Miguel Mesquita Duarte

Reading Georges Didi-Huberman’s Devant Le Temps: History, Memory and Montage

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Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / June 2017 4(1)


This article focuses on the critical and explanatory analysis of Georges Didi-Huberman’s Devant le Temps (2000), here considered as a pivotal work of his extensive oeuvre. Devant le Temps extends some of the most important aspects explored a decade earlier, in Devant L’Image (1990), establishing numerous contact points with some of Didi-Huberman’s later works, namely those dedicated to Aby Warburg and the subject of the atlas in the history of art. Through the interweaving of these different moments, we seek to analyse some of the concepts governing the theory of art history and of aesthetics developed by Didi-Huberman, stressing some key concepts such as image, time, memory, anachronism and symptom. That way, we will also communicate with several important authors who directly, or indirectly, influenced the practice of the history of art advanced by Georges Didi-Huberman.

Keywords: Georges Didi-Huberman, Walter Benjamin, Aby Warburg, Carl Einstein, art history, time, image.

Biographical note

Miguel Mesquita Duarte. PhD in Contemporary Art History, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (FCSH/UNL). He currently is an integrated researcher in the Contemporary Art Studies Group at the Institute of Art History of Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities(IHA/FCSH/UNL). His work was published, among others, in Photographies (2016), Aniki: Revista Portuguesa da Imagem em Movimento (2014; 2016), Studies in Visual Arts and Communication (2014).