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Arts with or without Ideas

Idealist Remnants in Contemporary Concepts of Art

Veli-Matti Saarinen

Past philosophical ideas about arts influence contemporary artistic practices. We still use traditional Idealist concepts, such as the autonomy of art or the subjective expression of the artist. At the same time, today’s art often attacks and abandons Idealist thinking.

The author of this book analyses this relation between the Idealist conception of the arts including literature and present-day reality. The aim is to create a link between past and present artistic practices and theoretical, philosophical thinking. The author also questions the Idealist notions of history and the relation between the theoretical, the aesthetic and the practical, and seeks new ways to deal with the relation between the past and the present.

Idealist aesthetics – Kant and Hegel – literature of the 21st and the 20th century – materiality of arts – site-specificity – distribution of the senses – relational aesthetics – art as social and practical projects – aura and shock in the arts – artistic research – changing concept of art – Christine Hill – Tino Sehgal – Santiago Sierra – Knausgaard