The Autonomy of the Aesthetic Process

An introduction to Alain Badiou’s ‘The autonomy of the aesthetic process’ Bruno bosteels After achieving considerable critical acclaim with Almageste and Portulans – two avant-garde novels that promptly caught the attention of his long-time intellectual model Jean-Paul Sartre – Alain Badiou published ‘The Autonomy of the Aesthetic Process’, his first work as a philosopher. [1] […]

Strategies of distinction

Strategies of distinction Rancière’s Aisthesis and the two regimes of art Nicolas vieillescazes At the root of Jacque Rancière’s work lies a gesture of dissociation: to unfasten the people, the poor and the proletariat from the Marxist discourses to which they were so firmly fixed that one might think them to be sewn from the […]

Claire Fontaine

Interview Claire Fontaine Andrew Culp and Ricky Crano At the heart of Claire Fontaine’s critique of contemporary art is a critical appraisal of the role played by relational aesthetics in relaying the social conditions and objects of capital into the space of art. Readymades like Duchamp’s Fountain, on the one hand, saturate the art world […]

Architecture or art? (Response to Leslie); War between philosophy and art (Response to Bernstein); Frank significance (Response to Orozco)

~’, LETTERS Architecture or art? Esther Leslie’s sour dismissal of the wrapping of the Reichstag by Christo and Jeanne-Claude (RP 77) contains a number of doubtful and contradictory arguments. Permission to wrap the building required a parliamentary vote; approval was by 295 votes to 226. This democratic act by an institution of the state is […]

Humanism and Nature

Humanism and Nature John O’Neill Those who aim to construct links between Marxism and the green movement often look to Marx’ s early work on alienation as a source for a green Marxism. I There is an immediate apparent problem with any such attempt to marry the early Marx and the greens, viz. that Marx’s […]

Foucault’s Aesthetics of Existence

Foucault’s Aesthetics of Existence Andrew Thacker To become a work of art is the object of living – Oscar Wilde What role has aesthetics in the later work of Mic heI Foucault? In the final completed volumes of his History of Sexuality (translated as Vol. 2, The Use of Pleasure and Vol. 3, The Care […]

Revealing the Truth of Art

Revealing the Truth of Art Andrew Bowie Philosophical discussion of art in English tends not to aim its sights particularly high, and some Anglo-Saxon philosophy has effectively denied art any serious philosophical significance at all. In this light a contemporary German book* which wishes to argue for the truth of art over that of the […]

From Virginia Woolf to the Post-Moderns

From Virginia Woolf to the Post-Moderns: Developments in a Feminist Aesthetic Pauline Johnson Contemporary feminist art theory and practIce has, by and large, turned away from a modernist affirmation of the autonomy of art from IHe towards a post-modern problematisation of the specIfIc category of the aesthetIc. The modernist assertion of the freedom of the […]

The Narration of an Unhappy Consciousness

The Narration of an Unhappy Consciousness: Lukacs, Marxism, the Novel, and Beyond Keith Ansell-Pearson Parmenides said, ‘one cannot think of what is not’; – we are at the other extreme, and say, ‘what can be thought of must certainly be a fiction.’ – Nietzsche (1) Introduction J. M. Bernstein has written a book that merits […]

Karl Marx, Death and Apocalypse

Karl Marx, Death and Apocalypse Joanna Hodge Thoughts occasioned by reading Wayne Hudson, The Marxist Philosophy of Ernst Bloch (Macmillan, 1982) and Julian Roberts, Waiter Benjamin (Macmillan, 1982) There are five grand’ ‘o’ld me~ of’ twentieth-century European Marxism: Adorno , Benjamin , Bloch , Lukacs , and Marcuse . Their works loom bulky and ominous […]

Media and Images

practice, or realism and idealism. Different forms of it are attacked in different books. In The Clue to History Macmurray looks at the split between the theory and practice of religion; in Reason and Emotion he argues that the real distinction should be intellect and emotion, and that both are capable of rationality or irrationality. […]

The Marxist Theory of Art

THE mARHIST THEORY OF ART ************************ ****************************************** Rager Taylar Therefore, concepts have histories and that this is so has rich implications for conceptual enquiries, for with the demise of essences concepts become no more and no less than historical phenomena, so that their history is not incidental to what they are. Thus, conceptual investigation must […]

The rhythm of alterity

The rhythm of alterity Levinas and aestheticsgary peters The evocative remarks of Emmanuel Levinas on art and rhythm have received little attention. In opening the question of the aesthetic, indeed the questionable nature of the aesthetic for Levinas, the intention here is to redress the balance at a time when the ethical dimension of his […]

Arthur C. Danto

INTERVIEW Arthur C. Danto Art and analysis RP: Your philosophical work appears to be made up of two fairly distinct strands: what one might call a mainstream analytical strand and a more unconventional aesthetic strand. The second strand is dissident, first because itʼs about aesthetics – it takes art seriously, philosophically – and second because […]

Backwoods musicology

Commentary Backwoods musicology Roger Scruton’s aesthetics of music Ben watson Roger Scruton is a right-wing pundit regularly rolled out by the British media to voice ʻbravely unfashionableʼ points of view. After the march against New Labour organized by the Countryside Alliance, he published a book in defence of fox-hunting. However, unlike most backwoods right-wingers, Scruton […]

On autonomy and the avant-garde

But if this position rightly demolishes the opposition between art and technological mediation enshrined in late modernist theory1 it nevertheless suffers from its own kind of blindness: the identification of technological mediation with the democratization of form. By subsuming art under technology, this kind of thinking renders the connection between form and ethics harmless or […]

New German aesthetic theory

A central preoccupation of German aesthetic theorists over the last thirty years has been with the social and political truth-potential of works of art. Drawing on the distinctively Idealist and post-Idealist tradition of German philosophy since Hegel and the early romantics up to Heidegger, Gadamer and Adorno, several theorists have argued that works of art […]

Roma reason

Niklas Luhmann, who died in 1998 (see Obituary in RP 94), is not widely discussed by social and cultural theorists outside Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia and Italy. Yet in Germany his influence rivals and even exceeds that of Habermas in certain reaches of social theory, extending also to philosophers and logicians. More surprisingly, perhaps, he […]

Deleuze and Neo-aesthetics,Tate Modern, 21–22 September 2001

Conference report Rearguard actionImmanent Choreographies: Deleuze and Neo-aesthetics,Tate Modern, 21–22 September 2001 This conference, organized by Tate Modern and Staffordshire University, brought together an impressive array of speakers from the UK (Alexander García Düttmann and Peter Hallward), Europe (Robert Fleck and Pascale Criton), the USA (Dorothea Olkowski and John Rajchman), and Australia (Ian Buchanan), including […]