One of the problems in phenomenological approaches to art, is to understand the link between the ontologies of art media and questions of value. Unfortunately, recent discussions of art’s broader cultural context have not helped in this task. There has been a widespread assumption that the historical circumstances of art’s cultural production, its constituencies of reception, and contexts of transmission and the like, render artistic value relative to the time and place of its production. My purpose in this critical discussion, is to move beyond the restrictions and contradictions of such relativism. I shall argue that art engages with factors that are of universal rather than relative import, and that questions of value are connected to this. In doing so, I will hope, in other words, to subvert the relativist orthodoxy by clarifying art’s reality as art. I shall do so as perversely as possible by, in Part One, criticizing and developing one of the great inspirations for relativism, namely Derrida’s notion of différance. In Part Two, I shall use components of that concept, namely difference and iterability to indicate the basis of art’s reality qua art, the justification of canonic work, and, in the course of this, art’s legitimate claim to high-cultural status.
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DOI 10.1080/20539320.2016.1187852
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Margins of Philosophy.Jacques Derrida - 1982 - University of Chicago Press.
Defining Art, Creating the Canon: Artistic Value in an Era of Doubt.Michelle Lavigne - 2008 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (3):317-319.

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