The Aesthetics of Relations: The Modernist, Contemporary and Post-Contemporary General Conceptualizations of Art

Kaja Kraner

Abstract


The article will juxtapose the modernist, contemporary and post-contemporary general conceptualization of art and aesthetic appearance of an artwork. Even though all three conceptualizations can be understood as intertwined because they are largely established in mutual relations, for our purpose they will be analyzed in terms of the basic epistemological terrain on which art enters the Western tradition of knowledge and power: the terrain of aesthetic education. The conceptualization of modernist art/artwork will mainly draw from its link with the autopoietic image of artwork/artistic creativity that can be traced to Romanticism as well as the tradition of the so-called aesthetics of form at the beginning of the 20th century, while conceptualization of contemporary art will be primarily reconstructed on the ground of cultural studies and its reception theory that focused on the analysis of social mediation of cultural texts where the text itself loses the status of an exclusive source of meaning. On the one hand, this article attempts to expose the difference between the two by focusing on conceptualizations of their modes of production of meaning (modernist autopoiesis as producing the artwork’s meaning by, through and of itself versus contextually determined meaning of the artwork within conceptualizations of contemporary art), while on the other, it will expose a general aesthetic appearance of the two based on the differentiation of avant-garde and dialogical aesthetics. From there on, the article will focus on conceptualizations of post-contemporary art in the last ten years that also offered a critique of how contemporary art has been (self)limited to aesthetic experience and by it the present time. In the final part, post-contemporary art will be compared with modernism, for instance in terms of the modernist aim for the transcendent standpoint and its methods of aesthetic alienation in contrast to the post-contemporary aim to eliminate aesthetic experience as such and demonstrate that there can be knowledge without aesthetic experience, or the modernist media research to the post-contemporary media archaeology.

 

Article received: April 30, 2019; Article accepted: June 23, 2019; Published online: September 15, 2019; Review article

How to cite this article: Kraner, Kaja. "The Aesthetics of Relations: The Modernist, Contemporary and Post-Contemporary General Conceptualizations of Art." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 19 (2019): 119-126. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i19.312


Keywords


aesthetic education; modernism, autopoiesis; avant-garde aesthetics; dialogical aesthetics; contemporary art; post-contemporary art

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i19.312

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