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Aesthetics, fragmentation and community
Simon Malpas

5 Simon Malpas Touching art: aesthetics, fragmentation and community Art has hitherto been considered, in all possible ways, in terms of both ‘creation’ (poiesis, genius, and so on) and ‘reception’ (judgement, critique, and so on). But what is left in the shadows is its befalling or devolving, that is to say, also its chance, event, birth, or encounter – which, in other terminologies, has been called the ‘shock’, ‘touch’, ‘emotion’, or ‘pleasure’, and which participates indissociably in both ‘creation’ and ‘reception’.1 Throughout the history of literary and

in The new aestheticism
Open Access (free)
Murdo Macdonald

10 Finding Scottish art MURDO MACDONALD Nationality and art The relationship between nationality and art, or something like it, has been central to the history of art – scholarly or popular – whether in the minimal form of this national school or that national school, or in a more focused way as in ‘the Italian Renaissance’ or ‘French Impressionism’. The art in question is seen as directly related to a national or quasinational set of circumstances, and indeed the art is seen as having some significant link to the nationality of those who carried it out. A

in Across the margins
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Andrew Bowie

4 Andrew Bowie What comes after art? Kafka’s last completed story has become something of an allegory of contemporary theoretical approaches in the humanities. In ‘Josefine, the singer, or the mouse people’, the narrator, a mouse, ponders the phenomenon of Josefine, a mouse who sings. The problem with Josefine is that she actually seems to make the same kind of noise as all the other mice, but she makes a performance of it, claiming that what she does is very special. She is able, moreover, to make a career out of being a ‘singer’, despite the doubts voiced by

in The new aestheticism
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Towards a contemporary aesthetic
Jonathan Dollimore

2 Jonathan Dollimore Art in time of war: towards a contemporary aesthetic In times of war In September 1914 an agonised Hermann Hesse writes of how war is destroying the foundations of Europe’s precious cultural heritage, and thereby the future of civilisation itself. Hesse stands proudly for what he calls a ‘supranational’ tradition of human culture, intrinsic to which are ideals essentially humanitarian: an ‘international world of thought, of inner freedom, of intellectual conscience’ and a belief in ‘an artistic beauty cutting across national boundaries’.1

in The new aestheticism
Jessica Auchter

The after-effects of mass atrocity – bodies and bones – struggle to be defined within memorial projects. This article seeks to examine the politics at play in displaying dead bodies to interrogate the role of materiality in efforts to memorialise and raise awareness about on-going violences. It focusses on the nexus between evidence, dignity, humanity and memory to explore bone display in Rwanda. It then takes up two artistic projects that play on the materiality of human remains after atrocity: the art of Carl Michael von Hausswolff, who took ashes from an urn at the Majdanek concentration camp and used them as the material for his painting, and the One Million Bones Project, an installation that exhibits ceramic bones to raise awareness about global violence. In thinking about the intersections between human biomatter, art and politics, the article seeks to raise questions about both production and consumption: how bones and ashes of the dead are produced, and how they are consumed by viewers when placed on display in a variety of ways.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Edward Bacal

I focus on two contemporary art installations in which Teresa Margolles employs water used to wash corpses during autopsies. By running this water through a fog machine or through air conditioners, these works incorporate bodily matter but refuse to depict, identify or locate anybody (or any body) within it. Rather, Margolles creates abstract works in which physical limits – whether of bodies or of art works – dissolve into a state of indeterminacy. With that pervasive distribution of corporeal matter, Margolles charts the dissolution of the social, political and spatial borders that contain death from the public sphere. In discussing these works, I consider Margolles’ practice in relation to the social and aesthetic function of the morgue. Specifically, I consider how Margolles turns the morgue inside out, opening it upon the city in order to explore the inoperative distinctions between spaces of sociality and those of death. In turn, I consider how Margolles places viewers in uneasy proximity to mortality, bodily abjection and violence in order to illustrate the social, political and aesthetic conditions by which bodies become unidentifiable. I ultimately argue that her aesthetic strategies match her ethical aspirations to reconsider relations to death, violence and loss within the social realm.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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Photography and Social Change in James Baldwin’s America
Makeda Best

This essay explores an exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums, installed in the fall of 2018, entitled Time is Now: Photography and Social Change in James Baldwin’s America.

James Baldwin Review
Christopher Z. Hobson

Written in the aftermath of the civil rights era’s expansive hopes, James Baldwin’s last novel, Just Above My Head (1979), examines a fundamental issue, the choice between hope and skepticism, or prophecy and doubt. Baldwin approaches this issue by questioning two cornerstone ideas of his fiction, the need for prophetic art and this art’s focus on anticipating a renovated society, often pictured in terms adapted from apocalyptic biblical texts and Gospel music lyrics. Just Above My Head is Baldwin’s fullest presentation of this kind of art and its linkage to apocalyptic hopes. He dramatizes these ideas in the art of his Gospel singer protagonist, particularly in a climactic scene of artistic dedication whose Gospel lyric envisions “tearing down the kingdom of this world.” Yet Baldwin also unsparingly questions these same ideas through plot and the blues-inflected skeptical-tragic consciousness of his narrator. Responding to a 1970s moment when hopes for transcendent justice seemed passé, Just Above My Head’s unique contribution is not to try to resolve the ideas it counterposes, but to face both the possible falseness of prophetic hope and our continuing need for it, and to present the necessity for choice in a final dream that holds the key to the novel’s meaning. In presenting this issue through a sustained double-voiced narrative that reexamines its author’s artistic practice and raises fundamental choices in outlook and conduct, Just Above My Head evidences the continuing artistic vitality of Baldwin’s late fiction.

James Baldwin Review
Weak empire to weak nation-state around Nagorno-Karabakh
Jan Koehler and Christoph Zürcher

8 The art of losing the state: weak empire to weak nation-state around Nagorno-Karabakh Jan Koehler and Christoph Zürcher The conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh offers an insight into the rules and processes that governed the transformation of a weak empire into even weaker nation-states. More than other conflicts escalating into collective violence during the demise of the USSR, Nagorno-Karabakh had connotations of civil and interstate war, heavily involved official central and local Soviet institutions and led to the creation of new local institutions. The Nagorno

in Potentials of disorder
David Leeming and Magdalena J. Zaborowska

Sedat Pakay, whose name will always be associated with the most intimate portrayals we have of James Baldwin, died on 20 August 2016 at his home in Claverack, NY. Sedat was born in Istanbul, Turkey, where he graduated from Robert College. He studied at the Yale School of Art under Walker Evans, Paul Strand, and Herbert Matter and became a successful photo-journalist and filmmaker. His subjects for photographic portraits included Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Josef Albers, Gordon Parks, and, especially, James Baldwin. Pakay’s best-known films are Walker Evans/America (2000) and, as all Baldwin scholars and friends know, James Baldwin: From Another Place, filmed in Istanbul in 1970.

James Baldwin Review