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A Eureka moment



I have been sitting here all weekend - reading, taking notes, even starting the draft of the draft of a draft of a paper. (Need to read a lot more before I even get to the draft of a draft stage ;-). I really am somewhat obsessed with the question which I keep asking, you see. The one about my students. I am, after all, attempting to do a PhD, the subject of which is art education... How can I even write a dissertation without taking all this into account? Or so I was thinking until a minute ago...
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Continued from the other day



I am still wondering here. The previous post, where this bit belongs to as well, is already way too long. So, I am starting a new one.
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First, why was I only vaguely aware that Hegel had a gripe with art? Could it be because it is an uncomfortable truth (uttered by Hegel, no less!) which goes against the grain of the prevalent art system? In other words, it is not in the best interest of persons seeking a place within that system, be it as critics, theoreticians, curators or artists, to be quoting him. You do not saw off the tree branch on which you are perching, we say in Turkish. Must be similar proverbs in all languages. So, the word does not get too widely disseminated, or whenever it does it gets buried under mountains of doublespeak. Which could possibly account for how I missed it.
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re-blogged



Quoted from the blog Sex Drugs and Post-Structuralism (unfortunately no longer active, it seems):

... "when I am alone with myself, I have not the courage to think of myself as an artist in the great and ancient sense of the term. I am only a public entertainer who has understood his times and exploited as best he could the imbecility, the vanity, the cupidity of his contemporaries. Mine is a bitter confession, more painful than it may appear, but it has the merit of being sincere." Pablo Picasso (Interview with Giovanni Papini in Libro Nero, 1952)
It is maybe not Picasso’s fault, higher forces are at play. Hegel had already proclaimed the death of art one hundred years before. Art, for Hegel, had reached its expressive limit, its “spirit” or Geist, had been exhausted. Art’s expressive form had achieved all that it could. In Hegel’s scheme of things, art had reached full-circle in the complete self-awareness of itself as art... in other words, art becomes self-conscious.
As soon as a particular expression of Geist starts becoming self-conscious, it multiplies itself; art is everywhere, there has never been so much “art” in the world than today...and yet, what is “art”?
The very asking of the question amongst the proliferation of “arts”, is for Hegel, the Zeitgeist, or the “signs of the times”, that art is dead. Art becomes self-conscious, as it starts theorizing about itself in an interminable questioning of itself.