Sunday, July 22, 2012
The Other Enlightenment
The Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin is hosting an exhibition called On the Edge of Reason, which juxtaposes the hyper-rational, scientific, and moralistic Enlightenment with its less appreciated counterpart: the supernatural, pseudo-scientific, and malevolent preoccupations that were inextricably interwoven with more forward looking trends. One of the many high points of the show is Kant's death mask, a copy of which was apparently owned by founding phrenologist Franz Gall. Here Kant stares into the face of a phrenological skull reflected in the glass of their shared display case.