Thinking in the dark of William Kentridge’s Black box/Chambre noire: reflections within reflections

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English: This article explores contemporary art historical practice, by considering a number of critical concepts, as these relate discursively to William Kentridge’s multi-media artwork Black box/Chambre noire (2005). Walter Benjamin’s concept “thinking in images” (Bilddenken) forms the theoretical basis for a reflection on art historical practice viewed as, to borrow a powerful metaphor of Frederic Schwartz, “thinking in the dark”. W J T Mitchell’s concept of metapictures is adopted as a means to interpret selected images that appear to “think” or “sense” our interpretation of them, while they reflect on their processes of coming to be. W J T Mitchell is followed in considering “the picture-beholder relationship as a field of mutual desire”.