The naked king : on the desire to replace philosophy with Conceptual art during the years 1966-1972 and the aesthetic response by Theodor W. Adorno, Umberto Eco and Jacques Rancière

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för kultur och kommunikation


The aim of this essay is to investigate the reconfiguration and, to some extent, the total deconstruction of the aesthetic field, such as we have know it since Baumgarten, that is promoted by Conceptual art. It is our intention to show the philosophical importance and the theoretical implications of the questions raised by this artistic movement, which somehow instigated the tumultuous debate directed to overwhelm much of the art world from the late 1960's onward.

We believe that the very core of Conceptual art is philosophical and in this respect our programme is to investigate how Conceptual art not only challenges the viewer with traditional aesthetic concepts, but also with the very means used by philosophy to analyse art.

This essay aims therefore to be an analysis of the philosophy of Conceptual art, which we put in relation to the aesthetic investigations of three philosophers - TheodorWiesengrundAdorno, Umberto Eco and Jacques Rancière.

The ambition is to shed theoretical light on an artistic movement certainly scantly considered within the philosophical domain, while it indicates itself as the contingent successor to philosophy.

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