Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/809065
- Beautifully unresolved: after the aesthetic/anti-aesthetic dialectic
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Education & Arts, School of Drama, Fine Art and Music
- Any notion of the aesthetic (including its antithesis) is still bound to be frustrating. Once considered indispensable as a form of critical reflection, ideas related to aesthetics are still strangely impossible to pin down. Although an artwork might potentially be considered from many points of view, aesthetic consideration has somehow seemed separate (even within a narrow consideration) from a work’s perceived social, ethical or commodity value. There is of course never one notion of the aesthetic, but rather many disparate, criss-crossing, negating and intertwining ones. The anti-aesthetic, which like its many slippery sister ideas within critical theory, contained no independent essence. It was of course always defined against that which it was said to be other to. From Dada to so-called anti-art, to various so-called post-aesthetic constructions, this sense of otherness was less a wholesale rejection of the idea of art than a rethinking of its definitions and parameters. It has of course long provided a means with which to describe the degraded, abject, corrupted, exhausted, overlooked, accidental and incomplete. For many, the idea of the anti-aesthetic is problematically linked with a concern for socio-political change and human agency. At any rate, and despite the claims of its various factions, it is probably reasonable to argue that the now expanded problem field of contemporary art exists as a consequence of the unresolved tension between its antithetical constructions.
- Column Issue 3, p. 6-12
- Resource Type
- journal article