"Sympathie mimétique": On the Persistence of Resemblance in Aesthetic Modernity


  • Sara Bangert University of Tübingen


Dominant mimetophobic or anti-mimetic tendencies of the 20th century theoretical debate seem to rely on the assumptions of a modern disappearance of similarity as an epistemological paradigm, and a supposedly anti-mimetic Aesthetic Modernity, which in fact turns against a naïve identification of mimesis and resemblance. Thus, while criticising the mimesis-theoretical heritage that commits art to imitation as a ‘copy of the real’, Aesthetic Modernity and the Avant-Gardes abandon neither mimesis nor resemblance, which both are not to be reduced to ‘naturalistic’ concepts of representation. In an exemplary manner, Surrealism reconceptualises their relation in a rather non-imitative than anti-mimetic way, following on from an ‘aesthetics of the similar’ that stretches from antiquity to modernity. Surrealist concepts of analogy, metaphor, metamorphosis, mimicry and simulation express a ‘de-limited’ mimetic relationship to the world and an aesthetic work on representation and form that, contrary to mimetophobic tendencies, emphasises the aesthetic-epistemological tradition and modern persistence of similarity and resemblance.

Biografia autore

Sara Bangert, University of Tübingen

Sara Bangert is working and teaching as a research assistant at the German Department of the University of Tübingen. Her current research interests include Aesthetic Modernity and Avant-Garde Studies, similarity/resemblance, mimesis and representation, theories of small forms and poetics of idiorrhythmy, non-working and vagabondage. She completed her doctorate with the thesis “Entgrenzte Ähnlichkeit. Zur Konjunktur des Ähnlichen im Milieu des Surrealismus"(University of Tübingen 2020; unpublished manuscript). The dissertation project arose in the context of the research on similarity based in Tübingen (cf. BHATTI A., KIMMICH D. (eds.) (2015), Ähnlichkeit. Ein kulturtheoretisches Paradigma, with the assistance of Sara Bangert, Konstanz University Press, Konstanz; transl. 2018 as: Similarity. A Paradigm for culture theory, Tulika, New Dehli) and dealt with the Surrealists’ programmatic and productive involvement with aesthetic and epistemological figures of thought of the similar and its reconceptualisation of resemblance. Her publications in this context include: "Ähnlichkeit als Konzept des SurRealismus", in BAßLER M. (Hg.), Realisms of the Avant-Garde, Berlin 2020; "Rapprochement, Documents, Sciences diagonales. Transversale Ähnlichkeitskonzepte im Milieu des Surrealismus", in lendemains 44: 173 (2019), pp. 49-67; "'Unähnliche Ähnlichkeit' in Romantik und Surrealismus", in LÜBCKE S./THUN J. (eds.), Romantik und Surrealismus. Eine Wahlverwandtschaft?, Bern 2018, pp. 185-206.




Come citare

Bangert, S. (2020). "Sympathie mimétique": On the Persistence of Resemblance in Aesthetic Modernity. Elephant & Castle, (24). Recuperato da https://elephantandcastle.unibg.it/index.php/eac/article/view/247