Read e-book online Hunger for Aesthetics: Enacting the Demands of Art (Columbia PDF

By Michael Kelly

For many years, aesthetics has been subjected to quite a few evaluations, frequently pertaining to its therapy of attractiveness or the autonomy of paintings. jointly, those court cases have generated an anti-aesthetic stance widespread within the modern artwork international. but if we study the motivations for those reviews, Michael Kelly argues, we discover theorists and artists hungering for a brand new form of aesthetics, one higher calibrated to modern artwork and its ethical and political demands.

Following an research of the paintings of Stanley Cavell, Arthur Danto, Umberto Eco, Susan Sontag, and different philosophers of the Sixties who made aesthetics extra attentive to modern paintings, Kelly considers Sontag's aesthetics in larger aspect. In On images (1977), she argues photo of anyone who's affliction merely aestheticizes the agony for the viewer's excitement, but she insists in concerning the ache of Others (2003) that this sort of photo could have a sustainable moral-political influence accurately due to its aesthetics. Kelly considers this dramatic switch to be symptomatic of a cultural shift in our knowing of aesthetics, ethics, and politics. He discusses those matters in reference to Gerhard Richter's and Doris Salcedo's artwork, selected since it is usually pointed out with the anti-aesthetic, although it is obviously aesthetic. Focusing first on Richter's Baader-Meinhof sequence, Kelly concludes with Salcedo's enactments of anguish because of social injustice. all through A starvation for Aesthetics, he finds where of critique in modern artwork, which, if we comprehend aesthetics as critique, confirms that it really is crucial to artwork. assembly the call for for aesthetics voiced through many that perform artwork, Kelly advocates for a serious aesthetics that confirms the unlimited energy of paintings.

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Additional info for Hunger for Aesthetics: Enacting the Demands of Art (Columbia Themes in Philosophy, Social Criticism, and the Arts)

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Though “Pop” may be a difficult art-historical development to pinpoint with any confidence, I think the impact of Pop on shaping contemporary aesthetics is not unclear, at least on a normative level, and is thus a more manageable phenomenon. That impact is my focus. Another reason Pop art is particularly relevant here is that Pop artists sometimes spoke in anti-aesthetic terms—and critics and theorists used such terms to speak on their behalf—because they resisted existing aesthetic theories while defying traditional art forms.

How can she avoid the criticism, raised in a classic fashion by the early Sontag, that suffering enacted in art is merely being aestheticized for the viewers’ pleasure in a way that, in turn, victimizes for a second time the people suffering? Although Salcedo’s work is often discussed using anti-aesthetic language—she sometimes appeals to it as well— can this language account for her effectiveness as a critic of social injustice? As is the case with Richter, Salcedo’s aesthetic strategies provide answers to all these questions.

To be sure, acceptance of this responsibility is not guaranteed because even a person’s having compassion for somebody else’s suffering does not necessarily imply any obligation to alleviate that suffering. For example, most people apprehend that more than 40 million individuals in the United States lack health-care insurance and that these same individuals are suffering, and many also recognize that some of this suffering is causally due to a lack of access to adequate health-care. Despite such apprehension and recognition, however, many of these people still believe that they do not have any moral-political obligation to take action to alleviate the suffering of the uninsured by providing them with healthcare insurance.

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