Politics and criticism

I am in agreement with Kierkegaard one thing. The ethical dimension can not subsume the aesthetic or sacred dimension. For this reason, I like criticism that discerns the politics in an art work, but I hate criticism that subsumes the aesthetic dimension to the political one. Politics is primary in its own sphere, but is secondary in the aesthetic sphere, where seeing, touching, tasting and orient ourselves are primary. How we strategize about using the power of these primary forces has a strong political aspect –so strong that we might reject some entertainment because it is racist, sexist, etc. – but its other aspect is always about delight. Although we live in a world in which every horizon seems to be blocked by the market, and every interaction is now called a negotiation, a joke is funny or not before it is correct. Any account of a work that dissolves it into its ideological attitudes and claims, thus, to give a total account of the work, strips it of its civil rights – its primary power. It is an act of violence as surely as blinding a prisoner is an act of violence.


arcillaroja said…
Should aestheticism be separated from the political sphere though?

Thanks for your continued thoughts

- A reader