Nature and art: an asymmetrical relationship of resemblance

Nature and art: an asymmetrical relationship of resemblance

Why, you will be asking, have we chosen to talk to you about the relationship between nature and art?

Because, quite simply, our everyday work, consisting of manual work that aims to create unique works of craftsmanship, constantly draws its best inspiration from the aesthetic and ethical value of nature itself. In the constant and circular attempt to achieve the nature of the masculine aesthetic itself.

Thus discovering that we are genuine Aristotelians!

From the ontological point of view, the relationship of resemblance between natural constructions and artistic ones is asymmetrical. It is the latter that imitate the former and not vice versa. The image resembles the model and not the other way round. But πρὸς ἡμᾶς (pròs hemâs), as Aristotle says, that is, for us, or in other words from the gnosiological point of view, the resemblance is reciprocal. We understand the natural processes teleologically, or by comparing them with those that we have set in motion ourselves. We are full of admiration for how nature works with such great art, only to imitate again the nature that we have thus understood.

What remains of nature are not the natural beings, but structural physical laws, in other words exactly what Aristotle calls not phýsis but ἀνάγκη (anánke), necessity. And thus we have arrived at something that cannot be imitated, but that is indifferent to the distinction between nature and imitation. Considering things in this way, the concept of the imitation of nature loses all its meaning. What is truly phýsei cannot be imitated, and everything that can be imitated is already none other than perfect simulation.

So how do nature and artifice differ? Not simply in the fact that the former is not the work of man, it would seem. Chance and necessity are not either. What modern critics of the concept of nature reject is rather the idea of an ἀρχή κινήσεος (arché kinéseos), that is, the idea that the movement typical of all species is based on a principle within the real natural world and does not ultimately consist in the function of a universal parallelogram of forces in reciprocal collision. What is rejected is the idea that natural objects are autonomous, if such autonomy entails emancipation from generative conditions. And it is what Nietzsche had in mind when he affirmed that the last anthropomorphism that remains to be overcome is the idea that things are natural units. And Nietzsche completed the last step in that sense: even imagining oneself as a unit, the idea of one’s own identity itself, is anthropomorphic, and man himself is none other than anthropomorphism. We must not think about things in comparison to ourselves, but rather ourselves in comparison to things. But it is the things themselves that don’t exist, since they are only thought of in comparison with ourselves.