By Geoff Boucher
Disregarded as a depressing elitist who condemned pop culture within the identify of ‘high art’, Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) is among the such a lot provocative and critical but least understood of up to date thinkers. This publication attracts on new translations into English to problem this renowned snapshot and re-examines Adorno as a utopian thinker who believed real artwork may well retailer the world.
Adorno Reframed isn't just a accomplished creation to the reader coming to Adorno for the 1st time via specific dialogue of works of art, novels, motion pictures and song, yet a huge re-examination of this founding father of the Frankfurt tuition. stimulated by means of Kant, Hegel, Freud, Marx, Nietzche and Kierkegaard, Adorno was once a searing critic of the formal, reductive rationality of the Enlightenment and of modernity. Unafraid to discuss human nature, undaunted by means of dogmas relating to cultural development, Adorno enjoyed artwork that hurts, that challenged the existing tradition of the day and resisted the controlled, commodified pseudo-happiness of ‘administered society’. protecting the independence of the wildlife and the particularity of the human person, for Adorno genuine actual paintings used to be a defiant refusal to subordinate the materiality of the realm and the lived truth of human task to the imperatives of social totality.
Making his conception obtainable via a wealth of concrete illustrations, many drawn from Adorno himself, Geoffrey Boucher recasts Adorno as a innovative whose anthropological imaginative and prescient of the human , feel of subversive irony and profoundly old aesthetics defended the integrity of the person opposed to the commodified tradition industries that offer unsatisfying patron ‘happiness’. Grounding Adorno’s social philosophy and aesthetic idea in contextualised research of artists starting from Stockhausen and Kafka to David Lynch and Brett Easton-Ellis, Adorno Reframed takes its topic from interwar modernity into the postmodern and feminist current to ascertain the legacy and impact of Adorno’s radical modernism and his trust that paintings used to be within the base line the way to take care of, no longer break out, truth.
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Extra resources for Adorno Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts (Contemporary Thinkers Reframed)
Picasso shows how naturalistic depiction is only one of the possible artistic conventions. Schönberg proves that harmonic intervals are only an arbitrary way of organising the twelve chromatic notes. Likewise, Adorno aims to exhibit history, freedom and the subject emerging as abstractions from a historical and social process of thinking about experience, one that might be otherwise than it is today. To do this, Adorno thinks in what he calls ‘constellations’, groupings of ideas that make connections between aspects of experience without coercing these conceptually into a formal system.
Furthermore, they considered Freud’s discoveries about depth psychology essential to understanding the passionate subjectivity of the artistic rebels and political radicals of their era. Their aim was to integrate the results of specialised inquiries into political economy, culture and ideology, psychology and philosophy, into an open-ended and ongoing intellectual project. At the same time, they were deeply critical of the orthodox Marxism of the Stalinist parties, regarding historical materialism as a means to re-open ancient questions about the good life and meaningful human existence, rather than as assembly instructions for a prefabricated utopia.
It might look like realism, but it is actually just recycled clichés. In Adorno and Horkheimer’s most radical argument, the industrialisation of cultural production brings about the entry of the logic of the commodity into the very structure of the artwork itself (Adorno and Horkheimer, 2002: 114–15). The trivialisation of artistic content characteristic of the entertainment industries flows from the production of profitable Freudian psychoanalysis Under conditions of the real totality of the administered society, and in the context of the culture-industrial standardisation of artworks, the organic totality of realist art loses all critical power.
Adorno Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts (Contemporary Thinkers Reframed) by Geoff Boucher
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