Contemporary Positions on Aesthetics and Politics beyond Identity and Representation

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


    This presentation will survey recent artistic and theoretical positions that move beyond conventional understandings of aesthetics and politics in contemporary art. Artworks from Australia and the United States shall be discussed which have capacity to confound conventions of intelligibility associated with identity driven art. Although it is impossible to either completely affirm or deny the validity of identity politics in contemporary art, this paper will seek to outline possible alternatives to its usual representational logic. The critical potential of art will be viewed through the lens of Jean-Luc Nancy’s and Jacques Rancière’s aesthetic philosophy. In both accounts the aesthetic experience of the artwork is treated as a disruption of the so called ‘natural’ or representational correspondence between words, images, sounds, language and human actions. For Nancy, the artwork’s sensory effects have the capacity to dispel with prefigured significations and therefore disrupt what is conventionally deemed intelligible within a given cultural grouping or social context. Similarly, for Rancière the political potential of the artwork is registered through the unbinding of hierarchical classifications. In both cases the artwork’s aesthetic effect is analogous to a re-ordering that potentially spurs the opening of unexpected and unscripted avenues of meaning, inherent to the ethos of equality in radical democratic politics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)36
    JournalBeyond Identity Politics: Global Challenges & Humanistic Responses
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    EventICCT NYU Winter Institute 2020 - New York, United States of America
    Duration: 1 Jan 2020 → …


    Dive into the research topics of 'Contemporary Positions on Aesthetics and Politics beyond Identity and Representation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this