Social Theory

Download Adorno Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts by Geoff Boucher PDF

By Geoff Boucher

Brushed off as a depressing elitist who condemned pop culture within the identify of ‘high art’, Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) is among the such a lot provocative and critical but least understood of latest thinkers. This booklet attracts on new translations into English to problem this well known photograph and re-examines Adorno as a utopian thinker who believed genuine paintings may store the world.

Adorno Reframed isn't just a entire advent to the reader coming to Adorno for the 1st time via precise dialogue of artistic endeavors, novels, motion pictures and track, yet a huge re-assessment of this founding father of the Frankfurt tuition. encouraged through Kant, Hegel, Freud, Marx, Nietzche and Kierkegaard, Adorno was once a searing critic of the formal, reductive rationality of the Enlightenment and of modernity. Unafraid to speak about human nature, undaunted via dogmas concerning cultural building, Adorno enjoyed paintings that hurts, that challenged the existing tradition of the day and resisted the controlled, commodified pseudo-happiness of ‘administered society’. protecting the independence of the wildlife and the particularity of the human person, for Adorno actual real paintings was once a defiant refusal to subordinate the materiality of the area and the lived fact of human task to the imperatives of social totality.

Making his thought obtainable via a wealth of concrete illustrations, many drawn from Adorno himself, Geoffrey Boucher recasts Adorno as a innovative whose anthropological imaginative and prescient of the human situation, feel of subversive irony and profoundly ancient aesthetics defended the integrity of the person opposed to the commodified tradition industries that offer unsatisfying customer ‘happiness’. Grounding Adorno’s social philosophy and aesthetic thought in contextualised research of artists starting from Stockhausen and Kafka to David Lynch and Brett Easton-Ellis, Adorno Reframed takes its topic from interwar modernity into the postmodern and feminist current to ascertain the legacy and effect of Adorno’s radical modernism and his trust that artwork was once within the base line how to take care of, no longer get away, truth.

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Extra info for Adorno Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts (Contemporary Thinkers Reframed)

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Adorno’s approach begins from an experience and shows how an abstraction emerges from it. But then he rotates the experience into a new perspective and demonstrates how exactly the opposite idea now emerges. Technically, these mutually exclusive ideas springing from the same ground are ‘antinomies’, and Adorno uses this antinomic construction to show something about the experience itself. For, Adorno characteristically argues, the antinomies of idealist philosophy are not intellectual mistakes or logical errors, but are rooted in the historical and social nature of the experiences they are intended to clarify.

Bloch’s mistake lies merely in the fact that he identifies this state of mind directly and unreservedly with reality itself’ (Lukács, 2007: 34). It is crucial to keep in view that the stake in this debate is not solely whether modernism is good art, according to exclusively formal aesthetic criteria. The underlying question is whether modernism is progressive; that is, whether its reinvention of perception and representation of feelings make a contribution to democratic values and human emancipation.

Drawing on biblical and mythological themes to do with the worship of money and power, the film’s astonishing aesthetics conjure an urban landscape of corporate and bureaucratic architectural triumphalism (not unlike today’s cities, as a matter of fact). The starkness of the lighting and the film’s angular set reinforces its substantive contrast between reified power and defiant subjectivity. Robert Wiene’s film, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920), emphasises the distortion of the objective world by the subjective dimension even more strongly.

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