassadors) is wrong and it is possible to see both parts of composition. Thus, he supposes, it is possible to break up created for him opposite of scientific to religious vision of World in 17th century. This paper tries to reconstruct scientific and religious influences in creation new ideas of architectural representation especilly in connection with anamorphosis as a instrument of representation.
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  • Krzysztof Kalitko, Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu, al. K. Marcinkowskiego 9, 61-745 Poznan, Poland
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