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Bergson and the Art of Immanence

Painting, Photography, Film

Edited by John Ó Maoilearca, Charlotte de Mille

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An immanent turn in art history

This collection of 16 essays brings 20th-century French philosopher Henri Bergson’s work on immanence together with the latest ideas in art theory and the practice of immanent art as found in painting, photography and film. It places Bergson’s work and influence in a wide historical context and applies a rigorous conceptual framework to contemporary art theory and practice.

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List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors
Art's Philosophy: Bergson and Immanence, Charlotte de Mille and John Ó Maoilearca
I: Bergson, Art, History
1. Bergson, History and Ontology, Craig Lundy
2. Art History, Immanently, Charlotte De Mille
3. Art-history with Less Conditions of Possibility: Following Bergson’s 'Le Possible et le réel', Adi Efal
4. Matisse, Bergson, Oiticica, etc., Eric Alliez
5. Bergson Before Deleuze: How to Read informel Painting, Sarah Wilson
6. Creative Revolution: Bergson, Max Stirner and Art for Insurrection’s Sake, Mark Antliff
II: Unconditional Practice
7. The Matter of the Image: Notes on Practice-Philosophy, Felicity Colman
8. Pasearse: Duration and the Act of Photographing, Stella Baraklianou
9. Duration and Rhetorical Movement, James Day
10. A Diagram of the Finite-Infinite Relation: Towards a Bergsonian Production of Subjectivity, Simon O’Sullivan
III: Immanence of the Visible
11. Painting the Invisible: Time, Matter and the Image in Bergson and Michel Henry, Brendan Prendeville
12. 'For We Will Have Shown it Nothing': Bergson as Non-Philosopher (of) Art, John Ó Maoilearca
13. The Untimeliness of Bergson’s Metaphysics: Reading Diffractively, Iris van der Tuin
14. Hyperaesthesia and the Virtual, Howard Caygill
An Art Historical Return to Bergson, Jae Emerling

About the Author

John Mullarkey is Professor of Film and Television at Kingston University. He previously taught at the University of Dundee (2004-2010) and the University of Sunderland (1994-2004). He is the author of Bergson and Philosophy (1999), Post-Continental Philosophy: An Outline (2006), and Philosophy and the Moving Image: Refractions of Reality (2010), and is an editor of Film-Philosophy and co-editor of The Continuum Companion to Continental Philosophy (2009) as well as Laruelle and Non-Philosophy (2012). John Ó Maoilearca is Professor of Film and TV at Kingston University, London. In 2014, his name reverted from the English ‘Mullarkey’ to the original Irish, ‘Ó Maoilearca’, which ultimately translates as ‘follower of the animal’.

Charlotte de Mille is freelance at the Courtauld Gallery. Her work studies the intersection of painting, music and philosophy in Europe c. 1848-1950. She is editor of Music and Modernism (2011), and Chair of the Royal Musical Association Music and Visual Arts Group.


This collection is focussed on a central problem: the necessity and the difficulty of thinking immanence, of getting within phenomena and reflecting on them as such. Among several concerns, the contributors attempt to bring art history to its true vocation, which is not only preservation but the provoking of new insights. Towards this goal the clarity of these essays is equalled by their vitality.

- Pete A. Y. Gunter, University of North Texas

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