Political Aesthetics

Political Aesthetics

by Crispin Sartwell
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801448905

ISBN-13: 9780801448904

Pub. Date: 08/19/2010

Publisher: Cornell University Press

"I suggest that although at any given place and moment the aesthetic expressions of a political system just are that political system, the concepts are separable. Typically, aesthetic aspects of political systems shift in their meaning over time, or even are inverted or redeployed with an entirely transformed effect. You cannot understand politics without

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Overview

"I suggest that although at any given place and moment the aesthetic expressions of a political system just are that political system, the concepts are separable. Typically, aesthetic aspects of political systems shift in their meaning over time, or even are inverted or redeployed with an entirely transformed effect. You cannot understand politics without understanding the aesthetics of politics, but you cannot understand aesthetics as politics. The point is precisely to show the concrete nodes at which two distinct discourses coincide or connive, come apart or coalesce."—from Political Aesthetics

Juxtaposing and connecting the art of states and the art of art historians with vernacular or popular arts such as reggae and hip-hop, Crispin Sartwell examines the reach and claims of political aesthetics. Most analysts focus on politics as discursive systems, privileging text and reducing other forms of expression to the merely illustrative. He suggests that we need to take much more seriously the aesthetic environment of political thought and action.

Sartwell argues that graphic style, music, and architecture are more than the propaganda arm of political systems; they are its constituents. A noted cultural critic, Sartwell brings together the disciplines of political science and political philosophy, philosophy of art and art history, in a new way, clarifying basic notions of aesthetics—beauty, sublimity, and representation—and applying them in a political context. A general argument about the fundamental importance of political aesthetics is interspersed with a group of stimulating case studies as disparate as Leni Riefenstahl's films and Black Nationalist aesthetics, the Dead Kennedys and Jeffersonian architecture.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801448904
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
08/19/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Idea of Political Aesthetics

1. Leni Riefenstahl Meets Charlie Chaplin: Aesthetics of the Third Reich

2. Artphilosophical Themes

3. Dead Kennedys and Black Flags: Artpolitics of Punk

4. Prehistory of Political Aesthetics

5. Red, Gold, Black, and Green: Black Nationalist Aesthetics

6. Arthistorical Themes

7. Political Power and Transcendental Geometry: Republican Classicism in Early America

Conclusion: Political Styles and Aesthetic Ideologies

Appendix: Riffing on Political Aesthetics: Suggestions for Case Studies and Research

References
Index

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