Walter Benn Michaels “Ühiskondliku probleemi ilu. Fotograafia, autonoomia ja majandus”

“The Beauty of a Social Problem” (originally 2015) is a book that has caused a lot of controversy, which examines – especially using the example of contemporary photo artists –, how aesthetic autonomy and the return to the form of a work of art relate to the issues of today’s cultural model and political economy. The point of the author’s criticism is especially directed against American postmodern art practice and interpretation (which he interprets as neoliberal aesthetics), but he himself is interested in new art phenomena that diverge from this mainstream art practice. He investigates practices that try to get rid of attitude-centeredness in order to reach the structures of social problems through the form of an artwork, which can only really come to the fore through art.

Walter Benn Michaels (b. 1948) is an American literary scholar. He has taught primarily at three major universities: Johns Hopkins University (1974–1977, 1987–2001), the University of California, Berkeley (1977–1987), and the University of Illinois at Chicago (since 2001). He is the author of Our America (1995), The Shape of the Signifier (2004), and The Trouble with Diversity (2006).

Translated by Neeme Lopp and Hanno Soans
Edited by Sirje Nilbe
Designed by Maria Muuk

224 pages, in Estonian
Estonian Academy of Arts Press, 2020

ISBN 978-9916-619-01-8

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Posted by Neeme Lopp