In considering the meaning of works of art, Heidegger attempts to understand the essence of all artwork, which, for him, is the "source of its nature" or the "origin". This "origin" makes possible what and how a thing is. The artwork is the origin of the artist, and art is the origin of the artwork. Thus, art is the true origin of both works and artists. But in order to know what art is, we have only its works to examine, so we can only uncover the meaning of art from the works. The works of art stand as witness to what art is.
The works present themselves as things or objects, so the artwork as a thing in itself needs examination, and we need to distinguish this kind of `art-thing' from other things in the world. First, though, we must understand the nature of `things' in general or the `thingness' (what `thing' is) of things. So the method of understanding the essence of art is to consider the works or things of art's creation, which pre-requires a methodology for understanding the nature of things in general.
Heidegger reviews the various traditional philosophical frameworks which attempt to describe the true nature of things, the `thingness' of things. One considered view of `thing' is as that substance underlying basic properties (such as extension, mass, color, etc.) found in `it'. Here, the thing is a substance with accidental characteristics. This view is quickly dismissed by Heidegger. Another traditional view of `thing' is as the unity or sum total of sense data collected or the set of sensible properties. But this is rejected because we do not sense patches of color and other data and then unite them all into one body or thing. Instead, we perceive whole things and possibly later analyse parts of it. Next, Heidegger considers the view of `thing' as formed matter or the fusion of matter and form. This view makes too much of the distinction between matter and form, when material and form are inseparably related. Heidegger does not think any of these views are adequate, because there is more to our experience of things than mere sensible properties and form, and each of these views do not explain `thingness' but only suppose it as somehow related to material properties and form.
Each of these traditional views of `thing' covers up the very question of `thingness', because they already assume an answer or framework. But Heidegger's phenomenological method keeps the question alive by approaching things without the interpretational prejudices and presuppositions of traditional views. Any such presupposed view determines the nature of the question, and thus the answer found is framed within that structure of questioning. As we can see in the philosophy of cognition, the one who asks psychological questions will get psychological answers, while the one who asks physiological questions will get physiological answers. Or, we might ask, if the `thing' is "out there" or "in the mind" -- the answer depends upon what one is first looking for or where one is looking.
Instead of presupposing a closed framework of questioning and interpretation, Heidegger attempts to approach `thingness' from the phenomenological method of letting things rest in themselves or appear "the way they are assembled in the logos of Being" (Vyc 242). Heidegger's method lets reality speak to us in the language that it does, that is, come to us in [poetic] word. Heidegger's method is to first examine the meaning of the questions we seek to answer and also to uncover how things appear or reveal to us. In the examination of artwork he would look at what contextual or relational knowledge is being revealed in our experience of it.
Since artwork is a human creation kind-of-thing, Heidegger first
begins his examination of its `thingness' as a created artifact. From
this view the artwork-thing is a kind of artifact used in a particular
way for a particular human purpose. This views the artwork in relation
to its functionality, but the problem here is that the work does not
stand on its own or have its own self-sufficiency. It may be true that
artwork serves a human function or purpose, but artwork is also found
to have its own self-sufficiency, a kind of life of its own. So,
Heidegger attempts to distinguish the unique nature of artwork as a
self- sufficient thing from those artifacts having no self-sufficiency,
being only determined functionally.
He considers a pair of farm shoes in a Van Gogh painting. Of course, the painted shoes are not the same as shoes worn, but they reveal to us [as a work of art] the nature or `thingness' of peasant shoes as usable artifact. The artwork depiction of shoes actually reveals the nature of artifacts in general. The painted shoes are not just the "reproduction of some particular entity... it is the reproduction of the thing's general essence" (264), and the essence of shoes is in their equipmental nature, which is their serviceability and reliability. The serviceability (or function) of the artifact determines both its matter and form. Good shoes depend upon their serviceability and this depends upon the particular use involved. Shoes will require certain best materials and shape according to how they are to be used (ie., dancing, tennis or work).
The shoes are disclosed as they appear in their use, in their equipmental quality. An implement can only be known by referring to what it does and what it is for, which is its equipmental quality. It exists in a relational context. As Heidegger says, "The peasant woman wears her shoes in the field. Only here are they what they are" (261). In this phenomenological approach to the peasant shoes it is necessary to indicate other things and relations to which the thing refers. The shoes as a `thing' do not just reveal shoes, but a whole world of peasant life, the "toilsome tread of the worker,... the richness of the soil,... the loneliness of the field-path,... the silent call of the earth" (262).
The shoes are known in their serviceability. But the `thingness' of the thing is disclosed in its dependability The essence or truth of the peasant shoes is expressed in its servility and grounded in its dependability. Because of the dependability of her shoes, the peasant woman is right in her world and able to play her role in it. The shoes are ready-at-hand, that is, they are reliably used by the peasant in her world, and actually help make her world be what-it-is and be known in the relational way-it-is. So, the essence of equipment is revealed in the shoes as dependability in its servility.
The artwork revealed what shoes are in truth, that they exist in a relational context as usable and reliable equipment, and even the nature of equipment itself is revealed. Heidegger looks at the peasant shoes in this artwork as an opening of a world. The painted shoes reveal a world much greater than mere shoes. So, Van Gogh's painting of shoes discloses what equipment is in truth by its disclosure of what these shoes are in truth. Whereas the peasant knows the nature of her shoes by wearing them at-work, by their reliable serviceability at-work; we, instead, discover the nature of the shoes through their depiction in the artwork, in how the truth of that peasant world reveals itself or sets-itself-to-work in the artwork.
The shoes are features of the artwork but not the artwork itself. The shoes do not reveal the "`thingness' of the artwork-thing, and they do not reveal what art is in essence. The essence of an artwork cannot be disclosed by any of the implements within it. Yet, the implementability of the implement is disclosed through the artwork. The artwork is art not because of its representation of shoes, but because it reveals or opens the contextual world of the functional relations of shoes. The work-character of artwork is being made known here by Heidegger. As C.D. Keyes explains, "The thing-character of an artwork is such that, as a functional instrument, it points beyond its thing-character to give priority to the ontological disclosure that it expresses" (Keyes 68). We are not to ask here what are the thing-like properties of the work, but instead should ask what it hides and discloses, what ontological context or world is being revealed and concealed in the artwork.
Here we see Heidegger's preferred treatment of `thing' as equipment, having its meaning in its relational context. Artifacts only really exist in a world of being-in-use, and thus their stature is less than the use to which they are applied. They have no self-sufficiency; their truth is only revealed from without. We only understand them in relation to what they are not or to what they serve. Yet, artwork carries or preserves within it a complete world. It does not just indicate or associate itself to a world, but reveals a world from within itself.
Heidegger thinks that artwork is betrayed by traditional conceptual
frameworks and by the equipmental framework used to understand human
artifacts. If we are to truly understand the unique `thingness' of art,
then we must consider its self-subsistence as a thing standing in its
own light and revealing its own truth. The truth revealed in the
artwork is greater than the mere properties and form of the work. Art
is not a mere thing/object having specific properties. It is not a
`something' or mere implement with added on aesthetic properties or
values. The work is "not a piece of equipment that is fitted out in
addition with an aesthetic value that adheres to it" (265). The artwork
reveals a whole world of meaningful relations, "gathering around itself
the unity of those paths and relations" (267). There is the thing, the
artwork, and then there is that which is conveyed by the thing. So,
artwork is something greater than itself, "above its thingly element."
The work is thus a symbol or allegory, or conceptual frame upon which
art is made known.
Heidegger uses the Greek temple as an example of a complete and true artwork. The temple is not a depicted implement shown within an artwork, as considered in Van Gogh's painting, but it is a whole artwork revealing a whole world of relations. The temple reveals the Greek world. Heidegger sees the temple as opening a world for the nation to live within and bringing the earth into the world of the nation. As Heidegger describes, the temple "opens up a world and keeps it abiding in force" (269).
In this way, artwork is creative and preservative. It not only opens a world of truth but keeps open a world of truth. This preserving quality is related to the work's sacredness or holiness. What makes it holy is the god present, which is the "presencing" of the work. The god brings forward the wholeness (holiness) of the world, the unity of its diverse relations. Once the work loses this holy presencing, its living connection to its historical and psychological world, then the artwork looses its subsistent ground of being and is doomed to exist as a mere artifact or visitor attraction. Thus, we cannot view the true or whole (holy) nature of the artwork if we do not consider the historical, social, psychological world of its livingness: the world which it is revealing and preserving. Otherwise, we merely view its form and properties.
The artwork establishes a world, a world which takes place simultaneously with the bringing forward of earth. The world is the context of being, it is the context of relations. As Heidegger says, "Wherever those decisions of our history that relate to our being are made... There the world worlds" (H 44). And yet the world of decisions and possibilities can only open upon and within the earth. The world needs a ground and a medium for articulation. But the earth not only provides this ground, this usable material, this medium, and this shelter; it also resists the opening of the world.
The artwork erects a world, which is only possible if grounded upon the earth. The temple opens up a world and sets it back on the earth. The earth is "that into which the work sets itself back and which it [work] causes to come forth... Earth is that which comes forth and shelters" (270). The earth is the natural ground of the artwork, and the temple as artwork holds the earth within its world. The earth is not something added onto the world, but it belongs to the very structure of the world and to the artwork itself. The artwork both reveals the earth and is set back into it, and thus it is both unconcealing the earth and concealed by the earth. The artwork "holds the earth in the openness of the world".
The earth appears in diverse forms, modes or shapes, but never in full revelation. It reveals or unveils its forms and colors but keeps its essence veiled or concealed. The earth appears in stone and color, but never discloses itself. It only discloses itself as closed or concealed. The earth is not known by analysis, measuring or calculations. In fact, the earth retreats from attempts to disclose it. To measure the earth in the manner of the traditional scientific framework fails to reveal the nature of the earth as it IS to us, such as mute, burdensome, amazing, sublime, etc. By trying to uncover the earth's essence, we lose sight of any significant disclosure. Only by bringing forward and preserving its concealment, which true art does, can the earth be disclosed, for the earth comes forward as essentially concealed, though expressing this concealment in many different possible modes or forms of language. And it is the world that holds the language of the earth in the openness
In the temple the materials of earth stand out in the open and are not lost in their implementation. The materials of the earth are not consumed by or disappear in their serviceability. So, the earth is not consumed or destroyed in an artwork the way it is in an implement. The materials are not merely seen in their usefulness. Instead, they are revealed in their spender. The temple brings forth properties of the earth: the whiteness of marble, the blueness of the sky. The temple reveals the materiality of the earth, and "lets the earth to be an earth" (271). The temple is not just dug-up stone, but the earth revealed in its spender of mass, texture and color.
In true art, then, properties of the earth, such as masses, forms, and colors, reveal themselves in their own light and brilliance The earth in essence remains concealed but, none the less, properties and forms of it disclose themselves. Artworks bring forth the truth of the earth, manifesting its properties in the fuller light of their spender What is revealed are various forms or modes of earth-in-use and in the expression of its properties. Yet, the earth is set within the world, so is concealed by the world. Therefore, artworks expose elements of the earth within the light of its world. The earth is revealing but it is revealed in the light of the world. The disclosure is only partial, then, because what is revealed are only various phenomenological frameworks constituted from the world.
The world discloses the earth in a particular light, in the light of the world. The earth is, in a sense, partially revealed in the light of the world, in the light of the context in which we use things and perceive things. Heidegger says "the world is the self-disclosing openness of the broad paths of the simple and essential decisions in the destiny of an historical people" (272). He says, "The world grounds itself on the earth, and the earth juts through world" (272). The earth finds its expression received and interpreted by the world. Yet, not the earth is revealed but how the earth is interpreted by the world, how the earth conceals itself in the interpretation. What is thus revealed is the earth in concealment. It is concealed in the language in which we think and express ourselves, which is the world in which we are knowing.
Earth and world are ontologically interdependent. The world and the earth are two opposites, referring and belonging to each other The two stand in strife, and this strife reveals the truth because it is the truth of Being, and "expresses the structure of the worldness of world" (Vyc 246). In their strife the world and the earth help each other be what they are, which is unconcealment and concealment. The world throws everything within itself into light, while the earth conceals itself in everything. The darkness of the earth belongs to the lightness of the world, and the lightness of the world reveals the darkness of the earth. The "work-being" of artwork "consists in the fighting of the battle between world and earth" (273). And it is in this strife that we find truth in artwork. Artwork is the assemblage of earth and world. It guards and preserves their strife; thus, allowing truth to be revealed in its openness Art is a world of truth, and artwork reveals this world of truth.
For Heidegger, truth is a revelation, what the Greeks called `Alethaea'. In traditional views the source of revelation is the light of the intellect, but in earlier Greek philosophy the thing appears in its own light, in what they called `physis'. Traditionally, a thing is real as such only in its representation in the intellect. But the `thingness' of a thing, for Heidegger, is not in its objectivity, nor in its correspondence or representality between mind and object. Correct representation presumes already a disclosure of truth. Thus, the `thingness' of a thing is in its revealed acting in the world.
Truth does not mean correctness, but instead means disclosure. Untruth does not mean falseness or incorrectness in the conformity between mind and object, as it might mean in the traditional frameworks; instead, it means concealment, the truth covered up and veiled from knowing. The Truth is thus untruth until disclosed as truth. Truth is defined by its disclosure. Here, truth is more like a confession or open-sincerity, instead of a correct measurement or correct proposition. Truth is not even analogous to a right description, that is, a statement corresponding to some objective occurrence; it is purely in the disclosure itself.
This truth cannot be proven or even scientifically investigated
because it does not pertain to correctness; it can only be experienced
-it can only be disclosed to us. Correctness may indeed take place or
not within some world of being, but Heidegger's use of the word `truth'
pertains to the world disclosing itself, not correspondences within it.
He says, "Science is not a primary event of truth, but always merely a
cultivation of one section of already opened truth." (H 50). A
scientific method already presupposes a realm of truth, so it "can
never give any information or make any judgments about primary truth
because such truths build the realm from which science can be born...
science can never reach beyond its birthbed" (Vyc 167). Truth is not a
copy or conformity with `something' else, such as the `real' or the
`world' or `God' or `substance'; this kind of `truth' is a step away
from or less than some other more-real truth.
Instead, Heidegger's truth is of the first order, it is the ultimate ontological truth, such that it is the Real revealing itself, and from the mind's standpoint it is the "breaking into light" or the disclosure of the Real in consciousness. It is how the world opens up to us. Thus, truth is revealed through the world, and the world is the disclosure of truth. The world opens up truth in a particular way or in a particular light. And higher order of truth takes untruth into account, because untruth as concealment of truth is just as much of the truth as truth as unconcealment.
Truth is located in what Heidegger calls `physis', taken from Greek, meaning revelation or coming forward from concealment. Physis is the revealed concealment of being. It is the strife between truth and untruth, and thus it is Truth. The ultimate Truth is the openness of Being, `physis', Being revealed. It is the world revealing Being. Physis is the revelation or holding open of a realm or world of truth. Truth belongs to the act of revelation, to the bringing forward of the essential strife between earth and world. This revelation is also Being's concealment (which I think could be the function of the earth). Untruth is truth veiled, and yet this concealment of truth is itself of the truth. `Physis' loves to hide as well as reveal. Just as Dasein is being-in-the-world, `physis' is earth-in-the-world. So for Heidegger, artwork is a revelation of earth in-the-world, and yet the world reveals the earth's concealment. What is revealed in artwork is earth concealed in the world, just as Dasein reveals Being concealed in the world.
Truth at work, in its work-being, is a disclosure of Being from concealment, but at the same time a concealing. This concealing can be be seen in two ways. In one sense, the concealing is as a refusal of concealment to be unconcealed; it pertains to the periphery of effulgence. In this way, disclosure or the effulgence "refuses to transgress its own limits... is limited by a circumscribing frontier, hence a border at which effulgence from one point of view ends, from another begins" (Richardson 405). In the second sense, concealment pertains to the phenomena of "seeming-to-be", making things shine forth as what they are not, making possible all forms of error and mistaken interaction. In terms of artwork, then, truth is being disclosed, but this unconcealedness is in continual contention with the limiting restraint and unclarity of concealment. Truth, then, is negatived, because the means or lighting-process whereby Being emerges from concealment also conceals its nature.
To look for the essence or reality of art, without first looking at the work-being nature of art as disclosed in artworks, is a wrong approach, because the `thingness' of the artwork is not something capable of being known except by way of how it is presented to us through things or through the world. Essence cannot be known or inferred in any way other than in the knowing what is disclosed to us, what is revealed in the light of the world at-hand or within-the-horizon of experience. The world does disclose to us, but the whole of reality does not. Just as Being is reality disclosed by the world in Dasein or Being-in-the-world, all that we know is the world. Reality may of course be more than or even other than we know, but all that we do know is that which is revealed to us by the opening of truth. Reality or essence is always beyond our knowing, yet we do know the truth as opened up for us, which is the world that we know, and this world is a partial disclosure of reality, for what could reality be but the disclosure of unclosure or the opening to what is truth.
The idea of openness is a later development in Heidegger's thought. Openness was first thought of as Dasein, to-be-in-the-world, then later it is the openness of Being itself, of which he begins to uncover the structure. In his first phase of thought, the earth is implicit in the world as its concrete reality, the implements and equipment of the world. But here, the earth is more explicitly defined in relation to the world. Heidegger idea of earth is a different view from the traditional truth of nature as being an objective object to be technologically used by the subject of philosophy, man. Heidegger's earth must be respected, not merely used, for the earth reveals the truth of Being - which transcends man.
Truth, in essence, is openness, and what is open is the strife between truth and untruth, disclosure and concealment, world and earth. Within this openness, everything stands and comes forward in its own light. The artwork includes in its unity the articulated difference and strife between world and earth. This strife IS the truth when it takes a disclosed stand in openness, and this stand-in-openess is realized by the setting of the strife into a thing or artwork. Thus, the opening and the setting of truth within the artwork are essentially the same move. The opening is a disclosure but also a concealment, because concealment is of the strife that is disclosed. In artwork concealment appears as disguise. Art is an appearance or disguise of truth, though essentially grounded in truth. Truth appears and disguises itself in a particular medium of earthness.
The earth is concealment, is untruth, and yet the earth is also of the world of truth. Both earth and world are the complementing context of the world of truth. The world is the context for the clearing or opening in which the dialectic of truth and untruth takes place. And this world has its own dialectical conflict with its interdependent opposite, the earth. And artwork could be thought of as the context for the dialectic of world and earth. The work manifests and stabilizes the primal contention between world and earth. So, the world-earth dialectic is a disclosure in artwork of the work-being of truth.
Artwork opens up or sets forth a world of truth. What really comes forward into openness is the appearance of beauty. Beauty is not some added-on aesthetic property perceived objectively in an artwork by some subject. It is the ontological disclosure of Being in a unique and unrepeatable way. Beauty is the appearance of truth opening up in the world of the artwork. It is the appearance of `physis'. The appearance of a world of Being is `physis', and the structure of `physis' is the strife between world and earth. Thus, truth in artwork cannot consist in any sort of correct representation or portrayal of things. In fact, it neither consists of the artwork being representative of `Truth'. Truth is not transcendental to its revelation, to its unconcealedness, so artwork can be self-subsistent in truth.
Truth must, in fact, be set-into-work, because it can only be known, that is, it can only be the unconcealedness that it is, when it is known in its work-being. Heidegger asks, "Of what nature is truth, that it can be set into work, or even under certain conditions must be set into work, in order to be `as' truth?" And since the setting-into-work of truth is, by definition, art, then we should consider the nature of truth as that which can or must happen as art. In this view, all metaphysical answers are expressions of art, and all epistemological problems are problems of aesthetics, because artwork is the pathway and disclosure of truth. Since art is the opening of truth, philosophy is a kind of artwork, and its metaphysical systems are aesthetic creations, differing from most artwork only in relation to its comprehensiveness of conceptual language and symbols.
For Heidegger, "the attempt to define the work-being of the work purely in terms of the work itself proves to be unfeasible" (279). We must examine the nature of the creative process. Since technological implements are just as `created' as artwork, we must find a different distinction between the two things. What makes artwork a disclosure of truth is more than the mere fact of it being a creation. It is the work-being of truth, because it unconceals what was previously concealed and does not stand for us as a mere usable artifact. Art is truth, and the artwork brings forward in light, or makes stand in sight, what was already there in truth. By creating artworks, artists serve Being's disclosure, as they let Being appear and stand in their work. But art is not created by the artist, since the artist is not the creator of truth. The artist is more of a channel or medium for truth/beauty or art, rather than the creator.
In mere technological artifacts the createdness is lost or forgotten in the produced product; the creative process is not at all considered important once the result is attained. But in artwork, the creative process, which is essentially the tension between concealedness and unconcealedness, between earth and world, is essential to the meaning and beauty of the work. It is this creative strife that stands forth in true artwork. The artwork also preserves this essential strife, and thus art is "the creative preserving of truth in the work. Art then is the beginning and happening of truth" (284). It is a preserved opening of truth in the world of man.
In order for the work to be complete in itself, the openness must stand in relation to a recipient. Someone must abide in this openness, or at least this someone must be anticipated; otherwise, the openness has no meaning. Artwork is meant to arrest our attention and alter our customary interpretations of the world. Artwork is a disclosing of a new view of the world and earth within it, but there needs to be a new perception or awakening for this purpose to fulfill itself. Since the work of the artwork is to jolt or startle one out of the ordinary perception, there must be a recipient for which truth comes-to-pass. This is what conserves the work. So, those who are to abide in the openness of the artwork play a necessary role in the work-being. They conserve or preserve that truth, that disclosure, and so they can be called "conservers" or "preservers" of truth.
The artwork is a "throw" of truth upon the recipients, and in this way this particular world of truth becomes of the history or world-context of man. C.Fynsk says, "The work of art is a projection of truth, the projection of the clearing or opening of Being. It is projection in the sense of a design or sketch, ... but it is also the `release of a throw'... cast toward a defined group of preservers" (Fynsk 135). Heidegger says the work is "thrown toward the coming preservers... toward a historical group of men" (H 75). The artwork is a new thrust entering history, transporting people into their destiny.
The work thrusts forward the fact that it IS "resting in itself". Differentiating itself in its setting of being, it stands apart from the ordinary as being present-at-hand, it is a self-subsistent occurance and preservance of truth. The work achieves its unique identity, its self-subsistency, its "standing" or "resting" within itself, when outside the ordinary world of practical things, of ready-at-hand equipment and practices. It throws open new relations as it differentiates and articulates what is the world, what is truth. This differentation and articulation IS what is meant by and what is known as the opening of the world. In other words, the opening of a world of truth is a new articulation, which is a unique lighting or interpretation of the world, and thus a new differentation of truth.
Therefore, the process of truth coming-to-pass in the artwork consists of three related movements fusing into a dynamic unity: the essential strife between concealment and unconcealment, and the strife between world and earth in the opening of truth or in truth set-into-work; the creative act of stabilizing this contention through the artist's work and the earth-medium of the work; and, the experience of this truth come-to-pass by the preservers of art, and its subsequent entering into the historical destiny of man. Thus, art may be thought of as the creative conservation of truth in a work, preserving a unique and unrepeatable disclosure of Being in time and place. What makes the artwork different from mere technological production is that it unconceals the truth and "happens here for the first time" (H 65). Thus, art is the becoming of truth and its continual hapenning within a world.
Heidegger describes the essence or truth of truth as truth-at-work, that is, truth in its strife between its concealment and its unconceal
ment. The very meaning of truth is in its disclure to us. And yet we know that this disclosure is out of, or originating in, concealment (which is untruth). And in order for this strife to be as-it-is it must be in a dialectical struggle of coming into openess from closure or hiddeness, which necessitates an active creative worker setting-into- work this work-being nature of truth. The work-being of truth, which is the striving to disclose what is up to now concealed, requires actual work and a worker who does the striving-work. This worker of truth is the artist, not any ordianary artist, but an artist who sets-forth or sets-into-work this disclosure of truth, and within this, the disclosure of the essential strife of bringing the truth into light or into being.
This setting-into-being, or the lighting of truth, or the opening of truth, is found in the world, and in fact, is the world. The world is that context of being, the relational context of my being, the experience I have of truth. The world is the truth as I know it, and thus; this world is my interpretation of truth, or in another way, the truth interpreted is the world, the world of my understanding and decision- making. In understanding, all I need is the world (to understand or interpret). But in order to set-forth this understanding, to preserve this world disclosed or open, there needs to be a setting-into-ground, a preserving into material existence. Therefore, artwork is the necessary act of setting-into-earth the symbolic or representational disclosure of the truth, of the world understood, of a "world of truth". It is at this point that the world and earth come into strife, because now the opening of the world into preservation must contend with its medium, the earth.
The artist, or more so the artwork, must struggle with the concealing nature of the earth in its disclosure of world-as-truth-in-openess. The earth is not only concealing its own nature, but concealing the world as well, that is, when it is being expressed in artwork. In other words, the artwork is a concealment of the world in earth. The earth is the [artistic] medium for the world's disclosure, and it succeeds in a partial though concealing way. And thus, the struggle between truth and untruth, unconcealment and concealment, is found in the struggle between world and earth within the artwork. The strife of world and earth is then set-into the artwork, as well as the strife of truth and untruth, of unconcealment and concealment. Artwork reveals the essential strife of Being, which is to disclose itself, make itself known, and articulate and differentiate itself into preservation. Artwork preserves into history this unique and ephemeral disclosure of Being by setting it into-work and setting it into-earth. And what is revealed is the earth concealed within the world, or the world set within and concealed within the earth.
And in the end of this logic, I must conclude that the earth IS the concealed truth struggling to disclose itself itself within the world, within the interpretational medium of world. For it is in the world that disclosure takes place, and even though the essential disclosure is that of dialectical strife, what is being disclosed is the earth in a particular light, in the light of the world. And yet, it is not just the earth being disclosed but the nature of Being itself, a Being which can only be truly known within the relational context of its existence, and the ultimate relational context of Being is that of the earth, as well as that of the social world involving or relating with the earth.
Thus, artwork is THE preserved disclosure of truth, which is
essentially the strife between concealment and unconcealment, and then
the strife between earth and world, all of which takes place or is
set-forth in the artwork, and what is striving to come forth is the
world disclosing itself through the earth and the earth revealing
itself through the world. So, because of artwork a world is opened and
set into preservation within the earth, a world which is, at the same
time, a creative disclosure of truth and a concealment of truth. And
the reason for the world's concealment is the earth, and yet; what the
world discloses IS the earth --in the light of the world or in the
context of interpretation.