By Frederick Luis Aldama
Via a sequence of provocative conversations, Frederick Luis Aldama and Herbert Lindenberger, who've written generally on literature, movie, track, and artwork, find a spot for the discomforting and the customarily painfully disagreeable inside aesthetics. The conversational structure permits them to go back and forth informally throughout many centuries and lots of paintings varieties. they've got a lot to inform each other in regards to the arts because the introduction of modernism quickly after 1900—the nontonal tune, for instance, of the second one Vienna institution, the chance-directed song and dance of John Cage and Merce Cunningham, the in-your-faceness of such diversified visible artists as Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Egon Schiele, Otto Dix, and Damien Hirst. They display in addition a protracted culture of discomforting paintings stretching again many centuries, for instance, within the final Judgments of innumerable Renaissance painters, in Goya’s so-called “black” work, in Wagner’s Tristan chord, and within the subtexts of Shakespearean works equivalent to King Lear and Othello. This e-book is addressed straight away to students of literature, paintings heritage, musicology, and cinema. even though its conversational layout eschews the traditional conventions of scholarly argument, it presents unique insights either into specific artwork kinds and into person works inside those varieties. between different issues, it demonstrates how contemporary paintings in neuroscience could provide insights within the ways in which shoppers technique tough and discomforting artistic endeavors. The e-book additionally contributes to present aesthetic conception by way of charting the discussion that is going on—especially in aesthetically demanding works—between writer, artifact, and patron.
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Additional info for Aesthetics of Discomfort: Conversations on Disquieting Art
Digging deeper at a possible theory for an aesthetics of discomfort 25 Since this final triumph is built into the sonata form, every succeeding composer had to find a way of keeping the audience in suspense till the end. FLA: We’ve been talking about the sonata form as a classificatory concept linked to the feelings of satisfaction, surprise, pain, and suspense. Perhaps we should consider how emotional responses to crafted moments of satisfaction and pain (beauty and ugliness grosso modo) crystalize as essentially genres: comedy, tragedy, and the grotesque (the simultaneous presence or combination of the ugly and beautiful), and any number of combinations thereof.
To be honest, I wasn’t quite as scared as the digging deeper at a possible theory for an aesthetics of discomfort 21 Figure 2. Rattlesnake on trail, Santa Cruz Mountains, California. Photo by Herbert Lindenberger. ) But your point is well taken: objects in the natural world can be quite discomforting, but, as with this snake, we can also find some of the same power (including scariness) in them that we do in certain uncomfortable works of art. FLA: We often hear people say that there is beauty in nature or that nature is beautiful.
We feel simultaneously a gut-wrenching discomfort and a deep admiration for Shalamov’s extraordinary skill at giving shape to these tales. HL: If a work can make people feel comfortable about their discomfort, the more the merrier! FLA: Herbie, as we will continue to explore, we will note that the aesthetic (discomforting or otherwise) exists not in the object (Reinhardt’s monochromatic works) nor in the subject (in the way we look at things), but in the relationship created by the artist between the subject and the object—and this relationship changes historically (as we’ve seen in the compressed history of painting in Europe given above) and also changes as we in the role of subjects have come to see ourselves over time.