The work of art as a work of art

2nd part of excerpts from Martin Heidegger’s lecture.

The work of art is always taken in a relationship with something else and is not captured from itself: it is either considered as being produced by the artist, or as being an object taken care of by the art market (Kunstbetrieb)

But is it possible to understand something from itself, outside of any relationship? Because understanding remains a form of relationship.

Doesn’t the attempt to extract the work from any relationship aim to directly meet the essence of the work itself?

Certainly, because then the work will manifest itself (offenbarsein) as a work.

The work means the being manifested (Offenbarsein).

The whole question is what does this demonstration and openness (Öffentlichkeit) mean?

By this is meant the place where the work “takes effect” (“wirkt), where it is inclined to stand in the open. ( ins Offene hinaussteht).

This is nothing tangible that can be reached, like a letter reaches its recipient.

On the contrary, in the manifest being of the work is fully obtained ( erwirkt sich), for the first time the opening of the work.

And where this opening takes place, the work destroys any relationship.

And it is this capacity for destruction that is the measure of the greatness of a work of art.