---- by Gerry Coulter
  Baudrillard's numerous references to art and aesthetics span his writings. There are several keys to his approach to art, including: a suspicion of culture, the death of the avant-garde, transaesthetics, the role of art, the relationship of art and the real, and his own photography.
  Baudrillard fancied himself, with good cause, to be the contemporary equivalent of the Danube Peasant (CA). He denied having any formal training in the arts and admired in himself his brute-like joy of fascination unencumbered by aesthetic, moral, social or political judgements (ED). Baudrillard maintained a deep suspicion of culture and the ways in which it is interwoven into structures of the economy (the art world and art market) and political culture. His refusal to promote contemporary culture included a courageous refusal of the celebratory embrace of the New York art world, precisely at the time when accepting it would have led him to greater fame and book sales in the United States of America (AA). Baudrillard's thought in this respect constitutes an important challenge to an increasingly promotional art world in which the reputations of curators are staked on keeping alive the idea of an avant-garde. Baudrillard posited that the role of museums and curators in the art market side of the art world was a kind of conspiracy which saw museums and other cultural venues complicit in the generation of speculative values for art in the 1980s (CA). In France Baudrillard outraged the arts and cultural establishment by calling Beaubourg a monster which, like other recent architectural monsters, 'testify not to the integrity of the city but to its disintegration, not to its organic nature but to its disorganization . . . they reflect the satellization of urban existence' (CM, 105).
  Baudrillard realised that the avant-garde died not long after the end of the Second World War and that this had enormous implications for contemporary art. In his view it was still possible to see the subversive remnants of the avant-garde up to abstract expressionism (at least a form of gestural subversion). But after abstract expressionism, and certainly by the time of Warhol, we could no longer talk about the avant-garde. This is not to say that new things did not continue to happen in the arts, but that it was (mainly because of Duchamp's influence on countless young artists since the 1950s) a form of 'posthumous representation'. The result has been what Baudrillard referred to as a confused art world because all forms became simultaneously possible. This meant for him that we had passed through the avant-garde into the age of kitsch (UB). Art was no longer art because it had come into too close contact with the real. Art's job, on the contrary, was to negate reality - a power art has at its disposal (TE).
  In the era of kitsch anything (including relatively unprocessed garbage) can be art. The aestheticisation of everything removes what is special about art and it dies. With Duchamp's ready-mades Baudrillard felt that we passed into an order of transaesthetics, or a kind of aesthetics of banality. Before long he felt this would overtake our entire culture and is well into the process of doing so by the early twenty-first century (CA).
  Baudrillard did like some contemporary art if, like Olivier Mosset's, it deeply problematised the role of the creator in the contemporary art world (UB). He was also fond of Enrico Baj (UB) who he said succeeded admirably in resolving the monstrosity of our social existence. The only art that interested Baudrillard in recent years was that which 'succeeds in being itself a monstrous act succeeds in resolving and in reabsorbing the monstrosity of our lives' (UB, 142). For him a medium like painting can succeed in becoming such a mythic operator. This does not mean that we have an avant-garde but we do have some art that stands against the effort to subsume the art world into the promotional culture of late capitalism.
   § artists
   § Beaubourg
   § culture
   § photography
   § real

The Baudrillard dictionary. . 2015.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • art —    For numerous reasons, the most difficult word to define without starting endless argument! Many definitions have been proposed. At least art involves a degree of human involvement through manual skills or thought as with the word artificial,… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • art — art …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • art — [ ar ] n. m. • Xe, d ab. « science, savoir », puis « moyen, méthode »; lat. ars, artis; souv. fém. jusqu au XVIe I ♦ Ensemble de moyens, de procédés réglés qui tendent à une fin. 1 ♦ (1160) Vx Moyen d obtenir un résultat (par l effet d aptitudes… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • art — 1. (ar ; le t ne se lie pas : l art oratoire, dites : ar oratoire, et non l ar t oratoire ; au pluriel l s ne se lie pas, les arts et les sciences, dites : les ar et les sciences ; cependant cette liaison plaît à quelques uns, qui disent : les ar …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • art — ART. s. m. Méthode pour faire un ouvrage selon certaines règles. Art noble. Art vil et abject. Savoir un art. Savoir l art. Les termes de l art. Les préceptes de l art. Les règles de l art, les procédés de l art. Les secrets de l art. Le sublime… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • art — ART. s. m. La regle & la methode de bien faire un ouvrage. Arts liberaux. Arts mechaniques. les sept Arts liberaux. Art noble. Art vil & abjet. sçavoir un Art. sçavoir l Art. les termes de l Art. les preceptes de l Art. reduire quelque chose en… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • art — n 1 Art, skill, cunning, artifice, craft can mean the faculty of performing or executing expertly what is planned or devised. Art is not actually a comprehensive term but is so variable in its implications that it is interchangeable with any one… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • art — art; art·ful; art·ful·ly; art·ful·ness; art·i·ly; art·i·ness; art·ist; art·ist·ry; art·less; art·less·ly; art·less·ness; art·o·gra·vure; land·art; ly·art; stew·art·ite; stew·art·ry; stew·art; tu·art; art·mo·bile; stu·art; …   English syllables

  • art — Art, Ars, Artificium, Techna. Ars liberaux, Artes ingenuae. L art de tailler images, Statuaria ars. Art magique et d enchanterie, Magice, magices, Magia, magiae. Appartenant à art Magique, Magicus. Art de Musique, Musica ars. L art de nombrer et… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Art — ([aum]rt), n. [F. art, L. ars, artis, orig., skill in joining or fitting; prob. akin to E. arm, aristocrat, article.] 1. The employment of means to accomplish some desired end; the adaptation of things in the natural world to the uses of life;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Art — bezeichnet: Art (Biologie), Grundeinheit der biologischen Systematik Art (Philosophie), Begriff, der aus gemeinsamen Merkmalen von Individualbegriffen gebildet ist Art (Texas), Ort in den USA art – Das Kunstmagazin, deutsche Zeitschrift Art… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.