Unreal Nature

March 12, 2019

At the Moment

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 6:23 am

… they are linked to a particular point in time without being lost in the historical process.

Continuing through The Sociology of Art by Arnold Hauser, translated by Kenneth J. Northcott (1982):

… The historical nature of art derives mainly from the fact that the true, high-quality, complete aesthetic object consists of the active subject-object relationship. It is not the artwork itself, but the actual artistic experience that has become effective. This not only means that receptive subjects in their particular historical situation always experience and evaluate different works or experience and evaluate the same works differently, but also that the works in themselves seem to change as they appear in changing historical contexts. It is not only that new works are created under the influence of old ones but that these too change according to the particular art which they are unavoidably related to at the moment.

… It is part of the paradoxical nature of the work of art that it is always transitory and that as a historical phenomenon it fits into a chronological series; on the other hand it has to renounce this transitory character and the relationship to other artistic phenomena and stand as a completely isolated individual case, unprecedented and individual. Only in this way can it become the object of an immediate, evocative, microcosmic experience related to the totality of life.

[line break added] Works of art are historically unique; they are linked to a particular point in time without being lost in the historical process. They cannot be explained adequately by their genesis or be surpassed in the course of development or rejected once and for all. They remain incommensurable and cannot be repeated, and, unlike the periodicity of natural phenomena, this uniqueness expresses their historicity.

My most recent previous post from Hauser’s book is here.

-Julie

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