J. Hellings's Adorno and Art: Aesthetic Theory Contra Critical Theory PDF

By J. Hellings

ISBN-10: 1137315717

ISBN-13: 9781137315717

ISBN-10: 1349345091

ISBN-13: 9781349345090

A accomplished, severe and available account of Theodor W. Adorno's materialist-dialectical aesthetic thought of artwork from a latest standpoint, this quantity indicates how Adorno's severe idea is awash with photos crystallising suggestions to one of these measure that it has each cause to be defined as aesthetic.

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Additional info for Adorno and Art: Aesthetic Theory Contra Critical Theory

Example text

Adorno, for all of his faults and eccentricities, was never an arrogant aesthete or esoteric mystic interested in preserving the cultural conservatism of the status quo. The splendid isolation of new art, that is, as a message in a bottle, is not the same as being isolated in splendour, and Adorno was certainly not at home in the Grand Hotel Abyss. ’ Adorno, himself, ‘honoured Nietzsche’s verdict on the words of optimism and pessimism. The light source which shows the world’s crevices is the optimal one’ (AS 169).

Adorno’s preference for the radical advancement of the new over the reactionary cultural conservatism of the traditional perpetually reconfigures the dialectic of anti-art and art. ‘By understanding how anti-art is not merely external but integral to the account of art’s autonomy,’ Martin argues, ‘we can understand how autonomy need not be conceived conservatively as a defence of what traditionally has achieved autonomy’ (AAA 187). Adorno’s aesthetics was not concerned with defending traditional autonomous art (l’art pour l’art), and it was neither criminally reactionary nor aesthetically obsolete.

17 This is what Adorno meant when he referred to art’s law of movement being its law of form. 18 ‘[A] esthetic form,’ according to Adorno, was always already ‘sedimented content’ (AT 5), which crystallise (but they do not immediately reflect or directly communicate, as Lukács believed), social structures, class antagonism, and economic inequality. 21 ‘[W]hether an art product gives form to consciousness of contradiction,’22 was Adorno’s question for new art’s autonomy from society (as a form of sensory or aesthetic experience), and this new form of art that stirs reified consciousness to recognise social contradictions and injustices, transforming them in the process, might just bring about real and radical changes in society.

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Adorno and Art: Aesthetic Theory Contra Critical Theory by J. Hellings

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