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Josefine Wikström: The Social Form of Art After 1989: The Beginning of a Research Project

Aesthetic seminar

Info about event


Thursday 10 March 2022,  at 14:15 - 16:00


Kasernen. Building 1584, Room 124

What has been the stake of art’s autonomy in the past thirty years? What is the relation between the way capitalism has changed and the forms of art in this period? Much research in the areas of art theory, sociology, and history the past decade has argued that both the modern bourgeois concept of art and Western capitalism is in crisis. Art’s crisis is in this literature most often described as the upheaval of the autonomy of art in relation to such different things such as the diminishment of free speech, financialization of art institutions and the academization of art educations. The crisis of capitalism is mainly understood as an ongoing crisis of capital to uphold democracy and distribute wealth, partly explained with the fact that technologically advanced commodity production pushes away more labour than it can absorb.

                 In this lecture Wikström will address both these problems as crises of form. She will do so by primarily going to Adorno’s understanding of form in art and to the concept of social form in Marx but as it has mainly been reconstructed by more recent thinkers such as Moishe Postone and Patrick Murray. Wikström's argument is that if we are to understand art’s social function in contemporary culture in the past thirty years, we need to pay attention to understandings of form in both art and in capital.

Aesthetic seminar is organized by Morten Kyndrup and Jacob Lund
on behalf of School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University

All are welcome