Being Nude : The Skin of Images
The nude has long been known as a symbol for truth in philosophy and art alike, but what does it mean to be naked? In a series of constantly surprising and thoughtful reflections, Jean-Luc Nancy and Federico Ferrari encounter the nude as an opportunity for thinking in a way that is stripped bare of all received meanings and preconceived forms. The nude is always presented as something that is at once vulnerable and evasive. It is exposed, yet holds a part of itself back, or holds future possibilities for change, development, and demise in reserve. What is revealed when we are nude or when we are presented with the image of someone who is nude? Is truth a type of nudity? Is it visible? Is it something that can be apprehended with the senses? What are the conditions under which truth may be revealed? What does the nude do? What does it say about images and our relation to them? Why has the nude been central to Western art? What does it show us about art and about ourselves? What is the difference between being dressed and being naked? What does it mean to be, and to be present or absent? In the course of engagements with twenty-six separate images, the authors show how the nudes produced by painters and photographers expose this bareness of thought and leave us naked on the verge of a sense that is always nascent, always fleeting, on the surface of the skin, on the surface of the image.