Mimesis, Sexuality, and the Polis
Chapter two explores aesthetic autonomy through Leonardo da Vinci’s depictions of the incarnation. Registering the divisive turn from poesis to auto-poesis, those images enact the contradictory logic of mimesis in its distinctly Renaissance form, suggesting the conditions for what can be termed the modern invention of immediacy. At the same time, the status of such absorptive representations as at once mere images and constitutive forms bears on the larger question of the political stakes of the image during the era. The “work” of the incarnationist image is, the chapter argues, intimately bound up with the question of the capacity of the polis to constitute itself in immanent form—to incarnate itself, as it were.
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