Nothing is more dangerous for the exact and delicate understanding of the plastic arts (design, painting, sculpture, architecture, and minor arts) than the rather banal description, "arts of space," in contrast to the phonetic and cinematic arts (music, poetry, the dance, and to this group we must now add the cinema), characterized as "arts of time."
This contrast, subscribed to by a great number of aestheticians from Hegel to Max Dessoir, has its historic origin in the philosophy of Kant, particularly in the contrast he makes between the external senses, to which the form of space would be inherent, and the internal sense whose form would be time. The desire to bring music and poetry into the realm of the internal sense (in order to see there "the soul speaking directly to the soul") has often led to a real misunderstanding of the extent and the cosmic reach of the plastic arts, stripped of their temporal dimensions, and of their content according to that dimension. This is what I would like to demonstrate in this article.
Every work of art creates its own universe. And whoever speaks