The Emancipated Spectator

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Verso, 2009 - Education - 134 pages
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In this title, the foremost philosopher of art argues for a new politics of seeing. The role of the viewer in art and film theory revolves around a theatrical concept of the spectacle. The masses subjected to the society of spectacle have traditionally been seen as aesthetically and politically passive - in response, both artists and thinkers have sought to transform the spectator into an active agent and the spectacle into a performance. In this follow-up to the acclaimed "The Future of the Image", Ranciere takes a radically different approach to this attempted emancipation. Beginning by asking exactly what we mean by political art or the politics of art, he goes on to look at what the tradition of critical art, and the desire to insert art into life, has achieved. Has the militant critique of the consumption of images and commodities become, instead, a melancholic affirmation of their omnipotence?

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About the author (2009)

Jacques Rancière is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII. His books include The Politics of Aesthetics, On the Shores of Politics, Short Voyages to the Land of the People, The Nights of Labor, Staging the People, and The Emancipated Spectator.

Gregory Elliott is a member of the editorial collective of Radical Philosophy and author of Althusser: The Detour of Theory and Labourism and the English Genius: The Strange Decay of Labour England?.


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