• The Aesthetics of Absorption

    Author(s):
    Magdalena Ostas (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    TC Philosophy and Literature
    Subject(s):
    Aesthetics, Visual art, Immanuel Kant, Philosophy and literature, Photography
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/b83h-p166
    Abstract:
    Michael Fried has returned to the distinction between “absorption” and “theatricality” in all of his art-historical criticism since he first introduced the dyad in 1980. This essay argues that the term “absorption” is rich with a philosophical significance that echoes central concerns long at play in philosophy’s thinking about the status of art objects and the singular, sometimes puzzling role of aesthetic experience in ordinary life. This essay focuses on how Fried dramatically reconceives the place of the beholder in the task of understanding what works of art are, so that he effectively shifts the burden of ontological definition from its traditional source in an object’s inherent qualities to, instead, the activity of a specific and uncommonly indirect kind of human responsiveness and engagement. The discussion takes up a range of Michael Fried’s writing in relation to the history of aesthetics, especially Kant’s Critique of Judgment, and artworks by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Caspar David Friedrich, Jeff Wall, and Thomas Struth.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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