Jacques Rancière on Art’s World

Art exists as a separate world since anything whatsoever can belong to it. This is precisely one of the arguments of this book. It shows how a regime of perception, sensation, and interpretation of art is constituted and transformed by welcoming images, objects and performances that seemed most opposed to the idea of fine art: vulgar figures of genre painting, the exaltation of the most prosaic activities in verse freed from meter, music-hall stunts and gags, industrial buildings and machine rhythms, smoke from trains and ships reproduced mechanically, extravagant inventories of accessories from the lives of the poor. It shows how art, far from foundering upon these intrusions of the prose of the world, ceaselessly redefined itself–exchanging, for example, the idealitites of plot, form and painting for those of movement, light and the gaze, building from its own domain by blurring the specificities that define the arts and boundaries that separate them from the prosaic world.

Jacques Rancière,  Aisthesis x

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