Tom Holert: Labyrinth and Evasion: Chronopolitics of Metamorphosis
In the 1935/36 annual issue of the Paris-based journal Recherches philosophiques, a pair of articles by Georges Bataille and Émmanuel Lévinas appeared—“The Labyrinth” and “Evasion” respectively. The issue was otherwise organized around “Meditations on Time,” with articles on phenomenology and mythology, among them a review of Eugène Minkowski’s 1933 Le temps vécu penned by Jacques Lacan. Tom Holert takes this constellation as an, if implicit, call to ponder the temporality of the labyrinthic and the evasive in interwar art, theory, and science, making reference, specifically, to the, arguably pre- or a-historic, subject of metamorphosis (a key concept of Carl Einstein’s thought) in the painting and drawings of artists such as Toyen, Ithell Colquhoun, Claude Cahun, Valentine Hugo, André Masson, Paul Klee, and others, emphasizing its temporal (as much as chronopolitical) implications, which were to affect binary regimes in particular, with resonances still detectable today.
Part of the conference Deep Time and Crisis, c. 1930