The world needs creative interpretations of global issues, not better descriptions of things people are accustomed to.
Perhaps rather than God, as Martin Heidegger
once said, it is art that can save us. After all, artistic creations have always had political, religious and social meanings that also aimed in some way to save us. Certainly, they also express beauty, but this depends very much on the public’s aesthetic taste, which varies according to the cultural environment of each society.But when the political meaning is manifest, aesthetics (our sensations and taste) lose ground in favour of interpretation (knowledge and judgment); that is, instead of inviting us to contemplate its beauty, a work calls us to respond, react and become involved. As it turns out, art – as a channel to express reactions to significant issues – has sometimes worked better than historical or factual reconstructions.
|“The radical changes brought about in the advent of global society mean that the artist today must respond to a wider public… one that is concerned with the same global issues.“
Pablo Picasso’s Guernica is the example we all have in mind: painted as a response to the Spanish nationalist forces’ bombing of a town in the Basque country, it was used not only to inform the public but also as a symbol of all the innocent victims of war. This is probably why “aesthetics”, a term coined by the German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten in 1735, refers not only to the study of art but also to sensory experience coupled with feelings regardless of the nature of its object. But can contemporary art, whether through music, conceptual installations or cinema actually save us from the damned circumstances, atrocities and injustices we live among?
As an ontological discipline, philosophy must always pay attention to existential claims, whether they come from science, religion or art. Even though this is now possible, since philosophy (and aesthetics) has overcome metaphysics, that is, objectivist-representational nature (which also limited art’s creations), not all philosophers pay attention to the claims these works make.
If such distinguished thinkers as Arthur Danto and Gianni Vattimo have moved beyond aesthetic representationalism and formalism, it is because of their post-metaphysical positions but also their interest in art’s current existential appeal. Both philosophers seem to agree that the end of art proclaimed by Hegel is not simply a matter of art becoming conceptual – that is, “philosophical”. Rather, the radical changes brought about in the advent of global society mean that the artist today must respond to a wider public than in the past, one that is concerned with the same global issues that affect the artist. (more…)
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“Who wants to hear that we are advancing not toward a paradise of happy consumption and personal prosperity but a disaster? Who wants to confront a future in which the rapacious and greedy appetites of our global elite, who have failed to protect the planet, threaten to produce widespread anarchy, famine, environmental catastrophe, nuclear terrorism and wars for diminishing resources? Who wants to shatter the myth that the human race is evolving morally, that it can continue its giddy plundering of non-renewable resources and its profligate levels of consumption, that capitalist expansion is eternal and will never cease?”
Stephen Harper will lead Canada into stagnation, decay, and utter failure. But it’s a perfect evolution as those who will be most shocked and disappointed currently are choosing to believe that corporate elitism is a worthwhile system of rule. The middle class is bringing about it’s own destruction, in fact it seems to want it.
The Collapse Of Globalization by Chris Hedges
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