What is there to see in invisible artworks, empty books, or blank screens; how does absence generate meaning? KWI Associate Fellow Alexandra Irimia explores these ideas in her recently released book “Figures of Radical Absence. Blanks and Voids in Theory, Literature, and the Arts” (DeGruyter), in which she proposes a concept of ‘radical absence’, describing a tradition of resistance to ontology, predication, and representation and thereby challenging their reliance on a metaphysics of presence.
Apophatic speech, empty signifiers, and figural voids are some examples of radical absence in twentieth-century theory, literature, film, and the arts. This monograph, available in print or online via open access, proposes absence as not only a counter-concept for presence, but also as infinite spacing, deferral, fragmentation, and displacement.