Philosophy of the Arts

new art forms

Assuming art is defined from its history how can new art forms arise?

Kan kunst kritisch zijn?

Het lijkt erop dat kunst wel kritisch kan zijn, want ze kan immers alles aan de orde stellen. Maar tegelijk lijkt het ook dat ze dat niet kan, omdat kunstwerken niets kunnen beweren of betogen, maar alleen dingen kunnen tonen, kunnen presenteren. (Wat beweert een Rembrandt zelfportret? Wat beweert Picasso’s Guernica?) Kunst beweert niets, net…

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Public events vs. public art

One problem with the “roadside monuments” in Jonas Staal’s “Geert Wilders Werken” is that initially, i.e. when their effect was still of maximum height, they did not make themselves known as art. As a consequence, they did not induce the passers-by to take up an artistic attitude, but lured them into believing the “roadside monument”…

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Biology and ethics

Wiener Aktionism, Biology and Ethics Biology prescribes that humans strive for survival. It simply makes no sense for a person sustaining a life of his own, to do things which will threaten that project—ultimately it is the support of all his other projects, and dying marks the end of all of them. Ethics presupposes biology,…

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Sell your Death

A dear friend, an artist herself, made me realise that television is far more extreme than art is, with regard to crossing moral limitations. She pointed me to the case of Jade Goody who, terminally ill, sold her dying to network stations and journals, spending the money earned on her two surviving sons. I have…

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A case of Immoral Art

Kristian von Hornsleth, Danish artist, devised The Hornsleth Village Project Uganda: “The Hornsleth Village Project Uganda saw every individual in a village change their name to Hornsleth, in a simple exchange for a pig or a goat, and outrage ensued.” …donating sheep to poor Africans on condition that they assume your name… I was told…

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Wiener Aktionists and Taboos

Researching for my paper on Immoral Art, I came across “works” from the Wiener Aktionists. On a site with truly horrible short films from the 1960s there is a film showing Otmar Bauer vomiting, eating his own vomit, and so on. Next, there are several films showing Otto Muehl in horrible, and dirty scenes; there…

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Art is a Practice

In follow-up to a previous post that produced the interim conclusion that art is unsurmountably historical: the circularity we get upon trying to understand when someone is an artist is best accommodated (or rephrased) by conceiving of art as a practice. It is a practice in the sense of being co-constituted by peculiar attitudes which…

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Joel-Peter Witkin

…Could he be tried for staging a corpse?… What we see on the photographs of Joel-Peter Witkin is, for instance, a corpse, beheaded, sitting on a chair, in “Man without a Head”, 1993; a head that is apparently lying on a plate, in “Head of a Dead Man”, Mexico 1990. Several questions are bound to…

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When is the work? On Intuitionism and Conceptual Art

Intuitionism in aesthetics is the view that the art work an audience is confronted with is merely a medium for the real work, in the mind of the artist: his intuition. A famous spokesman for this view is Bendetto Croce. The view is also associated with expressivism (Collingwood, Tolstoy), which holds that the work expresses…

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BAK, basis voor actuele kunst

Artur Zmijewski: The Social Studio 28 September – 16 November 2008 opening: 27 September 2008 at 20.00 hrs For more information, see: www.bak-utrecht.nl BAK, basis voor actuele kunst presents Artur Zmijewski: The Social Studio, a solo exhibition by Polish artist Artur Żmijewski, on view from 28 September until 16 November 2008. The opening takes place…

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