Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Doing Aesthetics with ArendtHow to See Things$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Cecilia Sjöholm

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231173087

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231173087.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 18 June 2021

Sensing Space

Sensing Space

Art and the Public Sphere

(p.1) 1 Sensing Space
Doing Aesthetics with Arendt

Cecilia Sjöholm

Columbia University Press

Arendt approaches aesthetics through its conditions of possibility - emphasizing the space, literal and metaphorical, that allows art to exist. Sjöholm grounds Arendt's aesthetic theory in public space - allowing, primarilly, theories of performativity to reveal the tenacity of aeshtetics to reference and detourn public space. The public sphere is a place where difference and appearance continually ossify, denying a static theory of being (Heidegger) or an unpolitical aesthethic theory (Adorno). Instead, Arendt posits the capacity of subjects to interact with aesthetic objects as a model of appearances and phenomena. She presents an ontology based on pluratity, not reliant on the universality of the subject, but the subjects interaction, relation and percepation of differing phenonema.The body is not a limitation for Arendt, but a unique access to a historicity of plurality, encouraging each present moment to occur freely. Performance art, then, becomes a major departure for Arendt's aesthetic theory by intersecting both embodiment and aesthetics in the possibiltiy of the subject. If the public realm has inherited the modern promise of freedom, then how can art re-articulate this in times of, both, post-totalitarianism and capitalism? Sjöholm articulates numerous examples of avant-garde practice quite reliant on the public space as both a battery for performativity and its reception. Importantly, public space singularly resisiting totalitarian inhibitions in its promise of freedom and performativity.

Keywords:   public space, freedom, plurality, avantgarde art, appearances, agency

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .