Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beauty and the Staus of Contemporary Criticism

Beauty and The Status of Contemporary Criticism- Suzanne Hudson, 2003

Appearance vs. Content
-are they mutually exclusive?

Beauty as a democratic instrument or not.
Democratic/populist art.

on Felix Gonzalez-Torres, "Meaning or content is implicit in most pieces, remaining latent without becoming peripheral, while beauty is neither the means for redemption (be it aesthetic or personal), nor contestation per se. It is instead a strategy of aesthetic production capable of veiling and communicating claims for art and its function within a community."

The Trojan Horse Comparison-
"capable of smuggling disruptive ideas and concerns into otherwise disinterested institutional spaces"

the museum/gallery as a space for contemplation vs. public art

The Eternal Problem of Beauty’s Return – Saul Ostrow
The thought of eternal return:
Provides "a perspective from which things appear other than as we know them," a perspective, a way of looking at things, not a truth, not (necessarily) the way things are. Milan Kundera

Present relationship with Beauty:
- Where the dissonant, the stuttering, the frenetic and the flawed are not held as qualities against which beauty wilts but rather included in its reawakened, even strengthened, form.
- Aesthetic judgement linked to truth, purity, art, and the political, NOT separate and self contained.

Arthur C. Danto – The Aesthetics of Brillo Boxes
The Disappearance of Beauty
Andy Warhol’s Brillo Boxes: Designed by James Harvey

Danto concluded that “aesthetics could not explain why one was a work of fine art and the other not, since for all practical purposes they were aesthetically indiscernible: if one was beautiful, the other had to be beautiful, since they looked just alike” (61).

Another Look at Beauty
-1990s - The pursuit of the ‘idea’ of Beauty
- Dissonance to Beauty - Regarding Beauty: Perspectives on Art since 1950 & Distemper: Dissonant Themes on the Art of the 1990s.
- Danto – “found profoundly stimulating the idea that two things might look quite alike but have different meanings and identities (64).

Born of the Spirit and Born Again
Duchamp’s Urinal/Fountain
Beauty was external to Fountain.
Aesthetics external to Brillo Box.
Neither were part of their meaning.

The End of Art
Greenberg: Art about Art, Pop= Kitsch
Danto: Pop Art was the last step. You can no longer tell whether something is art by looking at it. Rather anything can be art, and anyone can be an artist. That is because art is about physically embodied meaning. All that is necessary for something to be a work of art is that it should be about something, and that it should embody its meaning.

Top of the Pops
Bertrand Rouge: He argues that Warhol’s boxes are not ready-mades, they only look like ready-mades. Warhol wasn’t taking an everyday object and placing it in the gallery. He was fabricating the boxes of wood and silkscreened, James Harvey’s boxes are constructed of cardboard and offset printed, Trompe-l’oeil.

Not an end, “just one more move in the game”.

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