Intention, Interpretation and Contemporary Visual Art

British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (2):121-138 (2010)
Abstract
The role of the artist's intention in the interpretation of art has been the topic of a lively and ongoing discussion in analytic aesthetics. First, I sketch the current state of this debate, focusing especially on two competing views: actual and hypothetical intentionalism. Secondly, I discuss the search for a suitable test case, that is, a work of art that is interpreted differently by actual and hypothetical intentionalists, with only one of these interpretations being plausible. Many examples from many different art forms have been considered in this respect, but none of these test cases has proved convincing. Thirdly, I introduce two new test cases taken from contemporary visual art. I explain why these examples are better suited as test cases and how they lend support to the actual intentionalist position
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