The Banality of Art? – a conversation with the late Arthur C. Danto on the proper orientation of Aesthetics- or Why beauty cannot be reduced out of Art

Video


Aesthetics Philosophy of the Arts, Films for the Humanities and Sciences © 2004

I discovered the above video the other day on YouTube:  Aesthetics, Philosophy of the Arts, it seemed interesting and with high production values so I gave it a viddy.

This video turned out to be a very well produced and presented hour long survey of the theories of Aesthetics in Western Art since Socrates.  A narrator takes us through a well worded and satisfactory tour of the arguments, and a couple of talking head philosophers, in the persons of Alexander Nehamas of Princeton and the late Arthur C. Danto who was emereri at Princeton, add commentary and fill in some of the details.

I enjoyed what Prof. Nehamas had to add very much, he had an avuncular manner that was easy to follow, but found I was having some trouble with Prof. Danto both with his manner generally, and later with what he had to say when he moved into his own era and work as a philosopher in the 1960’s.  I found myself developing a somewhat testy dialogue with the Dead Prof. hoping to point out that even though one may push a particular theoretical or philosophical paradigm to the limit where is breaks, or is somehow formally completed, doesn’t mean that the paradigm and its various developmental modes suddenly loses utility or there aren’t other perfectly valid paradigms to pursue.

DECONSTRUCTION
There is a difference between stretching the boundaries of a definition of a word to their logical limit, and breaking the boundaries of that definition so that there is no longer a logical use for it.

~ ϕ

I found the video presentation informative and I highly recommend it if you have about an hour for art’s sake.  I invite you to take a look now.

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Lourdes – Prologue to a Posy – Playing Cinema Interruptus with Jessica Hausner – or a Mad, Mad Quest


Les malades:  the halt, the sick, the blind.  Welcome to Lourdes                      [Coop 99 Films-2009]

Every once in a while I come across a movie review where I wonder if the reviewer and I have actually watched the same movie.  I know that there are often substantially different ‘cuts’ of a movie presented to different audiences floating around out there.  One of the classic examples of this is the 142 minute nominally nihilistic Euro-centric theatrical cut of director Terry Gilliam’s classic 1985 film Brazil, and the ofttimes disparaged 95 minute American, ‘love conquerors all’,cut of the film.  Even so, sometimes it seems there exists out there a tin-pot doppelganger to a movie I really enjoyed, which I find perplexing – or maybe it’s just that I’m odd in some way.

But, I digress.

I actually don’t actually watch a whole lot of movies; however, since the coming of Netflix to Middle Earth I have been watching many more than I used to, but I think I could hardly match the performance of most serious film buffs.  In exception to the general trend, in the last week or two I have seen several very worth while ones that have been turning into fodder for the Meme Merchants Consortium think tank.

This week it has been Austrian director/writer Jessica Hausner’s 2009 film Lourdes that has got the groups attention at the Meme Merchant’s Film Society.  On the whole we  really liked the film, we each tend to find some fault with certain aspects, but the discussion has been whether we should give it four or five Netflix stars.

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