Sustaining Loss: Art and Mournful Life

Stanford University Press (2001)
Abstract
Sustaining Loss explores the uncanny, traumatic weaving together of the living and the dead in art, and the morbid fascination it holds for modern philosophical aesthetics. Beginning with Kant, the author traces how aesthetic theory has been drawn back repeatedly to the moving power of the undead body of the work of art. He locates the most potent expressions of this philosophical compulsion in Hegel's thesis that art is a thing of the past, and in Freud's view that the work of art is the haunting of the present by the endless suffering of what is dead but still has claims over the living. Sustaining Loss examines not only Kant, Hegel, and Freud, but also the contemporary artists Gerhard Richter and Ilya Kabakov, whose art turns fruitfully against art's own past.
Keywords Aesthetics, Modern  Art, Modern Philosophy  Materialism  Death
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Call number BH39.H647 2001
ISBN(s) 0804739684   9780804739689
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