Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Ingvild Torsen on art without aesthetics.
[F]or Heidegger, the status of art, the question of the end of art, as well as the questioning of experience as the element of art, show themselves to be questions produced by aesthetics, and hence questions which acquire their meaning through the context of aesthetics. In the lectures on Nietzsche and the will to power as art, Heidegger writes: “In the historical moment when aesthetics reaches its greatest possible height, breadth, and rigor of form [grösstmögliche Höhe, Weite und Strenge der Ausbildung] great art is at an end.” The completion of aesthetics, which happens with Hegel, is the proclamation of the end of art. For Heidegger, this is a sympton of a deeper philosophical problem. Aesthetics is part and parcel with the history of Western metaphysics, and because of that, the question of art as formulated here – is art any longer an important way truth is revealed to a historical people? – becomes a question of philosophy. Because aesthetics is an expression of metaphysics, Hegel’s claim remains valid until we have found a new way to think about what it is to be. Until a new thinking has been established, we live in the shadow of Western metaphysics. This means that Heidegger thinks that the discipline of aesthetics cannot free itself from or really oppose Hegel’s thesis; rather it is this discipline that appears to be confirming Hegel’s thesis in the present. Just as metaphysics on Heidegger’s account is blind to being, aesthetics is blind to art, and rather predetermines artworks through the specific aesthetic stance with which it meets the artwork.
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