On How Ideology Becomes Aesthetic

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The last part of Agamben’s tetralogy is dedicated to different life-styles, by which he means such forms of life in which it is not possible to separate what he calls “bare life”. Agamben’s project may be considered as a description of a political reality in aesthetic terms, such as: norm, rule, exception, form, inclusion, exclusion etc. Of course it is only a dimension of these categories that is aesthetic, but - given an overall aesthetic aspect of today’s politics which has been recently widely acknowledged - it is possible to treat his project as an aesthetic one. For example: the state of exception may be interpreted as the aesthetic state, the sovereign may be seen as a romantic genius creating rules for other people to follow. The aim of the paper is to show not that politics is aesthetic (this is taken for granted), but to show the political dimension of aesthetic terms, which proves that what is thought of as disinterested love for beauty, goodness and truth is not so disinterested as we perhaps would like it to be. In my essay I will analyze texts written by Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Danto, Berleant, Welsch.


Keywords: Politics, Aesthetics, Ideology, Aesthetic State
Stream: Arts Theory and Criticism
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Mateusz Salwa

Lecturer, Aesthetics
Institute of Philosophy, Warsaw University

warsaw, Poland

I have worked at the Department since October 2007. I graduated from art history (2003) and philosophy (2003). My doctoral thesis (2007) concerned philosophical aspects of illusionistic baroque paintings. I am mainly interested in early modern and modern art theory, art criticism and aesthetics and in particular in intersections of art theory and philosophy bearing on questions of visuality and representation. In 2008 I translated from Italian to Polish G. Agamben’s “Homo Sacer”. At present I am working on problems of artworks that are meant to be “identical” with what they represent (dolls, machines, automata, wax figures, scientific models), in other words I would like to explore the boundaries between art and nature and to see when the former becomes the latter and vice versa

Ref: A09P0301