Essay

Ornamente transzendental und empirisch. Zu Kants Kritik der Urteilskraft und zu den Tätowierungen der »Neuseeländer«

Markus Klammer

Published online:

01 Oct 2018

Abstract

Abstract

By exploring the relation between the transcendental functions and the empirical and historical implications of the notion of »ornament« in Immanuel Kant’s Critique of the power of judgement, this article argues that Kant tried to establish the concept of ornament as a link between the pure formality of the aesthetic judgement and concrete empirical instances of beauty. Following a discussion of Kant’s emphasis on »exemplarity« and an analysis of his choice of examples of beauty, the article explores the conflict between Kant’s notion of the human body as an »ideal of beauty« and his famous disapproval of ornamental lines in the faces of Maori people. Finally, it considers the modes of representation of leading Maori, their garments, and their facial tā moko in the late nineteenth-century portraits of Gottfried Lindauer and Samuel E. Stuart, and advocates a dual reading of these portraits as both conforming to and contradicting the Kantian model of human beauty.

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