Simulakrum: estetizacija ili an-estetizacija / Simulacrum: An Aesthetization or An-aesthetization

Huimin Jin


Aesthetization, or aestheticization, has recently become a new key word in scholarly debates about culture and society, roughly concerned with the kind of phenomenon that pictorial turn describes. It is not that aesthetization, in its literal sense, is making the unaesthetic aesthetic, nor does it point to the sort of topics typical of an aestheticized human life as favored by some traditional Chinese intellectuals; rather it is about a transaesthetization. This process differs not just in the range and extent of aesthetization, but in its essence and nature: reality will no longer exist when it is transaesthetized and what is left is an aesthetic realm only; in other words, there will be no reality, but purely the hyperreal. Accordingly, transaesthetization can then often be associated with the concept of simulacrum, or the proliferation of images; it would thus result from the expansion of simulacra. However, there arises the problem that simulacrum is not identical with image. Assuming that the beauty of image consists in its rich connotations and its presentation at the level of form, it is doubtful that transaesthetization is configured merely by the simulacra. Why, and how could it be so?


Baudrillard, beauty, Heidegger, hyperreal, Idea, image, Jameson, semblance, simulacrum, transaesthetization

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