Destruction styles

I think that I and many others involved with the RhodesMustFall (RMF) movement at the University of Cape Town – and beyond – might have preferred, on the 9th of April 2015, to see: A. cecil’s head explode, blast-site of bronze shards glistening in the afternoon sun, on the sprawling, clambering, continually inaccessible grounds of […]

The social life of black things

I want to identify not with creaturely life but with the stolen life of imagining things. Fred Moten, ‘There is no Racism Intended’ Fred Moten’s three-volume collection of essays, consent not to be a single being, draws together some fifteen years of his consistently inventive but widely dispersed work in Black Studies, thus allowing his […]

The racial regime of aesthetics

One of the persistent difficulties of attending to race in the history of philosophy is the equivocal nature of this object. Long ignored by philosophers, ‘race’ has no clear status or obvious place in the history of philosophy, cutting across different areas of philosophical inquiry. Although in recent years historians of philosophy have been increasingly […]

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 […]