Realist spectating: time present

Klee, Steve (2016) Realist spectating: time present. In: Invisible Architectures, Lesions on the Landscape, 29 - 30 October 2016, Whitechapel Gallery, London.

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Abstract

I am curious about the way that some recent art deploys scientific discourse as a component part. I take Shona’s work, specifically Time Present to be a good example. It would seem to me that this art understands such discourse as providing a certain ‘justified authority’. By this I mean that work like Time Present understands certain scientific discourses as offering traction upon the real, a genuine objectivity. This does not mean that this work views science to have the final answer, or to be able to offer all the answers, or to be beyond critical investigation, far from it. However, I would argue that work of this kind understands traction (objective explanation) to be possible. (For instance, Martin Conway’s explanation of the mechanisms behind Claire’s condition are treated as offering an insight, and not presented as a spurious naïve realism, or insidious power-discourse.) I fully support this move, and am intrigued by how it might offer new opportunities for art interpretation.

It would seem to me that a current dominant model of art interpretation, that one deriving from the influential aesthetic philosophy of Jacques Rancière is set against the possibility of objective thought. Claims to objectivity, for Rancière, are never justified, they are always naïve, or instances of insidious power discourse. In short they are always impossible. And, in fact, art interpretation is posited as one mode wherein this impossibility is revealed. I think, therefore, that work such as Time Present poses a problem for a strict Rancièrian perspective.

I attempt to rearrange the ‘furniture’ of Rancière’s thinking so as to build a model of interpretation that takes into account this genuinely novel accommodation (into art) of the possibility of objectivity

Keywords:Aesthetics, Ranciere, Brassier, Neo-Rationalism, Realism, Science, Epistemology, Wolfendale
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V550 Philosophy of Science
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Fine Arts)
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ID Code:30604
Deposited On:18 Feb 2018 20:11

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