Topography, Rhetoric and the Vanishing Point
Horizontal and Vertical Worlds
In his final work, The Visible and the Invisible, Maurice Merleau-Ponty remarked:
I say that the Renaissance perspective is a cultural fact, that perception itself is polymorphic and that if it becomes Euclidean, this is because it allows itself to be oriented by the system. Whence the question: how can one return from this perception fashioned by culture to the “brute” or “wild” perception? What does the informing consist in? By what act does one undo it (return to the phenomenal, to the “vertical” world, to lived experience)?1
Merleau-Ponty sees the culturally driven system of perspectivally ordered perception as antithetical to the “vertical” world of lived ...