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Selbstbezügliches Schwarz?–Zur Reflexivität von Bildern

Schubbach, Arno

Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, Bd. 55 (2010), Iss. 2: S. 127–139

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Schubbach, Arno


The reflexivity of images is often dealt with in theoretical discourse on art and image. Yet what reflexivity consists of and how it proceeds within images is seldom clarified. Following a basic idea taken from Niklas Luhmann, this article proposes a model of reflexivity, namely: Each self-reference often proceeds by a conspicuous iconic element, which is concretely determined within the visual arrangement and thus draws the beholder’s attention not to the image as a whole, but to one of its specific aspects. This model characterizes reflexivity as a dimension of iconic representation in general and distinguishes it from mere artistic reflection and thematic self-reference.