On 22nd of November, 2012, PAVILION center held a lecture by Stefan Vianu, under the title Kant after Duchamp? Beyond aesthetic judgement.
By inventing the readymade, Marcel Duchamp brought a new idea into art, moreover, he radically transformed the meaning of art. The most common object can be said to be art in specific contexts. Consequently, the border between art and non-art becomes problematic. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t ask whether an art object presented to us as such is justly qualified as so.
Thierry de Duve explores this matter in his already famous book “Kant after Duchamp”. The author illustrates how the aesthetic judgement “this object is art” replaces the traditional one “this object is beautiful” and stresses the necessity to change the Kantian aesthetic judgement while showing how relevant the Kantian matter is in contemporary art theory: he keeps the aesthetic judgement’s claim on universality as well as its improvable nature.
“The post-modern” condition doesn’t radically alter this observation: whether we left modernity behind or we still feed on its project, the newly formulated aesthetic judgement reinforces the moving of modernity. Which modernity are we talking about though? An in-depth analysis of the link between (modern) art and modernity will allow us to see de Duve’s position in all its complexities and question the situation of modern art which seems to be more complicated than this.
Ștefan Vianu, born in 1963 in Bucharest, studied Theology and Philosophy at the University of Geneva, where he took his PhD in 2001. He worked between 2001 and 2005 at the Philosophy Institute of the Romanian Academy. Currently he teaches the Philosophy of Culture and Aesthetics at “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture in Bucharest.
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