The essays compiled in this volume show a variety of points of intersection and involvement between aesthetics and visual studies; some consider the future of visual art, some the conditions and characteristics of contemporary visual aesthetic experience, while others take on the difficult question of the relation between visual representation and reality. What unites them is their authors’ willingness to think about contemporary visual culture in the conceptual frame of aesthetics. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of philosophical aesthetics, art history, and cultural studies.
Jakub Stejskal is writing his dissertation on the notion of second nature in political philosophy and aesthetics at the Department of Aesthetics, Charles University, Prague. He co-edits Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics and Notebook for Art, Theory and Related Zones.
What is the nature of this power and how does it operate? The Renaissance decided that works of art are timeless, “immortal” – immune from historical change – and this idea has exerted a profound influence on Western thought. But do we still believe it? Does it match our experience of art today which includes so many works from the past that spent long periods in oblivion and have clearly not been immune from historical change?
This book examines the seemingly miraculous power of art to transcend time – an issue widely neglected in contemporary aesthetics. Tracing the history of the question from the Renaissance onwards, and discussing thinkers as various as David Hume, Hegel, Marx, Walter Benjamin, Sartre, and Theodor Adorno, the book argues that art transcends time through a process of metamorphosis – a thesis first developed by the French art theorist, André Malraux. The implications of this idea pose major challenges for traditional thinking about the nature of art.
What this book seeks to accomplish is a thorough reformulation of the terms of reference, based on the actual “form of life” that is art. This amounts to a framework for a wholly new philosophy of art. It demonstrates that art is quintessentially involved in the meaning of life, and through its heuristic dimension serves our impulse for self-knowledge and an understanding of the human condition.
The book is in the first instance a philosophical treatise and therefore suitable for academic study in all grades, though perhaps with greatest benefit at post-graduate level. But it has been written in an approachable style to encourage a wider audience to engage with its tenets: accordingly it seeks also to address art aficionados, whether professional or dilettante, as well as general readers with an interest in these ever perplexing and profoundly intriguing issues of our human estate.
Since vision and picture-making are the realm of art, art theory picked up on questions such as: are pictures able to represent knowledge about the world? How does the production of images itself generate knowledge? How does pictorial logic differ from linguistic logic? How can artists contribute to a collective search for truth?
Questions concerning the epistemic potential of art can be found throughout the centuries up until the present day. However, these are not questions of art alone, but of the representational value of images in general. Thus, the history of art theory can contribute much to recent discussions in Visual Studies and Bildwissenschaften by showing the historic dimension of arguments about what images are or should be. “What is knowledge?” is as much a philosophic question as “What is an image?”
Visual epistemology is a new and promising research field that is best investigated using an interdisciplinary approach that addresses a range of interconnected areas, such as internal and external images and the interplay of producer and perceiver of images. This publication outlines this territory by gathering together several approaches to visual epistemology by many distinguished authors.
A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric.
Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.
The art market has been booming. Museum attendance is surging. More people than ever call themselves artists. Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description, and, for some, a kind of alternative religion.
In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie's auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami's studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale. She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton's entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture.
One of the most highly regarded books of its kind, On Photography first appeared in 1977 and is described by its author as "a progress of essays about the meaning and career of photographs." It begins with the famous "In Plato's Cave"essay, then offers five other prose meditations on this topic, and concludes with a fascinating and far-reaching "Brief Anthology of Quotations."