Edouard Manet Autonomie Velazquez Cezanne

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Bild und Blick in Manets Malerei

Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag 2003.

Einleitung, Abschnitt IV

Legt man den analytischen Akzent auf das Bild-Betrachter-Verhältnis sowie auf Manets bildgeschichtliche Position, läßt sich die gängige Auffassung konkretisieren, Manet sei einer der entschiedensten Verfechter malerischer Autonomie. Im Hinblick darauf sind im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhunderts zwei Schritte der Autonomisierung zu unterscheiden. Zunächst, nach dem Ende des Ancien régime und verstärkt in der Romantik, ging es darum, die Malerei von der Aufgabe zu entbinden, eine gesellschaftliche Funktion zu erfüllen – einem Auftrag zu gehorchen oder einer Sache zu dienen, beispielsweise der Sache des Staates. Der zweite Schritt war entschieden radikaler. Manet – wie nach ihm so mancher Künstler der klassischen Avantgarden – wies die Verpflichtung zurück, in seinen Bildern überhaupt etwas aussagen zu müssen. Die Ausdifferenzierung eines autonomen malerischen Feldes vollzog sich insbesondere durch die Abwehr alles ‚Literarischen‘ im weitesten Sinne. War es in der Romantik, etwa bei Delacroix, noch allgegenwärtig, wurde es jetzt als aufzusprengende Umklammerung empfunden. Das Bild sollte auf keine Textquelle rückführbar sein, ja noch nicht einmal auf einen heteronomen ‚Diskurs‘, der von außen bestimmte, wonach sich seine Herstellung und seine Betrachtung zu richten habe. Daraus erklärt sich die zunehmende Tendenz zur ‚Offenheit‘ und zum ‚Unvollendeten‘: Beides unterlief die Möglichkeit, dem Bild eine bestimmte Aussage abfordern zu können. Georges Bataille hat dies vielleicht am bündigsten benannt, als er Manets Spezifik darin sah, jeden literarischen Sinn, aber auch jede Referenz auf tradierte Normen und Konventionen zum Schweigen gebracht zu haben: „Der Text“, so Bataille, „wird durch das Bild ausgelöscht. Und was das Bild bedeutet, ist nicht der Text, sondern dessen Auslöschung.“
Manet aber destruierte nicht nur bestehende Bindungen, sondern suchte zugleich nach neuen. Im normativen Vakuum, das durch den Niedergang der Académie des Beaux-Arts entstand, schuf er sich zwei Orientierungspunkte, die er dem brüchig gewordenen akademischen Wertesystem entgegensetzte. Die erste betraf das Problem der Legitimität des Künstlers, also die Frage, wer ein Maler sei respektive sich gerechtfertigterweise so nennen dürfe. Bislang hatte die Académie das Monopol besessen, die ‚wahren‘ Künstler von den ‚anderen‘ zu scheiden, deren Ablehnung ihnen unter anderem verwehrte, im offiziellen Salon auszustellen. Daß die Autorität der ehemals übermächtigen Selektionsinstanz der Académie schwand, zeigte sich gerade an den heftigen Kämpfen, die zu Manets Zeit um die Definition des ‚wahren‘ Künstlers und um die Zulassung zum Salon geführt wurden. In dieser Legitimitätskrise suchte Manet die ‚autonome‘ Rückversicherung bei jenen Malern der Vergangenheit, in deren Bildern er Vorläufer seiner eigenen künstlerischen Absichten zu entdecken glaubte. In Tizian und in Rubens erkannte er ‚Wahlverwandte‘ – vor allem aber in „maître Velásquez“. Ihn bezeichnete er als den größten Maler, der je gelebt habe, als „peintre des peintres“, bei dem er die Erfüllung seines Ideals in der Malerei gefunden habe. Wenn er sich nun explizit auf diese Maler bezog, so sollte deren nicht-akademische, zu jener Zeit jedoch wachsende Autorität seiner Malerei, die das Akademische so offensichtlich mißachtete, sozusagen die künstlerische ‚maîtrise‘ verleihen. Ebenso wichtig dürfte sein, daß Manet in diesen Künstlern Persönlichkeiten zu erkennen glaubte, deren aristokratischer Habitus und weitgehende künstlerische Autonomie sich wechselseitig zu begründen schienen. In ihnen fand er ein Künstlerbild vorgeprägt, dem er – unter den anderen historischen Bedingungen des ‚Dandyismus‘ – selbst nachzuleben versuchte.
Die andere Orientierung hingegen betraf den Betrachter, dem sich Manets Bilder nicht nur im metaphorischen Sinne, sondern wortwörtlich ‚zuwandten‘, um mit ihm in einen ‚Dialog‘ von bislang unbekannter Unmittelbarkeit zu treten. Die eigentliche Pointe dieser ‚Zuwendung‘ offenbart sich erst vor dem Hintergrund des zeitgenössischen Strebens nach malerischer Autonomie. Dieses Streben löste einen tiefgreifenden Wandel aus, der sowohl die Produktion wie auch die Rezeption der Kunst betraf und in dem historische, soziologische und ästhetische Aspekte kaum zu trennen sind. Als die herkömmlichen kommunikativen Brücken zwischen Kunst und Publikum – die literarisch fundierte Motivwelt, das Ensemble von geteilten Normen und Werten, all das, was Bataille zusammenfassend den „Text“ nannte – nicht mehr trugen, begann sich ein künstlerisches Selbstverständnis herauszubilden, das jeden außerästhetischen ‚Nutzen‘ der Kunst ablehnte und den absoluten Primat der Form gegenüber dem Inhalt behauptete. Parallel dazu veränderte sich die Einstellung der Rezipienten. Indem sie ebenfalls zunehmend der Auffassung waren, Kunst sei allein zum Zwecke ästhetischer Erfahrung geschaffen, gaben auch sie der Form gegenüber dem Inhalt den Vorrang. Damit waren die Voraussetzungen für eine Malerei gegeben, die das ‚reine‘, ‚absolute‘ Sehen zum Ausgangspunkt und zum Ziel der Kunst erklärte, ein solches Sehen aber umgekehrt auch vom Betrachter forderte. Wollte man diese Verabsolutierung des Sehens mit einem Namen verbinden, wäre wohl am ehesten derjenige Paul Cézannes zu nennen. Bei Manet hingegen gewann diese neuartige ‚Kommunikation‘ zwischen Produzent und Rezipient eine Form, die in gewisser Weise zwar naheliegen konnte, aber bis heute nichts von ihrer provokanten Radikalität einbüßte: Manet ließ das ‚reine Sehen‘ mit einem konkreten, inkarnierten Blick zusammenfallen, der sich aus dem Bild heraus auf den Betrachter richtete.

Bild und Blick im Zeichen künstlerischer Autonomie
Abschnitt II
Abschnitt III
punkt Abschnitt IV
Edouard Manet - Pfeil Abschnitt V
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