Aesthetics and Its Discontents

Front Cover
Polity, Aug 17, 2009 - Philosophy - 143 pages
2 Reviews
Translated by Steven Corcoran

Only yesterday aesthetics stood accused of concealing cultural games of social distinction. Now it is considered a parasitic discourse from which artistic practices must be freed.

But aesthetics is not a discourse. It is an historical regime of the identification of art. This regime is paradoxical, because it founds the autonomy of art only at the price of suppressing the boundaries separating its practices and its objects from those of everyday life and of making free aesthetic play into the promise of a new revolution.

Aesthetics is not a politics by accident but in essence. But this politics operates in the unresolved tension between two opposed forms of politics: the first consists in transforming art into forms of collective life, the second in preserving from all forms of militant or commercial compromise the autonomy that makes it a promise of emancipation.

This constitutive tension sheds light on the paradoxes and transformations of critical art. It also makes it possible to understand why today?s calls to free art from aesthetics are misguided and lead to a smothering of both aesthetics and politics in ethics.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Aesthetics and Its Discontents

User Review  - Egor Sofronov - Goodreads

This is programmatic--I advise everyone to read it. It resolutely hammers out the autonomy/dissolution issue. And for that, Ranciere flips through several centuries of aesthetics, making everything clean and maximally lucid. He deserves his fame and all the citations Read full review

Review: Aesthetics and Its Discontents

User Review  - Robyn - Goodreads

http:// Read full review

Contents

Aesthetics as Politics
19
Problems and Transformations of Critical Art
45
the Torsions
63
The Ethical Turn of Aesthetics and Politics
109
Index
133
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Jacques Ranci?re is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris (St. Denis).

Bibliographic information