Senin, November 02, 2015

Kant After Duchamp

Currently reading Thierry de Duve's "Kant After Duchamp". It's a challenging book for sure, cause there are lots and lots of footnotes linked to many art philosophers' view which--in my opinion--hard to comprehend. But apart from it's challenging disposition, this book is also an enjoyable reading. I'm still in the first chapter, which giving the readers a very unique idea about how we can truly grasp what art is (ontologically, epistemologically, etc..), by placing them in a few interesting points of view. At first de Duve ask us to play pretend as a Martian (a martian ethnologist to be precise) on seeing what Art is. At this position you will have to see Art as opposed to other human properties, such as science, religion,or mysticism. Here we'll realize how Art could be a frustrating subject to be understand, especially seen from a distant party which is not implicated (forthrightly) into its practice. After being a Martian ethnologist, de Duve places us as an earthling (: a sociologist) who's implicated in his/her field of research. In doing so, he/she is bound to put a scientific/objective perspective on analyzing what Art is, but also involved in its practice and by doing so, is ofcourse would wondering about the teleological property of Art (and many other properties which ends up in its utility and meaning related to human life).

This perspective on seeing Art will evolved into a more involving position, and each time de Duve apparently wanted the readers to be gradually comprehend how Art had been employed in human culture. The title of the book itself is really an interesting one, for, as we all known already, that chronologically Duchamp comes after Kant. But I think de Duve is giving us clue that after Duchamp's significant gesture (placing the R. Mutt urinoir in the gallery as an artwork), Modern Art was characteristically acting out Kant's aesthetic judgement. I haven't got to the next chapter yet (and for sure haven't got to the best part yet). So I really can't say more. But from the very beginning I knew about this book, I know that it will be such a recommendation.

Planning on writing a serious review about this one later. I hope I could finally write something good to be submitted to a mainstream media (an art magazine or someshort)... although... this book was published in 1996 :D