Visualizing Tymieniecka’s Approach to Originality
Tymieniecka believes that human meaning-bestowing in the creative act happens before cognition. This makes her prose difficult, overwhelming in volume and intensity. In the presence of artistic works, however, her words become clear and penetrating, because, in the presence of art we are in a contemplative rather than a rational mode. This essay demonstrates how the action of her words matches the action of, e.g. Jackson Pollock. Her Phenomenology of Life deals with objective ontological structures and subjective constitutive formations, like the Analytic Cubism of Braque and Picasso. Her philosophy changes our orientation fundamentally, the way Robert Rauschenberg’s Monogram radically changed the field and expectations of support of a painting. While the reactions of the Post-Modern artists like John Baldassari and the Pictures Generation, e.g. Sherrie Levine, Cindy Sherman or David Salle, would seem antithetical to Tymieniecka’s taste, their actions/works are just what Tymieniecka orders: that the original, creative work is a cipher into the life-world. That it renews the life world when the beholder receives the artist’s “original gift.” Such renewal does not occur in the popular works of Jeff Koons, who insists that his art begins and ends with the image. The Pictures Generations artists produce ciphers that reach down into life, make from its elemental stuff a work that is uniquely their own in time and place. In this lies the originality of the work.