Archives

Issue 36/2010

Aesthetic tradition and contemporaneity

  1. Teresa Pękala, Tradition and Innovation in Polish Aesthetics
  2. Grzegorz Sztabiński, De-definition of the Artist
  3. Kazimierz Piotrowski, The Aesthetics as the Asteiology
  4. Krzysztof Lipka, The Intentional Object in the Post-modern Trap
  5. Adam Górniak, On the “World” of Poetry
  6. Agnieszka Gralińska-Toborek, About Aesthetical Distance and Consequence of its Lacking
  7. Wioletta Kazimierska-Jerzyk, Contemporary Variant of Aestheticism as the Primary Context of Camp
  8. Paulina Sztabińska, Changes in the Relation Between the Artist, the Workd and the Recipient in Contemporary Art

Art – architecture, technics, revelation

  1. Zuzanna Dziuban, Erotic Desire. Anish Kapoor, the Entrance into the Universita Subway Station in Naples
  2. Magdalena Borowska, Towards Post-formal Dynamics of Architectural Space: Closer or Further from Nature?
  3. Patrícia Castello Branco, The Difficult Task of Art in the Technological Era: Gerhard Richter’s and Martin Heidegger’s transcendence without a transcendent
  4. Alicja Sawicka,The Revelation in Art – the Revelation of Art

Reviews

  1. Krystyna Wilkoszewska, Richard Shusterman, Body Consciousness. A Philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics
  2. Greta Wierzbińska, Peter Kivy, Introduction to philosophy of music
  3. Karol Hryniewicz, Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art in the Light of Traditions, Intersections, Perspectives

Notes on Contributors

Tradition and Innovation in Polish Aesthetics

Teresa Pękala

The 20th century is being called the century of the avant-garde. Newness becomes the superior value and the main criterion for the appraisal of art. The attitudes of the 20th century artists towards the tradition of art oscillates between the negation of academic art and the full rejection of the artistic tradition. How were the changes in the art perceived by Polish aestheticians of the past century? How did they perceive the avant-garde and what was their attitude towards the achievements of previous generations? Did the unique geo political conditions, when the Polish avant-garde was born, affect the history of Polish aesthetics? These and similar questions are analyzed here, within the framework of concepts promoted by leading Polish 20th century aestheticians: W. Tatar kiewicz, M. Wallis, S. Ossowski, L. Chwistek and others.

De-definition of the Artist

Grzegorz Sztabiński

Since the 19th century, the term ‘artist’ has become a subject of contemplation not only for theoreticians but also for practitioners of art. This, in turn, has led to attempts at redefining the concept. These endeavors assumed a particularly radical character in the views of the avant-garde and the neo-avant-garde. Apart from suggestions that prior artistic markers be sup planted by different ones, this gave rise to what R. Krauss describes as “inverse logic”, based on pure negation and “the combination of exclusions”. In recent decades the endeavors to alter the scope of artistic practices have become more pronounced. Nonetheless, their nature has also changed. When redefining the notion of the artist one does not seek to determine his place or role any more clearly; furthermore, all proposed functions are regarded as provisional and intermediary. On the one hand, the author of the paper indicates the similarity between this situation and the depiction of the ego in the writings of J. Lacan, J. Baudrillard and Z. Bauman. The impossibility of defining the artist can thus be seen as a consequence of the contemporary indeterminacy of the self. On the other hand, however, the author emphasizes the fact that such de-definition may be analyzed in the context of liberation struggles. Invoking the ideas of G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, he argues that this artistic schizophrenization tends towards a ‘disrupting’ and ‘transfixing’ of established cultural structures. The paper culminates in an analysis of these two approaches to de-definition as manifested in the work of Robert Mapplethorpe and Sherrie Levine.

The Aesthetics as the Asteiology

Kazimierz Piotrowski

In the history of Western aesthetics we can differentiate the various traditions – specially the tradition of wit (ingenium). From the Hellenistic Age to the Renaissance and from Quintilianus to Baumgarten and Kant the wit was comprehended as a form of invention, cognition, expression and a talent for social communication performing various functions, and as the ideal (habitus) of arts and sciences. In this tradition the acute wit (perspicacia) cannot be reduced to the comic. The wit must be considered as the sensual and mental power and also the fundamental and superior talent of the human mind (sensuality and reason), specially in the aesthetics of Baumgarten (as acutum ingenium) and in Kant’s pragmatic anthropology (as ingenium comparans and ingenium argutum). Now the wit is very important for our contemporary reasoning of art and aesthetics. Evoking Baumgarten’s program of the clear-sighted aesthetics (aesthetica perspicaciae) the author of The Aesthetic as the Asteiology (Greek: asteidzomai – to be witty) seeks to reconstruct the foundations of aesthetic thinking as the art, science and paideia of wit and proves that the category of ingenium occupies the central role in this thinking as the asteism and the wit as the farmakon in the context of contemporary crisis or rather myopia of aesthetics.

The Intentional Object in the Post-modern Trap

Krzysztof Lipka

The aesthetic theory of postmodernist times cannot avoid a confrontation with the new artistic practice. Traditional ideas of a work of art, today are facing a necessity of being formulated anew. The definition of a work of art and the way its existence is perceived, need a new interpretation as well. For instance, the phenomenological idea of a musical work of art can not be reconciled with digital compositions or with instrumental theater. If a piece of music is made up of an idea, the act of creation, a score, execution or performance, a stage act, electronic picture, broadcasting and finally reception, then too many various entities make up this entirety for it to be ontologically coherent. In this situation, it is worthwhile going back to the artist’s initial idea, the idea which is to be taken in a modern way. It seems that a kind of virtual entity of operational character, could well play the role as the basic form of an oeuvre. Referring to Michał Ostrowicki’s matrix theory, one could treat the initial creative idea as a virtual focal point for all existential components of a work of art.

On the „World” of Poetry

Adam Górniak

In this article the Author presents the analysis of a poetical work of art and its ontological structure, focusing especially on the problem of the “world” described and referred to in the poem. The world presented in the poem is its immanent component and its primal function is to embody aesthetical values. As the ordered structure it should be distinguished, however, from the structural characteristics of the real world and real objects. Sufficient condition of peculiar reality of the poetical world can be traced within relation to the subject’s cognitive activity and quasi spacio-temporal characteristics. The essence of poetical world lays not in the structural features of language and its specific use, but should be found in the ontological autonomy and complexity of aesthetic objects.

About Aesthetical Distance and Consequence of its Lacking

Agnieszka Gralińska-Toborek

The problem of distance as a part of aesthetic experience is an important issue reappearing in several theorists’ considerations (psychical distance – E.Bullough, emotional distance – M.C. Beardsley). Breaking boundaries between art and life, modern art, especially the avant-garde, has rejected the conception of distance and made the viewer abandon aesthetic experience and pleasure. But is it possible to experience art without distance? The lack of distance can provoke misunderstandings, confusion, even conflicts (extremely iconoclastic behaviors). Psychological distance can help us recognize, interpret and experience art.

Contemporary Variant of Aestheticism as the Primary Context of Camp

Wioletta Kazimierska-Jerzyk

Defining camp as aestheticism comes from Susan Sontag. Although she does not develop this intuition, in my opinion confirming it would bring us very promising results. Aestheticism is a heterogeneous phenomenon, yet it tends to be interpreted rather one-sidedly and in a negative light – as a passive attitude. According to Rudolf Lüthe, the key to understanding aestheticism lies in its offensive nature. Offensive aestheticism is not easy to grasp, as aesthetes often merge it with defensive threads, which are incomparably more attractive, metaphorical, etc. This offensive has to be given credence if we want to consider aestheticism as a phenomenon embodied by camp. Camp is based on a belief that it is not worthwhile to surround oneself with anything that would not be as astonishing as a work of art. Camp set as dominant the problem of art, not of aesthetic values. Aestheticism likewise did not promote new aesthetic values, it managed, however, to promote a new quality of aesthetics – its heteronomy.

Changes in the Relation Between the Artist, the Work and the Recipient in Contemporary Art

Paulina Sztabińska

If one assumes a traditional perspective on the relation between the artist, the work and the recipient, it is the work which is regarded as central; thus, it is with reference to it that both the actions of the artist and the behavior of the recipient are considered. However, in contemporary art these relations undergo such far-reaching changes that particular ingredients seem to lose the qualities previously recognized in the field of aesthetics. This issue has been addressed by, among others, Umberto Eco and Arthur C. Danto. Nevertheless, current creative practice goes beyond such attempts at theoretical conceptualization. In this paper, the issue alluded to in the title is considered with regard to the achievement of the representatives of public art (R. Serra, K. Wodiczko) as well as to observations of art critics who have discussed such artistic endeavors (D. Crimp, P.C. Phillips, R. Deutsche, L. Lippard). The author also acknowledges analogous reflections on new electronic media art (S. Cubitt). Generalizing the above accomplishments, one may advance a hypothesis that in contemporary art the stable structure of the work of art vanishes, whereas the nature of aesthetic reception is concomitantly modified. It becomes fluid and open to multifarious possibilities of co-creating the work. This naturally generates questions concerning the mode of contemporary art research as well as the extent to which aesthetic categories play a role in it.

Erotic Desire. Anish Kapoor, the Entrance into the Universita Subway Station in Naples

Zuzanna Dziuban

This essay explores the relationship between the phenomenon of erotic desire and constitution of space as the relation to the Other. The phenomenon of space, as grounded in the experience of radical transcendence, cannot be described in the language of Heidegger’s Dasein’s hermeneutical analysis and can only be sufficiently presented beginning with the Levinas’ critique and radicalization of Heidegger’s philosophical project. In this respect architecture can be interpreted as the peculiar answer to the question concerning the relationship between space and erotic desire. Anish Kapoor’s project of the entrance into the Universita Subway Station in Naples can serve in this case as an example. Plato’s and Levinas’ interpretations of erotic desire are here the main references: sexual difference that constitutes desire, according do Platonic view, can be overcome in the third sex whereas, according to Levinas, insuperable difference of masculinity and femininity is essential for desire to appear. Kapoor’s project is the visual interpretation of this second theory.

Towards Post-formal Dynamics of Architectural Space: Closer or Further from Nature?

Magdalena Borowska

The creation of the architectural form can be interpreted according to two paradigms: purely subjective, when the act of creation is governed by the architect’s intention and the generative one, when external, unpredictable forces are introduced to shape the final form. The article explores theoretical consequences of the second paradigm that suggest a change in a traditional man-Nature relation. The author describes this consequences referring to Gilles Deleuze’s interpretation of baroque and Leibniz’s philosophy, especially to his notion of “fold” showing that it could serve as the model of contemporary architectural thought.

The Difficult Task of Art in the Technological Era: Gerhard Richter’s and Martin Heidegger’s transcendence without a transcendent

Patrícia Castello Branco

In this essay, I will explore the idea that Gerhard Richter’s work is consistent with what I refer to here as transcendence without a transcendent by Martin Heidegger. Furthermore, I will try to demonstrate how his use of painting is response to Heidegger’s criticism of Ge-stell and the technological era. In order to pursue these objectives, I will start with a detailed analysis of Richter’s work from the sixties to the present day.

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