Wednesday, June 6, 2007

30 Consecutive Days of Blogging (XXVII)

POST-SCRIPT. 5 quotations from Chapter 12 of Adorno's Aesthetic Theory: **************************************************************************************

"Autonomy, art's growing independence from society, is a function of the bourgeois consciousness of freedom, which in turn is tied up with a specific social structure. Before that, art may have been in conflict with the forces & mores dominating society, but it was never 'for itself'...In short, there has been a great deal of direct social control over art, from its inception all the way down to modern totalitarian states, the one exception being the bourgeois era. There is a sense however, in which bourgeois society can be said to have integrated art even mroe completely than any previous society. The pressure exerted by the growth of nominalism forced the latently present social essence of art more & more into the open" (320).

"Art will live on only as long as it has the power to resist society. If it refuses to objectify itself, it becomes a commodity. What it contributes to society is not some directly communicable content but something more mediate, i.e. resistance. Resistance reproduces social development in aesthetic terms without directly imitating it" (321).

"Reception tends to dull the critical edge of art, & its determinate negation of society. Works are most critical when they first see the light of day; afterwards they become neutralized because, among other things, the social conditions have changed. Neutralization is the social price art pays for its autonomy. Once art works are buried in the pantheon of cultural exhibits, their truth content deteriorates" (325).

"The people who rail the loudest against the anarchy of modern art usually know the least about it, invariably betraying ignorance at the level of simple information...Deep down, the bourgeois personality, against its better judgment, tends to cling to what is inferior" (334).

"Works of art affront prevailing needs by throwing new light on the familiar, thus meeting the objective need for change in consciousness that might ultimately lead to a change in reality. Art cannot achieve the much desired impact by adapting to existing needs, for this would deprive human beings precisely of what art has to offer" (345).

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