Kunst und ästhetische Eigenschaften Bayreuth, April 2006
Introduction • "Then, I say," said Don Quixote, "the author of my history was no sage, but some ignorant chatterer, who, in a haphazard and heedless way, set about writing it, let it turn out as it might, just as Orbaneja, the painter of Ubeda, used to do, who, when they asked him what he was painting, answered, 'What it may turn out.' Sometimes he would paint a cock in such a fashion, and so unlike, that he had to write alongside of it in Gothic letters, 'This is a cock; and so it will be with my history, which will require a commentary to make it intelligible."
Introduction • Orbanejas: Art as what it may turn out. • Does commentary turn out something into art? • Is it just a question of interpretation? • Difference: Aufkläre Kritik/Romantike Kritik: explaining vs. completing
Introduction • Donald Kuspit: Post art as the end of art.
The Aesthetic and the value of art • Can something be art without aesthetic components? E.g. Sierra’s work • Classificatory (Dickie) vs. Evaluative sense of “art” • Why do we classify something as art? • Intrinsic vs. Instrumental value • Essentialism vs- anti-esentialism
The Aesthetic and the value of art • Aesthetic properties as essential (necessary, not sufficient) • Aesthetic properties: Sibley • Ideal critics: Hume • Taste (Goldman) • Objectivism: art functions.
Art and life • Swinburne: principle of credulity • Art cannot be defined by what it intends to convey. E.g. Rodney King’s video in Whitney Biennial 1993; Barbara Kruger’s Untitled vs. Munch’s The Scream • Wiener Aktionismus vs Jackass
Art and life • Tracy Emin’s My bed: A ship of Theseus. • Damien Hirst, Installation. Who is the perfect audience and/or critic? • Conceptual art: Duchamp: from the object to the artistic act. • Readymades: aesthetic indifference • Analytic propositions (title, language)
Art and life • Ready made or alreadymade? • Robert Rosenblum: if Duchamps’s urinal can be art, then anything is art • Maybe psychoanalysis can help. • Searle’s Chinese room: syntax vs semantics. • Presence vs representation • Dogmata vs pragmata
Art and life • Art cannot be replaced by comments (it can be commented, but must be experienced). E.g., Faure. • Enthusiasm vs boredom • Interpretation as ein Spiel (Gadamer)
Museum, market and originality • Banksy: against institution • Borys Groys: Museum as cultural archive vs cultural rubbish. Who selects? • Why are museums important? • Must art dissolve into life (life as the greatest work of art)?
Museum, market and originality • Market and experts: Rübsam vs Koopman on Bach • Mark McGowan and his performances • Other “artists”: Jana Sterbak, Carolee Schneeman • Why not just “emerging cultural manifestations? Why art?
Museum, market and originality • Originality1. • Goodman: allographic vs autographic • The problem of the history of production • Benjamin’s aura • Originality2 • From Kant onwards (genius) • Art and commerce
Art and aesthetic elements • Cage and Newman against beauty • Fluxus: art without language. Yoko Ono Match Piece • Danto and his “atmosphere of theory” • What kind of relationship is there between art and aesthetic elements? • Pro and against • Beauty as inmorality
Art and aesthetic elements • Relationship art-beauty in aesthetics comparable to pleasure-happiness in religion (Pohier)
Free and dependent beauty • Pulchritudo vaga (no concept) vs pulchritudo adhaerens (under a concept or purpose). • KU 16: disparity in judgements of taste. • Beauty in nature and art • Free beauty: independent of linguistic control: autonomy and disinterest. No extra-aesthetic purposes (Hegel).
About aesthetic properties • Beauty as paradigmatic • What about expressive, representational, historical-artistic properties? • Is the distinction aesthetic-non aesthetic natural or pragmatic?
About aesthetic properties • Beauty is the subject of judgements of beauty • Subjective grounds • Correctness • Aesthetic supervenience (Sibley) • Properties: physical, sensible and appearance • Can abstract objects have aesthetic properties?
About aesthetic properties • Tò kalòn lègetai pollachós • Mary Mothersill, Beauty Restored • There are no laws of taste • Some aesthetic judgements are true • Beauty is a disposition to produce pleasure in virtue of aesthetic properties • Alan Goldman, Aesthetic Value • Humean structure • Aesthetic properties depend on the mind
About aesthetic properties • Eddy Zemach, Real Beauty • Aesthetic realism based on the role of aesthetic properties in science • Restricted properties • Marcia M. Eaton • Aesthetic properties are in things or events • Something is a work of art if it is treated in relevant aesthetic ways. • Zangwill, also realist • Problem: justifying supervenience
On beauty • Plato and Plotinus • XVIIIth century • Kant • Religious roots • Beauty as deeply normative (Lynch) • Artworld vs Beautyworld • Is there some connection between art and beauty?
On beauty • Is beauty an ideal (Plato)? • Ur-Schönheit? • Or is it a social construction? • It has to be learnt • Is beauty a cluster concept? • Characters of beauty • Sensibility • Pleasure • Aesthetic purposiveness • Aesthetic form
Are there necessary links between art and beauty? • XVIIIth to XXth century: yes • From some avant-garde movements onwards: no • Danto, The abuse of beauty • Rejection only for reasons external to the art itself.
Die Kunst ohne Eigenschaften • Aesthetic, political, social usw. Proposals, without aesthetic elements, can still be said to be art? • Danto, The transfiguration of the Commonplace • Progress and originality: Caravaggio • Hume’s “true judges” and Gadamer’s “classic” • Marketing and personality
From pragmatic art to economic post-art • Iconoclastic mistakes (M. Kelly) • Art as sense; post-art as business • Greenberg: Avant-garde vs Kitsch • Danto: too much semantics; few pragmatics
Post-art and no form • Post-art: subject matter with almost no form. • Beauty: forma formosa. Schiller, Bourdieu, Focillon, Merleau-Ponty… • Dangers of formalism: Doppelgänger. • Borges: Pierre Menard: work vs text • Goodman: Wrong note paradox
Interpretation and form • Open work, work in progress… • Intention and interpretation • Absolute intentionalism • Absolute anti-intentionalism (Congo) • Moderate intentionalism • Hypothetical intentionalism • Semantic and categorial intentions • Semantic autonomy of the work
End of art and beginning of philosophy • End of Art: Danto, NY, 1964. Art is defined by philosophy • Why hasn’t art defined itsef? • Two answers: historical and philosophical • Warhol’s Brillo Boxes • Danto: aboutness and embodied meaning
Phenomenology and hermeneutics of art • Fiction vs non-fiction • Heidegger: In-der-Welt-Sein des Werkes • The role of die Stimmungen (SZ 29) • Not emotions
Art and trangression • Turner Prize and banality • The problems of the avant-garde • Subversion: against what? • Does it belong to the essence of art? • Nor Nietzsche neither Derrida • Are Florence Fosters Jenkins or Ed Wood excellent deconstruccionist artists?
Freedom and genius • Rules as condition of possibility of freedom: nomads and nomos • Hegel: Absolute freedom and terror • Romantic artist (Beardsley) vs Dickie • Genius and nature in Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft • Precedents of Kant’s theory of genius • Inspiration (Plato and neoplatonism) • XVIIIth century
Freedom and genius • Inspiration vs method (Poe, Flaubert) • Play of intentions (distal and proximal) and randomness • Stages of creativity • Preparation, incubation, enlightenment, verification and elaboration • When is an artwork finished? • Aesthetic, genetic, formal conclusions
Freedom and genius • Genius and expression • Tolstoy, Croce, Collingwood, Langer • Duchamp: aesthetic osmosis • The artist creates within shared conventions • Is the audience always incompetent? • Is art a form of communication? • Wittgenstein vs private language (PU, 243)
Can anything be a work of art? • Is a murder commited by an artist an artwork? • Hitchcock’s The Rope (1948), Donald Cammell’s White of the Eye (1987), Michael Mann’s Hunter (1986), Jonathan Demme’s The silence of the Lambs (1991), David Fincher’s Seven (1995), Gary Fleder’s Kiss the Girls (1997): Can crime be art?
Can anything be a work of art? • Pragmatic features: pleasure, horror, sexual arousal, beauty • Disgusting and revolting in art: against Kant’s KU 48 • Art as transfiguration • Paul McCarthy, Sue Williams • Sublime? Fredrich
The essence of art • Essence as necessary properties • Why are these art: • Rauschenberg’s white paintings, Cage’s 4’33’’ • George Maciunas’12 Piano Compositions for Nam Juna Pik (1962) • George Maciunas’ Solo for Violin (1962) • Toshi Ichiyanagi’s Fluxus Variation for no performer (part of Piano Piece nº 5) • Michael Nyman: Experimental music • John Hudak’s Highway, Brooklyn Bridge (1998), Pound (1998) • Sonorous image
The essence of art • Are there necessary historical processes in the arrival of some kinds of art? • Essential properties: aesthetic? • Danto, Beyond the Brillo Box. Tribes A and B. Perceptive indiscernible • Dutton, Davies: aesthetic properties as essential
Esoteric art, elites and taste • Artistic autonomy leads to art for initiated • Bourdieu: Art maintains class distinctions. Taste classifies the classifier • Museums and legitimation • Symbolic identification • Distinction • Taste: positional good
Art and institution • G. Dickie’s institutional theory • 1.(1969-1974) “A work of art is 1) an artifact, 2) a set of the aspects of which has had conferred upon it the status of candidate for appreciation by some person or persons acting on behalf of the Artworld”. • 2.(1984) “An artist is a person who participates with understanding in the making of a work of art. A work of art is an artifact of a kind created to be presented to an artworld public. A public is a set of persons the members of which are prepared in some degree to understand an object which is presented to them. The artworld is the totality of all artworld systems. An artworld system is a framework for the presentation of a work of art by an artist to an artworld public”.
Art and institution • Wollheim’s criticism • Manzoni’s Merda d’Artista • More on excrement art: Kiki Smith, Odd Nerdrum, Chris Ofili • Democratization of artworld
To conclude • Pre-theoretical conception of art • Kennick’s warehouse test • Wittgenstein’s PU 70 and 381 • Cervantes’ The Altarpiece of the Wonders