READING THE AMBASSADORS: FUNDAMENTAL NARCISSISM, SUBJECT ANNULMENT, AND YET ANOTHER SKETCH FOR A SELF-DESTRUCTIVE FUNCTION OF THE GAZE
Text topic: (Lack Of) Culture
Text author: Марко Стаменковић
This text was born in the context of preliminary researches of the author in the field of picture analysis in which the function of the gaze itself is a decisive factor in the operation of annulment of the subject of gaze. The text starts from well known theoretic and art history interpretations of the picture The Ambassadors in which Hans Holbein the Younger, in the first half of the sixteeth century, counterposed not only optical nonlinear perspective against the dominant, central geometric perspective but also a geometric (linear, straight) subject to a different one: optical, ex-centric, scopic. The purpose of the paper is to wake up, once again, five centuries later, the static, fixated and focused observer (the symptom and main protagonist of a similarly static, fixated and focused culture of gaze) in order to take a radically different angle. Why? Because in displacing of the Holbein’s observer from the status quo position (by de-centering his gaze, his optical removal from the comfort of a fixed point of observance and his physical moving) the de-centered, excentric observer is offered an opportunity to once again, and every time anew, get actively involved in the historic switch to a different culture of gaze. And a different culture of gaze here implies the kind of culture which, due to a constant overstepping of the limits of the un-culture of gaze, leads us to believe that a different world is possible and leads us to a different perception of the world of the picture and a different perception of the picture of the world – different from the one in which the conservative, atavistic, self-sufficient, patriarchal and “patriotic“ culture keeps us prisoners of a hardened centralistic and stubbornly frontal and undesputably orthodox (straight) view of the world.