Cloth $99.95 ISBN: 9781905422708 Published November 2008 World sales rights except India
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781905422715 Published November 2008 World sales rights except India

Subversion and Subsidy

Contemporary Art and Aesthetics

Rainer Rochlitz

Rainer Rochlitz

Distributed for Seagull Books

240 pages | © 2008
Cloth $99.95 ISBN: 9781905422708 Published November 2008 World sales rights except India
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781905422715 Published November 2008 World sales rights except India

Art today is in deep crisis. Criticism seems to have abandoned any notion of evaluation, the public has been denied the possibility of understanding, and aesthetics have lost all legitimacy. Formerly, artists claimed their right to decide for themselves what counted as a work of art, thanks to the subversion of the established criteria of aesthetic judgment. But that very subversion is today the object of subsidy and support by museums and galleries, anxious to display their liberalism. A new and ambiguous game of complicity and antagonism has united artists and institutions.

Yet, however much the alliance of subversion and subsidy aims to exclude it, aesthetic judgment remains a necessity. Whatever the nature of a work of art, it can only be one if the artistic quality it claims for itself can be justified and shared. As symbol it cannot be reduced to a symptom; as an object of judgment it cannot depend on simple individual preferences. Thus it is now urgent to find aesthetic arguments that pay proper attention to the internal logic of artworks, arguments that are rigorous without claiming absolute truth.

Contents

Contents
Introduction

PART ONE: SITUATION
1. The conquestand abandonment of aesthetic sovereignty
Fractures in the logic of Modernism
Stages on the road to autonomy
Sovereignty and inner heteronomy
2. Criticism´s dereliction of duty
Criticism, aesthetics, history of art
The collapse of judgment
Towards an aesthetic logic

PART TWO: ARGUMENT
3. Aesthetic rationality
Between magic and reason
Rationality and sovereignty
The limits of aesthetic rationality
4. Symbol and symptom
The symbolic intelligibility of singular experience
Confusions
Interferences
5. Judgments and preferences
Aesthetic pragmatics
Aesthetic judgment and idiosyncratic judgment
The question of criteria
6 Aesthetic criteria
Criteria of exclusion
Criteria of excellence

PART THREE: POLITICS
7. Institutions
A hegemonic taste
Generalised suspicion
Consequences of the institutional turn
8. Political strategies
The public character of art and the question of political engagement
Aesthetic principles and political implications
The Sixties turn
Conclusion
The demands of the medium and their reward

 



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