Paulina Tendera, Wojciech Rubiś, New Light [Nowe Światło], Wydawnictwo Nowa Strona, Kraków 2017.
In our reflections on the contemporary art of light and related philosophical and esthetic issues, we will take our inspiration from research initiated in 2009 and finalized in the publication of the book From the Philosophy of Light to the Art of Light (original Polish title: Od filozofii światła do sztuki światła). The new book is different in nature; its freer form has been adapted to the subject of research, namely, the contemporary art of light. However, in many places there will be references to the previous publication. The book constitutes a continuation of the study of the metaphysics of light, in the sense that its main aim is an attempt to answer the question of the potential for preserving, in contemporary art, the main idea and – it might be said – the ancient and medieval substance of the metaphysics of light.
In the book From the Philosophy of Light to the Art of Light, the history of the metaphysics of light was presented in its ontological and esthetic dimensions, enriched by the context of the philosophy of history and selected examples of painting, including only a small number of references to contemporary art. The Hegelian philosophy of history was to explain and make sense not so much of the subject of the metaphysics of light (which would be an irrational and absurd undertaking) as of the process of its development and the history of the Christian philosophy of light. The choice of this perspective contributed a great deal to the research, enriching the traditional Platonic point of view, as well as helping to structure and organize two and a half centuries of this history. Although the Hegelian philosophy of history may seem from today’s perspective an indoctrination in and distortion of history, it should be taken into consideration that as a philosopher Hegel had much in common with Plato, and we are faced with the truly serious problem of the metaphysics of light only in the context of contemporary art, especially if we wish to preserve any objective aspects, referring to ontology, theology, or axiology, of this metaphysics.