the CutS

The cut that sees, or the cut that looks. Two images today, and a deviation from elixir (that which in poisoning repairs and extends).

Display by the book, in the bigger picture none of the gathered surgeons looks at the cadaver of the criminal hanged and taken for science, rather they look to The Book (detail) from Rembrant's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632.

In the second image, a photograph, the one making the cut to another extended inner arm again fails to look at the body (alive or dead one can't be sure) and looks rather to The Camera, that era's new mode of knowledge. The character is said to be a surgeon from the USA, the image said to be taken around 1888.

the-anatonmy-lesson.jpg

Dr nicolaes Tulp's lesson

Much more to be written here, and many have written before about and from this painting, including Sarah Kofman and Marina Warner, and I suspect Derrida's work too has been influenced also…as well by Sarah's observations and thoughts about Rembrant's observation through painting. You see? how it goes, how it weaves and threads this knowledge making venture? Who is that man at the apex of the pyramid? He looks straight the painter, thus straight at me, too as well… also the observer.

dr sarah kofman's lesson

The thing is, none of them look at the body, not one of them. 'And with this dissimulation of the body, its fragility, its mortality, come to be forgotten. … The dead man and the opening of his body are seen only insofar as they provide an opening onto life, whose secret they would hold.' [1]                                                                                                                                                                                   

[1] Sarah Kofman, 'Conjuring Death' trans. Pascale-Anne Brault, in Selected Writings Stanford Uni Press, 2007, p.238