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Rosalind Krauss

The Power of the specific image

To discuss the power of images, I’d like to turn to Walter Benjamin, and, more specifically, to his essay The Image of Proust. There Benjamin stresses that the warp and woof of the tapestry of memory that Proust weaves night-after-night depends on a chain of resemblances and that these are inalienably visual. This exclusive visuality restricts the number of supports for the Proustian exploration of involuntary memory—denying, in fact, that “images can transpose themselves in space and time, but also from support to support (from medium to medium), from the written page to film, from painting to video art, from theater to photography.” (in this issue of transposition, I quote from the presentation of the seminar topic sent to me by the organizers.) Benjamin...