Lecture : 28 September 2011 01:01

Semesterplan - Autumn 2011: lectures : What is Aesthetic Freedom Today?': Lecture by German philosopher Christoph Menke

OCA, in cooperation with the Goethe Institut in Oslo and dOCUMENTA (13), hosts a lecture by the German philosopher Christoph Menke on the subject of aesthetic freedom.

In recent years, Menke has argued that the correct understanding of modernity must be situated in relation to tragedy which modernity has not overcome; rather, modernity has to be seen as itself tragic. In such a scenario, the focus on the individual and his and her concrete needs does not lead to political quietism but into an engine of political discontent and revolution rather than abstract claims of equality. Within such philosophical claims, how is it possible to posit the aesthetic experience as one of meaning? In his writing on The Sovereignty of Art, Menke writes that the aesthetic experience becomes apparent when intensified meaning is defined – as an experience of meaning that gives representation to the truth about non-aesthetic understanding.

In this upcoming lecture at OCA, Menke will specifically approach the transformation of aesthetic taste within the development of late capitalism in an effort to address the possibility of the aesthetic freedom of ‘taste’ to regain a critical potential. Menke will try to deconstruct the question of how the arts can be thought of as a point of departure for defining and regaining a practice of freedom – a freedom that stands in critical contrast to the freedom of contemporary consumer capitalism. Menke will develop such an argument as a counterpoint to the discussion of the ‘new spirit of capitalism’ stressed in particular by Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello within their publication The New Spirit Of Capitalism.

For more information on the lecture at OCA, please contact Antonio Cataldo.

About Christoph Menke
Christoph Menke (b.1958) is the author of, among others, Tragic Play: Irony and Theater from Sophocles to Beckett (2009), Reflections of Equality (2006) and The Sovereignty of Art: Aesthetic Negativity in Adorno and Derrida (1999). He is Professor for Practical Philosophy at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Before, he was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Potsdam, Germany and Associate Professor at the New School for Social Research in New York, NY, USA.

Launch of dOCUMENTA (13) notebook series 100 Notes - 100 Thoughts
This lecture is held in tandem with a launch of dOCUMENTA (13) notebook series 100 Notes - 100 Thoughts  at the Office for Contemporary Art Norway in Oslo. Christoph Menke, who recently published the notebook titled Aesthetics of Equality, is part of a list of authors that includes György Lukács, Suely Rolnik, Franco Berardi, Vandana Shiva, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Chus Martínez, Arjun Appadurai, Cornelius Castoriadis, Griselda Pollock, Donna Haraway, Pamela M. Lee, William Kentrige, Erkki Kurenniemi and Lawrence Weiner. Chus Martínez, dOCUMENTA (13) Head of Department, and Member of Core Agent Group, will introduce the publication series. The Oslo-based Torpedo Bookshop and Torpedo Press will be present, providing the notebooks for those interested in purchasing.