Reluctant Modernity: The Institution of Art and Its Historical Forms

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Rowman & Littlefield, 1998 - 211 páginas
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In this book Ales Debeljak offers a refreshing alternative to postmodernists such as Baudrillard who declare the death of art conceived as yet another source of rootless, circulating fictions.

Inspired by the melancholy critical theory of Adorno and Benjamin, and drawing on Weber, Debeljak shows that with the dawning of modernity, art was made autonomous -- art production was effectively emancipated from the exigencies of everyday life and its guiding ideal of purposive rationality. The Renaissance brought on the first stage in a long, gradual withdrawal of art from the hitherto dominant mythological, religious, and aristocratic legitimization. Yet it was not until the 18th century that art assumed the separate status of a commodity to be bought and sold. But art paid a price for its autonomy; through commodification art production ultimately become an extension of capitalist logic and control.

The deterioration of bourgeois liberal individualism into the narcissism of mass society accompanied the decomposition of art into simplified mass art and commercialized kitsch. Maintaining its formal autonomy (museums, galleries, etc.) its content became the universal object of indirect corporate exploitation. Today postmodern art, argues Debeljak, is subjected to infinite reproducibility, total integration into mass society, and political resignation -- no longer representing an alternative reality. The postmodern institution of art thus cannot be simply cured of modern structures and assumptions, but is, instead, fated to a continuous and painful relationship with modernity

 

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Índice

Prophet of Biracial America
3
Unsuccessful Challenger to Jim Crow
31
A Vote for White Supremacy and
45
Higher Law and Community Justice
63
Labor and the New Black Politics
79
The Rest of Us
97
The Biographical Roots of
129
Charles Sherrod and Martin Luther King Jr
181
About the Editor and Contributors 347
7
Foreword by Stjepan Mestrovic vii
vii
Acknowledgments хvіі
xix
FRAMING THE LOGIC OF MODERNITY 7
7
MODERNITY 25
25
THE INSTITUTION OF ART IN MODERNITY 59
59
THE DISSOLUTION OF THE BOURGEOIS
87
The Colonization of the LifeWorld 89 Information
93

Courage Displaces Fear
199
These Tiny Fingers
219
Black Power and the Roots of
227
Freedom Fighter
255
La Raza Unida
275
A Small Part of a Much Larger Story
289
Fighting in Her Heels Stonewall
309
Index
335
Professional Experts as Agents of Colonization
99
Bureaucratic Control of Consumption 104 Corporate
112
THE INSTITUTION OF ART
127
References 189
189
Index 199
199
About the Author 211
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Acerca do autor (1998)

Aleš Debeljak, a leading Central European poet and cultural critic, teaches cultural studies at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books in English include Anxious Moments (1994) and Twilight of the Idols: Recollections of a Lost Yugoslavia (1994).

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