By James Hellings
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If the development towards the administered global is nearing finishing touch, if spectacularised societies, industrialised cultures, and reified recognition have taken regulate, then, Adorno and Art exhibits how radical and innovative Adorno’s aesthetic conception of art’s double personality continues to be, and the way complicated, imaginitive and oppositional, different types of artwork provide, probably, the easiest wish for overcoming broken life.
The caricatures of Adorno, his politics and his aesthetics, are popular blunders of judgement—widely repeated either by way of the academy and by means of the Left. Adorno’s aesthetics has been accused of failing to maintain velocity with revolutionary creative practices and for being socio-politically aloof. regardless of the endurance of those caricatures, this booklet exhibits how major photographs and topics in Adorno’s thought stay suitable to the present scenario of artwork, aesthetics and politics.
The Adorno on exhibit during this quantity used to be no bourgeois mandarin, no smug aesthete, no esoteric mystic, no depression pessimist, and no educational specialist holed up within the proverbial ivory tower.
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Extra resources for Adorno and Art: Aesthetic Theory Contra Critical Theory
This abiding interest not in what one is but in “how one becomes what one is” is made explicit as the subtitle of Nietzsche’s autobiography Ecce Homo. For Nietzsche, “everything has become [alles aber ist geworden],” as he memorably states in Human, All Too Human, even afterness itself: “Everything has become; there are no eternal facts, just as there are no absolute truths. ”14 From the perspective in which things, persons, and ideas have neither a “natural” essence nor a stable meaning, but have temporally become, even human consciousness and the lure of Geist ’s absolute knowledge are discovered to have had a variegated and contingent history, one that is anything but self-evident and, as such, could have been entirely different.
As Hegel argues in The Phenomenology of Spirit, it “is not difﬁcult to see that ours is a birth-time and a period of transition to a new era. ”8 This new world, this birth time of a new era, is the image of modernity itself, which now must consider itself rigorously in terms of the fundamental afterness it has entered. In response to this gradual yet irreversible birth of modernity, in which, as Hegel puts it, “the Spirit in its formation matures slowly and quietly into its new shape, dissolving bit by bit the structure of the previous world,”9 Fichte developed a system of transcendental philosophy he termed Wissenschaftslehre, in which a renewed emphasis on the distinction between the “I” and the “Non-I” was to address the challenges of reason as the self-critique of reason.
The chapter places the theories of photography found in Kafka’s writings and those that emerge in Derrida’s work into a constellation. By situating Kafka’s and Derrida’s reﬂections on photography in the context of the work of German photographer Stefan Moses, the chapter problematizes the afterness of a photograph and its relation to an allegedly referential original subject, particularly with regard to Moses’s series “Selbst im Spiegel” (Self in the Mirror), a subtly self-conscious and richly textured collection of photographic self-portraits of well-known German writers, philosophers, scientists, and artists.
Adorno and Art: Aesthetic Theory Contra Critical Theory by James Hellings