International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (2):151 – 175 (2001)
In 'Art as Festival', I put Heidegger and Gadamer into dialogue concerning their respective critiques of traditional aesthetics and their more positive views on the work of art. I use the festival theme to examine some of the philosophical issues in Heidegger's and Gadamer's approaches to the work of art. Specifically, I look at the way both figures conceive the work of art as an encounter which, like the festival, involves a transcendence of subjectivity in an encounter with an event - in this case, the artwork - which the individual does not direct, but rather in which they participate. Putting the theme of festival into play also provides a useful critical lever, especially in the way that it raises important issues of community. More specifically, reflecting on the festival celebration raises questions of the nature of this community, of the relation of the community created in the festival event to the community of the everyday, and thus also of the relation of the aesthetic and the political.
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