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- Published on Amazon.com
Ranciere surveys the fault-lines of how the'' aesthetic'' responds to things,in history, in war, in poverty, in capitalism; domains, dimensions much larger than itself.It is like a pennyless child outside a candy-store, waiting. . . .
How boundaries become blurred,re-done; on how expression comes to be shaped and given form. . .
I was fascinated by the structure of the book,given all the "moby-dick" size treatise we have already; Adorno, Lukacs and Hegel, and Kant, and Goethe, and Jameson; This is breath of fresh air. . . .
Here a more modest ambition is promuligated/advanced with examples; "screens","tableaux"--The book revolves round a series of 14 descriptions of those "moments" that came to redefine where the "aesthetic" is, was, what is it doing, How is it behaving, is the aesthetic oppressed, in shock, in freedom,emancipation, in darkness. . ...in development.
We come to the fault-lines of the high haute-aesthetic,. . those developed in Europa till modernity then by the New York cadre of Abstract Expressionists and their theoretical persona, first at the budding stages; seminal essays of Greenberg, and Rosenberg's on-going'' New Yorker'' essays- - much later of course,Clark, Lippard,Ashton,Varnedoe. . .
In modernity Ranciere claims we come to seek "landmarks","Notes from the Underground", a "Rite of Spring" an "Olympia", a "White on White" ,OK leave that alone, we know those moments,we come to be blinded by them, commissioning agencies have them on their corporate desks eternally---But Ranciere's radical nature avoids this, going off in his own search for "fault lines".
If you've read Benjamin's "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical reproduction"this work resounds with it where both authors saw a new "accomodation" for the lower classes,and hide their marxism as best they can--- as Hegel's "godlike absence", care and concern for the dispossessed,who is watching the school, the corner store for the great unwashed. . .this now is on the agenda for where the aesthetic goes as Chaplin's modernity or jazz popular music, as the Big Band Era that helped the War effort,made every GI sing a song,or dance to it," get yer feet a hoppin".All in the moments of WW2 we see the care for those in rags, the ragged, as Murillo's urchins. .
Ranciere sees the "schools" of art as this institutionalization, the structure imposed, similar to Foucault's work from another direction. ,Here then we have a probe a search for those things we miss, or avoid, or are preoccupied with other consumerists domains.How the very nature of Art changes, how politics aestheticizes the terrain, the domains of Art, internalizes it,,marries it, corrupts it;
Art has always been about movement, motion ,libidinal forms,even in Wagner you sense the "libidinal" within the timbre of the strings,the seductive voice-ings "stimmung" in the horns--- it is there waiting to be exploited----This motion is what we need to analyze--Art moments going forward by themselves. It is curious if Art is ever of itself, with itself, or in eternal servitude---, ascending from something ,We trek toward the Light, LICHT, Illuminismo, Lumieres,Aufklarung-----.and you find it herein buried in these essays. . ..
I like the description of how things evolve within this domain, as the raised females---they tease,at the gaze "regards",the Folles Bergeres; dance spangled dress is like the "flowers" now come to life from the staid place of French Impressionism,.But he also has a prize for the poor, his voice seems to be always with them,