Downloaded from http://oaj.oxfordjournals.
org/ at UNAM on January 31, 2012
The Surviving Image:
org/ at UNAM on January 31.Downloaded from http://oaj. 2012
W. Richard Newald. Settis. a lack of adequate general evolutionary categories has impeded art history In placing its materials at the disposal of the still unwritten . Aby Warburgs amerikanische Reiie'. Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibhoaraphie xum Nachleben da Antike-A Bibliography on the Survival of the Classics. Anthropology's theoretical and heuristic function — its capacity to de-territorialise fields of knowledge. 2012
It was by approaching the image from an anthropological. See Aby Warburg. Rougemont (Teubner: Leipzig and Berlin. a borrowing. C.5 He did not write Nachleben. our young discipline blocks Its own panoramic view of history. and Edgar Wind. 169-223. Warburgs Kulturwissenschaft zwischen den Konnnenten'. In his sudden departure from Europe to Mexico in 189S. an Anglo-Saxon concept. The mysterious keyword or slogan of Warburg's entire enterprise. then. 1990) 3. KUnstlcrischer Austauch—Artistic Exchange. And his
I OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS OXFORD ART JOURNAL 25 I 2002 5 9 . pp 88-97. Leaura (The Warburg Institute. T. Schlosser and Warburg were like-minded
The isolated and highly provisional experiment that I have undertaken here Is Intended as a plea for an extension of the methodological borders of our study of art (elner metlmdlschen Grenzerwelterung unserer Kunstwtssenschaft). The 'survival' that Warburg invoked and questioned throughout his entire lifetime is. three columns) is devoted to the expression Nachleben. It gropes toward an evolutionary theory of its own. ed U. 139-58. and for which he created the library that bears his name in order to grasp its sedimentations and shifting grounds. Aut out. 1991). Bing and F. pp. 1932). Question posee auxjlns d'une histolrt de Van (Minuit: Paris. intemationalen KongressaJtlr Kunstgeschichu. oder. pp. David Bntt (Getty Research Center for the History of Art and the Humanities. M. 135-53. This is significant evidence of a citation. 5-24. then a psychological point of view that Aby Warburg was able to carry out the 'extension of methodological borders' that he defended before his colleagues at a conference in 1912. dirs. Raulff (Klaus Wagenbach: Berlin. trans. 4.' October 77. 1993). In 1911. P Burke. the time of the 'general evolutionary categories' that Warburg invokes here. (Cassell: London. where the near impossibility of translating this term into English is already noted. Aby Warburg. 1999). 325—30. The immediate consequences of such an extension could only be disturbing for the discipline for it became clear that the time of the image is not the time of history in general. 'L'arcaico e il suo doppio'. S. 2. 1988 and 1996). P. 1988. . 'Die HamburgAmerika-Unie. 11—37 and 'Aby Warburg: His Study of Ritual on Two Continents. when Warburg's friend Julius von Schlosser referred to the 'survival' of figurative practices in wax. .oxfordjournals. but a journey to survivals.'historical psychology of human expression' (hlstorischen Psychologic des menschllchen Ausdrucks). dir. is by now familiar to us. pp. before interrogating the notion of survival in the context of a 'science of culture' — patiently worked out by Warburg using images from antiquity and the modern Western world — it seems appropriate to situate the experimental emergence of this problematic on the limited and 'displaced' ground of his voyage to Hopi country. Gaehtgens (Akademie Verlig: Beriin. Nachleben der Antike. 1996. 'Kunstgeschichte als vergleichende Kulturwissenschaft: Aby Warburg. eternal 'influences'. It is the 'fundamental problem' which his archival research addressed. the longejt entry in the very precise index of this edition (four pages. A Dal Lago. a conceptual displacement. 1957). pp. 2. 'Italian Art and International Astrology In the Palazzo Schifanoia' in The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity. 1984. Alaen der intematlonalen Symposiums Hamburg 1990. 5. Aby Warburg Alaen inurnaUonalen Symposiums Hamburg. Derant l'image. Los Angeles. to reintroduce difference in objects and anachronism in history will only appear in even sharper relief. Kurt W. Schlangenntual. above all. See also dirs Hans Meier. Schoell-Glass (VCH-Acta Humaniora: Weinheim. 199-200. for what von Schlosser cites — borrowed and displaced by Warburg before him — is none other than the survival of the great British ethnologist Edward B. Aby Warburg.org/ at UNAM on January 31. is the most urgent task (as untimely and outdated today as it was in Warburg's epoch)? It is for art history to establish 'its own theory of evolution'. Warburg was not making a journey to archetypes. 22. New German Crltiaxie.The Surviving Image: Aby Warburg and Tylorian Anthropology
1. S.7 0
. p. as Fritz Saxl thought. 6 7 91. no. pp. S85.Contributions to the Cultural History of the European Renaissance. die Pueblo-Indianer und das Nachleben der Antike'. See Georges Didi-Huberman. any more than he wrote Fortleben or Uberleben. It is for art history to enter into a time other than habitual chronologies.-A. p. Fritz Saxl.1
Downloaded from http://oaj. 1998). 247-80 (Warburg's unpublished notes for the 1923 conference). pp. Michaud. 'Aby Warburg as Historical Anthropologist'. See Aby Warburg. . Until now. London. Naber. By adopting either an unduly materialistic or an unduly mystical stance.3 Warburg also confronted this 'fundamental problem' during the very brief period of his famous Native American experience. 1934). Bredekamp. pp. 'Aby Warburgs Schlangenritual: Reading Culture and Reading Written Texts'. 5. its own theory of time. somewhere between the schematisms of political history and the dogmatic faith In genius. What. no.4 Therefore. Freibeuter 38. Significantly.2 This other time is called 'survival' (Nachleben). Forster. Alaen des XXV11. 39-44. Gesammelte Sduiften. Diers. C. vol. He wrote survival. Aby Warburg a l'image en mourement (Macula: Paris. Em Reiseberlcht (1923). eds G. Tylor. Weigel. in English. 'Warburg's Visit to New Mexico' (1929-1930). H. pp. he did not rely upon the spontaneous vocabulary of his mother tongue. old Vasarian or neo-Vasarian family myths. 'Pompeji in Neu-Mexico.
Histolre de l'art. alligators and missionaries. 326. such a mixture of things past and present. 1996). table manners and modes of account keeping. Indeed. In Tylor. the un13.Georges Didi-Huberman
theoretical landmark was not James G. Panoff. of Mankind and the Derelopment of Qriiization Tylor dedicated an essential part of his work to the theoretical foundation of (Murray: London. we are already within the 14. Gombrich'. At the beginning of Primitive Culture. 143. Ernst Gombrich for example. spectral time of survivals. 6—7. but Edward B. An and Custom I. Frazer. pp. in Dictlonnalre du Darwinism a de I'erolutlon III. as Saxl wrote. Gombrich. Warburg is dted on pages 76. p. 13 thought. among antiquarian relics of no Intense modem Interest
with regard to many aspects of Warburg'i problematic. 611. . 1881).Chicago. as if spontaneously. And yet. Anthropologie structurale (Plon: Paris. 7. 1993). mosquitoes and pirates. Julius von Schlosser. Philosophy. H. The point of contact between Warburg's Kuhurmssenschaji and Tylor's 'science of culture' lies first in the establishment of a particular link between history and anthropology. there Is practical gain in being able to study them . Tylor.
Downloaded from http://oaj. earthquakes and the use of firearms. but also in order to open time. or even an archaeology. 'Histolre et ethnologic' (1949). nos 5-6. Tylor. Between March and June 1856. H. Kurt W Fonter. and movements that resist evolution. 3-33. 'Warburg's Visit to New Mexico. 6. une biographic mullectuelle par E. introduces this time theoretically by noting that the two competing models for Anthropology An Introduction to the Study of Man the 'development of culture' — the 'theory of progress' and the 'theory of and Civilization (Macmillan: London. (Murray: London. p. Primitive Culture I. and that this development is not reducible to an evolutionary law formulated according to models used by the natural sciences. tius dialectic as a pure and simple dUemma 12. cross incessantly within it. Sauerlander tecs. 1871). Primitive Culture. Researches into the Early History between two contradictory temporal states. Patrick Tort ( P U F : Paris. Foster ignores Tylor as far as Warburg's 'ethnological culture' is concerned 9. 1996.oxfordjournals. wrongly. Critique 104. See M. cd. anodier context. Edward Burnett Tylor. Aaahuac. intertwined with one another. museum objects and street fighting. dir.org/ at UNAM on January 31. Baroque churches and Indian customs. In 1861 he subjects. Fritz Saxl. in anodier temporality of experience. this 'science of culture' was omnipresent in the opening of Primitive Culture (published in London in 1871). 'Pour la deliverance du passe: Aby Warburg. pp. Warburg opened the field of art history to anthropology. But he had written die word. in this very place and moment. Tylor. could bear such a knot of anachronisms. 1958). 1832-1917'. Aby Warburg: An Intellectual Biography (University of Chicago Press. is provided for all of diese Mexico on horseback. 330-4. Primitive Culture I.
62 OXFORD ART JOURNAL 25. DO. to Mexico. An index.9 Of course.London. pp. 81-2. where Tylor investigates the notions of 'tradition' and 'diffusion' The first The result would be a time knot — difficult to untangle because evolutionary definition of 'survival' was offered by Tylor in movements. 194. T. B. WUlibald Sauerlander. He began by affirming that the fundamental problem of any 'science of culture' is its 'development of culture'. argued that Tylor's 'science of culture' could in no way appeal to a disciple of Burckhardt whose major preoccupation was Italian art. not simply in order to recognise new objects of study. p. 16. 11. 10. Warburg's commentators have not paid close attention to this anthropological source. Tylor crossed in two columns. 373—400. L'histoire de l'art a l'epreuve du materiau'. Medicus (Akademie Verlag: Berlin. 6. 23-62. both projects sought to overcome the eternal opposition — which Levi-Strauss would continue to criticise a century later10 — between the evolutionary model required by history and the type of atemporality with which anthropology is often credited. Longman and Roberts. degeneration' — must be thought dialectically. to be precise. 218 the concept of survival. Or Mexico and the Mexicans. At best. 8. 2012
Warburg certainly did not disavow this methodological principle of untimeliness: what makes sense in a culture is often the symptom. pp. 1861). See E. at the end of the nineteenth century. Here. published his journal from the trip — his own version of Tristes Tropiques — in which. Primitive Culture's immense notoriety does not guarantee its status as a theoretical source. of culture can the ethnologist understand its meaning:13
In working to gain an Insight Into the general laws of Intellectual movement. 'Viscosites et nirvivancej. Tylor 15. . a work of such importance that. 1970). p 10. Gachichu da PonrStbildnerel in Wachs Ela Yersuch (1911). p. ethnology was commonly referred to as 'Mr Tylor's Science'. 14-16. See Georges Didi-Hubermin. p. Tylor. Anahuac is a fascinating book because we witness die audior's astonishment diat diis very experience.7 As far as I am aware. 'Aby Warburg: Hu Study of Ritual on Two Continents'. observing and taking diousands of notes. they have only considered the differences between Warburg and Tylor. Tylor intended to carry out a rigorously symmetrical operation. a displacement — a trip Ancient and Modem (Green. Tylor. 1998. 1989.' p. as if to his great surprise. pp. p. 186. 1865). researches into the derelopment of Mythology. Claude Levi-Strauss. Religion. die slave trade and Aztec relics.12 Only through a history. 'Tylor (Sir Edward Burnett).15 1865: 'the "standing over" (superstitio) of old Through these crossings the concept of survival appears as a differential habits into die midst of a new changed state of dungs'. the anachronic aspect of this culture. pp.11 For his part. all enter the scene one after the odier. E. October 77. Tylor. 4363.1 2002
. in 16. pp 138-62.
But that is not all. 16.11 In the face of all of this. and If the history yet farther behind Is less easy to read. as an exceptional feature. the breathtaking complexity of cultural facts (something one also notes in reading Frazer). lies in the recurring symptom and in the game. he also discovered something even more overwhelming (which one never notes in reading Frazer): the vertiginous play of time in the present. Holy Week festivities in Mexico bring heterogeneous. the style of Louis XIV and Its parent the Renaissance share the looking glass between them. a cornice with a Greek border runs round the celling. Survival. Primitive Cuhure I. 21. oder praklxhe Asthali. as a symptom. will run for centuries'. It needs but a glance Into the trivial details of our own daily life to set us thinking how far we are really Its originators. Therefore. survival. using another metaphor. This anachronism is particularly evident in the system of illustrations. Here Is the honeysuckle of Assyria.The Surviving Image: Aby Warburg and Tylorian Anthropology
17. above all. See in particular the work of Tylor'J famous contemporary Gottfried Semper. as a global feature or archetype. or mutilated. or playing cards: survivals of the old and very serious practices of war and divination). Tylor. the ornamentation of antique sacrificial knives was comparable with the spurs of Mexican Yaqueros. He also compares the strength of survival to a 'river which. 220-1. the Indian market in Grande actualises a numbering system which Tylor thought could only be found in preColumbian manuscripts. slingshots. revival. Vertigo is first expressed in the powerful sensation — in itself obvious. Primitive Culture I. knucklebones. Looking round the rooms we live In. such elements of art still carry their history plainly stamped on them. 85-9. Aoahvac. as Tylor notes. as it was in certain strains of nineteenth-century philosophical anthropology.Bin Handbuch fir Technlktr. 'old habits maintain their roots in a ground overwhelmed by a new culture'. 2012
Progress. stems from this critical supplement: the 'permanence of culture' does not express itself as an essence. This is why Tylor insists that the ethnologist must assume the historian's role in each of his observations. rattles. The major interest of Tylor's thinking on this point.21 Warburg would have recognised his own investigation of permanence — the tenacity of antique forms in the long duration of Western art history — in this expression of a 'fundamental problem'. degradation. in the pathology of language and in the unconsciousness of forms. half-pagan commemorations up to date. p. modification. in the present 'surface' of a given culture. Transformed. 18. Primitive Culture I. on the forms proper to our present life. superfluous. 64. or times. see especially. p 63. the 'primitive words' of every notion of style. Tylor. but on the contrary. to allow for the indestructibility of an imprint of time. pp 47-54. Der Stil in da uchaachen and uktonhxhtn KUnsten. The 'horizontal' complexity of what he sees stems above all from a paradigmatic 'vertical' complexity of time:
Downloaded from http://oaj. Admitting that the present bears the mark of multiple pasts means. in itself. Tylor speaks of 'the strength of these survivals' by which. their 'power' even. half-Christian. in terms of an 'essence of culture'. Tylor discovered the extreme variety. we are not to say that because we cannot clearly discern It there Is therefore no history there.
Thus. So. as a displaced thing. are all modes of the connexion that binds together the complex network of civilisation. p. but its consequences less so — that the present is woven with multiple pasts. The strength of survivals. Tylor. 1878-9) 20.18
It is characteristic of this example of survival — one of the first in Primitive Culture — that it concerns the formal elements of ornamentation.org/ at UNAM on January 31. Yet.1 2002 63
. 19. derisory. there the fleur-de-lis of Anjou. 236. just as Warburg would later turn his attention to Renaissance
OXFORD ART JOURNAL 25.oxfordjournals. and how far but the transmitters and modifiers of the results of long past ages. Tylor. is revealed in the tenuousness of minuscule. or abnormal things. This is a way of elucidating — always via the stamp — what he referred to as the 'permanence of culture'. having dug its bed. as well as its proximity to Warburg's approach. Tylor turned his attention to children's games (bows and arrows. pp.1 That this survival of forms is signified as a 'stamp' is equally distinctive. 110-11. shifted. KUnaler trod Kunstfreunde (Bruckman: Munich. we may try here to see how far he who only knows his own time can be capable of rightly comprehending even that. Such permanence could have been expressed.
25. something persists and testifies to a vanished moment of society. But the term superstition now implies a reproach. 2012
(Routledge-Thoemmes Press. out-of-date. pp 145-217. that which appears as a cast-off. 63-100 23 Tylor. described as a superstition. pp. or in Martin Luther's writings?25 In both cases and each time (and without even mentioning Freud). Primitive Culture II.1 (1874). Tylor's survivals marked out a masked reality. Primitive Culture I. A Chapter in the History of Scientific Method in the Study of Man (Allenson:
London. styles. madness — as the privileged mode of access to the vertiginous time of survivals.23
22. pp. For the ethnographer's purpose. . The very word 'superstition'. 67-107. in The Renewal of Pagan
Antiquity. Before Warburg and Freud. this name would be given to a large proportion of survivals generally. It Is quite wonderful. into the currency of a historical fact. the lesson of the symptom — absurdity. or outof-use in a culture (just as.' (1869) and 'On the Survival of Savage Thought in Modem Civilization. Florentine boti testify to a practice already removed from the present and die 'modem' preoccupations on which Renaissance art was based). For Indeed. In fact It Is so. attempted to construct a theory of emotional and mimetic language.London. Tylor. even if we hardly go below the surface of the subject. behaviours. 1994). We can easily understand his interest in Tylor's survivals. pp 142. proverbs.22 Yet. Latin meaning. 130. pp. and modes of salutation.28
Between phantom and symptom. and I have taken up this course of argument with full knowledge and intent. but could equally live on in forms. pp 563-96 and pp. they marked out a negative reality. Warburg was interested in the vestiges of classical antiquity.
77K Collected Work of Edward Burnett Tylor VII
Downloaded from http://oaj. but its very persistence is accompanied by an essential modification — a change of its status of signification (to say that the bow and arrow of ancient wars have
64 OXFORD ART JOURNAL 25. the lack of sense in the argumentation which opens a breach. Tylor was most specifically interested in the aspect of survivals which related to superstitions. sickness. Primitive Culture I. . Primitive Culture I. whether of the dwindling survival of old culture. superstnio:
Such a proceeding as this would be usually. It is desirable to Introduce such a term as 'survival'. to see how large a share stupidity and unpractical conservatism and dogged superstition have had In preserving for us traces of the history of our race. Tylor. Primitive Culture I. we have in such enquiries continual reason to be thankful for fools. Tylor studied features of language. 122. the breach of survivals. 1936). the psyche. and not improperly. pp. 5 (1866-1869). among others. vestiges which were in no way reducible to the existence of material objects. . pp. and. again among others. Pascher. Before Warburg and Freud. lapsus. Primitive Culture I.2 Before Warburg and his fascination for the expressive phenomena of the gesture. at any rate. First. or of Its bursting forth afresh in active revival. Tylor admired the capacity of 'trivial details' to make sense. he staked out. 28 Tylor.1 2002
. 27. and all of their related forms. 29 'On Traces of the Early Mental Condition of Man. Before Warburg and his interest in the 'animism' of votive effigies. sayings. 64—5. Tylor. Tylor. 83-93 and pp. it is the flaw in consciousness. astrology. attempted to construct a general theory of the power of signs. be symptoms (which he also referred to as landmarks) of their own insignificance. He inferred the very definition of the anthropological concept of survival from its traditional. which practical utilitarianism would have remorselessly swept away. 'Conservatism—Variation—Invention. the notion of survival becomes a specific expression of the 'trace' for the historical and anthropological sciences. in his own way. It may perhaps be complained that Its Illustrations should be so much among things worn out. and 'PaganAntique Prophecy in Wordj and Images in the
Age of Luther'. Could the path to the symptom then. Tylor.Georges Didi-Huberman
celebration practices. 1-327 See
J. frivolous. simply to denote the historical fact which the word 'superstition' Is now spoiled for expressing. pp. Aby Warburg. be the best way to hear the voices of ghosts?
Throughout the whole of this varied Investigation. pp 101-44. 1929). On this notion of conservatism see Tylor. 24. Der Seelenbegrlff tm Ammismus E B. or even bad with downright harmful folly.24 How can we not recall the apex of the Nachleben der Antike. just as Warburg hoped to do later for Florentine civilisation. Warburg's analysis of the treatment of astrology in the Ferrara frescoes.org/ at UNAM on January 31.oxfordjournals. In what Is perhaps its original sense of a 'standing over' from old times. 26. worthless. 77K
Doctnne of Survivals. 522-35 respectively See Margaret T Hodgen. itself expresses a survival. or rather. 137—8 (original pagination). Second. the fault in logic. 597-697 respectively. Indeed. Tylor. ageless.' (1869) in
Proceedings of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. in the fifteenth century. 'Italian Art and International Astrology in the Palazzo Schifanoia'. 142. Tylors Eln Baiag zur Rellgionswissenschafi (Becker:
We can now understand why the analysis of survivals in Primitive Culture culminates with a long chapter dedicated to magic. As is well known.
and for this reason they also designate a spectral reality. 9 11 3 (on the notion of the 'technical stereotype'). In this sense. It. 'Pagan-Antique Prophecy'. for example. a ghost whose effectiveness Warburg recognised because of its intrusive and interfering nature — as symptom — in the logic of the preacher of the Reformation preacher's argumentation. Aby Warburg. Quiggan (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. 41-7. Surrivals of Roman Religion (Harrap: London. for example. effected the necessary reorientation of too essentialist (Frazer) or too empiricist (Malinowski) ethnological concepts. too. Morality and exchange practices In use by the societies which Immediately preceded our own maintain the more or less Important traces of all of the principles Just analysed [In the framework of so-called primitive societies]. The most primitive of men have an Immense past behind them. 35. of being a concept. dir Edward Evan Evans-Pntchard et al (Kegan Paul. pp. 'Modem Survivals of the Sumenan Chatelaine. which unfortunately only treats the Anglo-Saxon domain. thus diffuse traditions. pp 108—39. Astrological survival will thus appear as a 'ghost' in Luther's discourse. The positivist objection consisted in asking: but. p 228. miracles et surrivances Essai sur la formation de quelques themes hagiographiques (Nourry. a concept which defied all precision and factual verification.' Essays Presented to C G Scligman.of symptomatic and ghostly manifestations. survival was accused of being too structural and abstract a concept. The third chapter of Essai sur le don (Essay on the Gift) is titled 'Survival of these principles [where an "exchange of gifts" is carried out] in ancient rights and economies. 1943). It comes as no surprise that the critical richness of Tylor's survivals first concerned phenomena of belief: the first applications of this concept took place in the domain of the history of religions. 34 Marcel Mauss. 1934). in 77K Renewal of Pagan Antiquity. Oeuvres. Arthur Weigall. pp. 77K Doctrine of Surrirals. Evolution et techniques I. 19S0). did not hesitate to use the term.Paris.' Essays and Studies Presented to William Ridgeway. see M. "The Evolution and Survival of Primitive Thought. Saintyves. if tenuous. 1930). They designate a reality of effraction. songes. as Mauss wrote. Scciologie et anthropologle (P U F. in anticipation of what Andre Leroi-Gourhan called 'technical stereotypes'.Pans. Mauss. 31.London.35
Downloaded from http://oaj. Ariane Flourny (Payof Pans. that the notion of survival has never been very well received — and not only by art history. Pans. and survival play a role even for them. one would accuse survival of lacking structure. C.The Surviving Image: Aby Warburg and Tylorian Anthropology
survived as a children's game is to demonstrate the transformation of their
We must note. one notices that things are more complex and nuanced than they appear. in bringing out the critical aspects themselves. E. Hodgen. One might spontaneously infer this from modern anthropology which. pp 228-57. See. too. 33 See M T Hodgen. Today. is made up of the conscious handing down of 'diffuse traditions'.1 2002 6S
. 36 Mauss. of law and economy. However. however. Institutions of this type have effectively provided the transition to our forms. Andre Leroi-Gourhan. J. hence the expression 'people without history' — but that this history may be as complex as our own-. They serve as historical explanations of our own societies.' There he explained that the principles of the gift and counter-offer count as 'survivals' for the historian and for the ethnologist:
They have a general sociological value. L C G Clarke. as it were. Sec. Laing. but a certain use-value made of it by several Anglo-Saxon ethnographers during the nineteenth century. our own forms. Mauss went so far as to extend the notion of survival to 'primitive' societies themselves:
There Is no known society which has not evolved. 111 Cohesion sociaJc et divisions de la sociology. for example. ed. the analysis of survivals seems to be the analysis. forms
OXFORD ART JOURNAL 25.31 Nevertheless. 372
status and their signification). and outdated. 140-74. p.L'homme a la matiere (Albin Michel. G. since they allow us to understand a moment of social evolution. marked by the evolutionist seal. Survival itself is not in question. 77K Doctrine of Surrirals. 1913). In Tylor's time.3*
This was not only a manner of saying that 'primitive societies have a history' — which some had long denied. A Cook. an old nineteenth-century scientific ghost.: Paris. 'Essai sur le don Forme et raison de l'echange dans les societes archaiques' (1923-4). how do you date a survival? This is precisely to misunderstand a concept that meant to identify a non-'historical' — in the trivial and factual sense — type of temporality. 375-^12. 32. Viktor Karady (Minuit. T. £D marge de la Legende doree. Trench & Trubner. S. 1931) Chi the critical fortune of Tylonan survival. in short. 1969). dir. But there Is more They also have an Importance for social history. pp. Mauss. Survirances paiennes dans le monde chtttlen (1928).oxfordjournals.org/ at UNAM on January 31. 'Essai sur le don'. from Marcel Mauss to Claude Levi-Strauss. several archaeological studies of long durations approached the history of objects from the angle of survival. It. 1934). pp. P. 'La Volkskunde comme science' (1903). or even imperceptible. therefore out-of-date. trans.
when they serve to bring out a general and atemporal signification. ed. 'Histoire et cthnologie'. his constant attempt to tug at all direads. which became more rational and moral.org/ at UNAM on January 31. but each of diem are issued from a system of representation'. the hypothesis that there was a confusion between magic and religion followed by the autonomisation of the latter. Claude Levi-Strauss. what distances Nachleben from any such essentialism is Warburg's philological effort. without even
37. then survival of course becomes a mythification. an epistemological obstacle. 522-3. it is more partial. to identify each strand — even when he knew that the threads escaped him. Tylor developed a reflection on the historicity of primitive cultures that he credits only to Franz Boas. It must be pointed out that it has been possible to interpret and use Warburg's Nachleben to such ends. And it is first a matter of knowing how. d'invenrion independante. en raison de l'absence ou de la pauvrete des tradition oraleset des vestiges archeologiques. 'La theone de la diffusion urucentrique de la civilisation. et que chaque phenomene soit appreae en lui-meme. 1968). his perception of singularities. 'Un peuple pnmitif n'est pas davantage un peuple sans histoire. 'Histoire et ethnologic'. Levi-Strauss's criticism in the introductory chapter of Structural Anthropology seems even more severe. 7 41. Because it is more radical. Levi-Strauss does not recognise that. Tylor's ethnology remained devoid of any historical character. de "survivances" des souches devolutions parfaitement ldenOque partout Maij invenement touj ne »ont pas dej fait d'emprunts. 13-14. the remaining key trap in any analysis of survivals. Lafonaions soaala du sccrt . Anthmpologie urucuiralc.oxfordjournals. The bow and arrow no longer form a 'species'. 38. claiming diat studies stemming from a problematic of survivals 'teach us nothing about unconscious processes translated into concrete experiences'. p. Mauss does not criticise the usage of survival in order to call into question this complexity of temporal models. When resemblances turn into pseudomorphisms. Levi-Strauss starts off by walking in Mauss's footsteps: he criticises archetypism and its erroneous usage of substantialised analogies. dans toute cette soi-disant histoire soaologique. Oeurra. Thus. et surtout pas des emprunts a un seul foyer. moins de soaologie et plus d'histoire. . in sum. their dilution into an essentialism of culture and the psyche. But to his mind. 6.37 Mauss also perceptively criticised what we might call archetypism. or between two different tools which are as alike in form as they can be.] l'hlstoire de ces peuple nous cst totalemcnt inconnue. Mauss responds that 'the hypothesis does not tell us very much'. 114—15.' (1913). V. Levi-Strauss stumbles when he goes one step further. V Karady (Minuit: Paris. [. 43. more 'evolved'. 25. Levi-Strauss. Mauss. he does so to refute ethnological evolutionism as a simplification of temporal models. die author of Structural Anthropology announced a thesis on die 'unattainable' historicity of primitive peoples. Archetypism not only resulted in the simplification of temporal models. p p . and sometimes inaccurate.7. Symptomatic anamnesis has strictly nothing to do widi archetypal generalisation. I.1 2002
. Now.Georges Didi-Huberman
itself within a play of — or a knot of— heterogeneous temporalities — a knot of anachronisms. 'Tous lea faita de sjroiljtude ne sont pas des faits de "recurrence". Karady (Muiuit: Paris.1 (1925). He invalidates this a few pages later by granting Tylor a nearly fundamental place in the evaluation of the 'unconscious nature of collective phenomena'. et. The principle lure of such a trap is analogical perception. Levi-Strauss.' Mauss. 'La magic selon Frazer. or ran underground. 1974). 42. 9. clearly an entirely unconscious paraphrase of the passages from Tylor cited above. 'La Notion de l'archaisme en ethnologic'. p.43 None of this changes the fundamental question. which situated the organisation of symbols as the founding structure of the empirical world. 'Histoire et ethnologic'.
Anthropologie structuralc. On the contrary.42 In 1952. He cites as evidence a
brief passage in Researches into the Early History of Mankind (1865). in Primitive Culture. which is still a matter of knowing what survival means. Levi-Strauss. ed. it turns out that he sought its traces in Tylor's work. . it led to their pure and simple negation. because 'between two identical tools. if not disingenuous. as Tylor had claimed in a language modelled on die biological bond of reproduction. even if the absence of written archives makes this difficult to analyse. six years later. elle est a jamais hors d'atteinte On n'en saurait conclure qu'elle n'existe pas. . there is and there will always be a radical discontinuity. 155. 2012
39. that is. pp. II Representations collecttra a direntus da drillsatlons. Note that Warburg would have agreed widiout hesitation to this first point. Orurra. of universally applicable pseudomorphisms. when Frazer describes survival as a 'confusion between ancient magic and religion'. in what
66 OXFORD ART JOURNAL 25.' Levi-Strauss.
Downloaded from http://oaj. p. However. pp. which comes from the fact that one is not issued from another. had been broken.] Nous demandons done qu'on mette. bien que le deroulement de celle-d nous echappe souvent [. 'Histoire et ethnologic1. 40. pp. Moreover.
taking into account the title of the work.
40. The vocabulary of survival had not yet been set out when Tylor entered into this reference game. 635-49. an ideology whose conclusions — circulating amongst the nineteenthcentury ruling classes and industrial milieus — are opposed to many of the
points made in The Origin of Species. Oeuvres I. H. That he defended an 'idea of progress' in the arts and adopted a 'continuist model' of time? Nothing is further from the truth.The Surviving Image: Aby Warburg and Tylorian Anthropology
44. 185. Tylor's notion of survival would be clearly constructed independently of Spencer's and Darwin's doctrines. pp. In this sense.
sense. Gombrich. Evolutionary doctrine introduced the question of time into the life sciences beyond the 'long cosmic duration' — in the words of Georges Canguilhem — that had framed Lamarck's thought. They undoubtedly have a diagnostic value. See Marcel Mauss. Tylor approached survival from the opposite angle." Mais la nouveaute radicale de L'Orlgine des espices consistait enceci qui le temps de lavie n'y etait pas suppose comme un pouvoir. no. and especially J Leopold. des corps organises. which is why Warburg would take such an interest in it. 'Aby Warburg e l'evoluzionismo ottecentesco'. he has to play human evolution against divine destiny. Whereas natural selection referred to the 'survival of the fittest'. 109—10.45 One further element needs to be made clear. 45. What does it mean that Warburg was an 'evolutionist'? That he read Darwin? Of this. Culture In Comparative and Evolutionary Perspective: E. pp. its fundamental theoretical models outdated. his history of art remains old-fashioned. this concept takes over or does not take over evolutionist doctrine. pp 36-66. pp. posing the question of time already meant posing the question of times.
OXFORD ART JOURNAL 25 1 2002 67
Downloaded from http://oaj. Bastian.44 He had to rehabilitate 'developmentalism' and the perspective of the species against religious theories of degeneration and the perspective of original sin. Mensch in der Gerschtchte Zur Begriindung einer psychologlschen Westanschauung (Otto Wigand. l'embryon. 'Cette nouvelle dimension [qu'apportait Darwin dans les sciences de la vie] e'etait le temp* et l'histoire.51 Furthermore. 1860). The Doctrine of Survivals. VII-VIII. arranged on its own lines. Culture in Comparative and Evolutionary Perspective.49 The simplification is brutal. m fact. of the different temporal modalities that make up. The former is a doctrine. The Doctrine of Survivals. or with any 'evolutionary sense'. T. the guarantor of biological innovation. e'etait le temps operant. Waitz. It is important to recall that Tylor's theory of culture stemmed neither from a biology nor from a theology. They have nothing whatsoever to do with the premises of a teleology in progress. Leopold.oxfordjournals. Anthropologie der Naturrolker (Fleischer Leipzig. Panoff. Researches into the Early History of Mankind. whose influence on the whole course of modern thought on such subjects should not be left without formal recognition. e'etait le temps petrifie. Sec M. 1980) 47. 46 'It may have struck some readers as an omission that in a work on civilization insisting so strenuously on a theory of development or evolution. Gombrich. mais qu'il etait percu directement dans de» effeu en apparence distincts. 150-90. Hodgcn. pp. However. but no prognostic value. Aby Warburg. 1937). from the angle of the most 'unfit. 77K History of Ethnological Theory (Holt. E. or a rudimentary organ. 'L'ccolc anthropologique anglaise et la theorie de la religion selon Jevons' (1898). 'savages' were no more the fossils of an original humanity than degenerates from a likeness to God. an embryo. B. 49— SO. For him. Tylor and the Making of 'Primitive Culture' (Dietrich Reimer: Berlin. In this sense. Even if the debate over evolution constitutes his general epistemological horizon. At worst. the stake is clearly polemical. Patrick Tort has shown the abusive error involved in reducing Herbert Spencer's philosophy — which one recalls immediately whenever one hears the word 'evolutionism' — to the Darwinian theory of biological evolution. Le fossile. 1999. E. 50. 68. survivals are only symptoms that carry temporal disorientation.' Tylor. 48 See M. Hodgen. this simplification aims to close off the theoretical paths opened by the very notion of Nachleben. etc. coming scarcely into contact of detail with the previous work of these eminent philosophers. T. "depuls le» plus imparfalts jusqu'aux plus parfaits. and for what stakes. 51. and above all. This absence of particular reference is accounted for by the present work. 1860-72) On these problems. en reahte unifies par leur complementarite. quoique parfois lrreguhere. Belfagor.168. H. 2012
. Tylor. that is. his theory aimed at a historical and philological perspective. see Robert H. which demonstrates the complexity of the epirtemological sources of Tylorian survival. as Gombrich affirms. 645. J. 'Tylor'. Sans doute Lamrack avait anteneurement accorde a l'immensite de la duree cosmique le pouvoir de produire fuccessivement a l'exutence la serie continue et progressive. a fossil. T.org/ at UNAM on January 31. 159. The global link that Mauss established between the 'English Anthropological School' and Spencerian evolutionism deserves clarification. When Tylor peppers the seventh chapter of his book Researches into the History of Mankind (devoted to the 'Development and Decline of Civilisation') with references to Darwin. 321. Warburg remained a man of the nineteenth century. See M. pp 68-85. The latter is a bio-ecological transformation of the development of living species inasmuch as they are subject to variation. At best. and not devoid of bad faith. Primitive Culture. pp 635—7. pp 4364-5. he plays The Origin of Species against the Bible. 49. Reinhart and Winston: New York. and 'Aby Warburg e l'evoluzionismo ottocentcsco'. for example. it demonstrates the difficulty that second generation iconologists faced when coming to terms with a legacy that was far too ghostly to be 'applicable' as such.4 One thing is certain: Warburg's concept of survival (Nachleben) was first sketched out within an epistemological field bound to anthropological objects. In this text. there is not the shadow of a doubt. instead of an evolutionary future. mention should scarcely have been made of Mr Darwin and Mr Herbert Spencer. Instead. Tylor's fundamental references at the beginning of Primitive Culture. but they say nothing about evolution in itself. Lowie. and toward the general horizon of evolutionary theories. or inappropriate' carriers of a bygone past. belong to the German School of Anthropology: A. p. p. 6.47 In short. pp. Leipzig. They certainly bear the evidence of a more original and repressed state.
pp. What other conclusion should we
68 OXFORD ART JOURNAL 25.celle de la competition et de l'exclusion ehminatoire ' Patrick Tort. 'Evolution regressive. Diaionnaire du djjnrinisme III. the surviving form does not triumphantly outlive the death of its competitors. He assembled a system of heterogeneous debts. 166-97 and as already ated (which opposes the scientific paths of biological evolution and the ideological derailment of Spenccnan evolution) and 'L'effet reversif de revolution.Georges Didi-Huberman
The misunderstanding pivots precisely around the notion of survival. and consequently having survived in the still poorly defined reaches of a 'collective memory'. models that set up obstacles within all continuity-based adaptation schemes. reappearing much later at a moment when it is perhaps no longer expected. Nachleben meant making historical time more complex. See N. 53. 1997). epistemologists see nothing but theoretical confusion in the association of these two words (which Tylor.60 Indeed. Today. The most adept. 52. Speaking in such a way effectively reduces survival to selection. In order to discern the anachronistic and unprecedented object of his quest. 'Heterochronies. 'Une enorme erreur de methodc ct un contresens dieorique d'unc extreme envergure regnet encore sur 1'apprehension globale de la theone darwinnienne.org/ at UNAM on January 31. the strongest. pp. T o r t . they have refused to oppose a 'positive' evolution and a 'negative' regression. 1992). 1594—7. 55.] La classification ccssait d'etre une peinture des formej coexistantes pour devenir un canvas synopaque tisse avee les fils du temps ' Georges Canguilhem. carefully dissociated).
'Retrogression'. For Warburg. which were suddenly discovered as living organisms under certain conditions58 — but also of 'heterochronies'. but not assimilated to. and even about 'promising monsters' like Durer's Landser sow. non-natural temporalities in the cultural world. pp. 1595). c'etait lc temps retarde [ . his so-called 'social Darwinism'. which Warburg treated from the perspective of what he referred to as a 'region of prophetic monsters' (Region der wahrsagenden Monstra). 'On parle d'erolution
rearessire pour caractenser la regression qui frappe certains organes devenui inutiles ou nuisibles a l'espece. La pensee
hitrarchique et 1'erolution (Aubner Montaigne
Downloaded from http://oaj. a des recommandations et a des pratiques soaales et pohtiqucs qui se faisaient passer pour les consequences directement apphcatives de la loi nucleaire dc 1'evohition biologique. and as heuristic as Warburg's could be misunderstood as 'evolutionist'. sous 1'influence d'un contrat enondatif passe entre l'ascension de 1'industnahsme liberal anglais et de la philosophie synthetique de Spencer. links can be traced between this notion of survival and certain of Darwin's terms relating to the complexity and paradoxical intricacy of biological time. whose orientation could be changed by simply comparing them with all of the others. T. 'L'effet reversif de revolution'. dir. radically divergent evolutionary line.U. 58. 1996). perfectly anachronistic beings of survival. The Study ofSociology
(1873). 'La selection naturelle selectionne la civilisation. M Stanley.1 2002
l'organc rudimentaire. Parsons (University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor. 'Survivancc du plus
aptc'. with her two bodies and eight hooves. Warburg forged ahead like all pioneers. as disquieting. 1961). 106. See D Becquement. 'Formes
panchroniques'. thus providing evolution with its perfectibility and history with its teleology — is in opposition to his fundamental project and his temporal models. Basing a history of art on 'natural selection' — through the successive elimination of the weakest styles.59 At those moments when the usual game of natural selection and genetic mutation does not enable the understanding of a new species. Warburgian Nachleben only tells us about 'living fossils' and 'retrogressive' forms. in its own way. 5 7 . L'exemple donne par Darwin est celui des insectes insulaires continueUement exposes a la force des vents.F • Pans. qui s'oppose a la selection naturelle ' Tort. not from Darwin. In this sense Warburg was undoubtedly a Darwinian. Pendant pluj d'un siede. as we have seen. Diatonnatre du darwintsme et de 1'erolution II. On the contrary. 56 See C Devillen. ed. p.'
Diaionnaire du danrinisme II.
54 See H Spencer. From this perspective. It tells us about 'heterochronies'. survive and reproduce. 1984).
p. The idea that this law could be of relevance to the historical or cultural world comes from Spencer. et Cjiri perdent leurs ailes (p. 1714-17. Patrick Tort (P. Nachleben could be compared with. that is. For Warburg. Evolutionary theoreticians have spoken of 'living fossils'.55 They have spoken of 'missing links'. which
. New York. temporal models that precisely create symptoms in evolution. See C. Eldredge and S. who instead saw in civilisation a means of opposing — of 'disadapting' from — natural selection. Darwinlsmc et socicte. 59. Diaionnaiic du danrinisme II. Delsol and J Flatin. paradoxical states of living which combine heterogeneous phases of development. See P. . hnng Fossils (Springer. p. nevertheless capable of engendering an original. Nothing is further from this idea than Spencer's 'synthetic' and authoritarian systematism. organisms that were believed to have disappeared. 2012
Pans. they have even spoken of 'promising monsters'. 'non-competitive organisms'.54 On the other hand. la theone de la selection naturelle a servit de garantie et de modele scientiiique a des doctrines. Devillers. 1983). 2215—17. evolutionist. dir. pp. Only in the fifth edition did Darwin insert the Spencerian expression of the 'survival of the fittest'.57 They have not only spoken of 'panchronic forms' — Living fossils or surviving forms. ldeolgle et
TQUonahtk dans l'hlstolre da sciences de la ne Nourelles etudes d'hlstotre a de philosophie des
sciences (Vrin: Paris. Fondements de l'anthropologie darwinienne'. recognising specific. Patrick Tort (P U F : Pans. 1 3 ^ 6 .' Diaionnaire du darwtnisme I. 'Formes Intermediares
(chainons manquants)'. intermediary forms between ancient and more recent forms of variation.
p 3677.oxfordjournals.56 With the concept of 'retrogression'. or that had been found everywhere fossilised. 13. Dictionnane du darwinteme et de 1'erolution
III. but not a Spencerian. See M. pp 4173-5.61 It is easy to understand that a work as experimental. it symptomatically and phantomatically survives its own death: disappearing from a point in history. L'exemple donne par Darwin est celui des insectes insulaircs continueUement exposes.
models of objective realisation — by directing himself little by little toward a theory of the memory of forms made up of leaps and latencies. Delsol.
61 Warburg. there. 'Heterochrony and Phylogenetic Trends'. peramorphoses. Aby Warburg decisively broke with notions of 'progress' and historical 'development'. He thus played evolutionism off against itself. 'Pagan-Antique Prophecy in Words and Images in dSe Age of Luther'. (1971-76). 1982.
draw from this play of debts and debated questions if not that. 635 62. McNamara. known as "neotenies". 'Monstres prometteurs'. 499-513
Downloaded from http://oaj. 199-200. pp. 'Kunstgeschichte als Geschichte'. or slowing down. Etthngcr. evolutionism produced its own crisis. progeneses. nos. 'L'arcaico e il suo doppio'.
Dtctlannalrt du darwinisme II.
Translated from the French by Di Vivian Sky Rchberg.org/ at UNAM on January 31. models of temporal continuity. See M. He deconstructed it solely in order to recognise phenomena of survival and cases of Nachleben which now must be dealt with in terms of their specific development. 60. See also Leopold D. p p . hypermorphoses. 130-42. p. J.oxfordjournals. Dal Lago. 2012
OXFORD ART JOURNAL 25 I 2002 69
.The Surviving Image: Aby Warburg and Tylorian Anthropology
give* as an example the Axolotl (which 13 both infant and adult and remains a larvae capable of reproduction throughout its entire life) and speaks of differential rhythms. 1984. its own internal critique? By recognising the need to broaden canonical models of history — narrative models. AusgewShhc Schnjicn. pp 79-86. Am out. A. pp. etc. 3042—44. developmental acceleration. Palcohwlogy 8. See also K.