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Posts with the tag aesthetics:

My Experience Studying Visual Culture

My academic relationship with visual art began in my freshman year with Derrida’s ‘Of Grammatology’, when I considered the notion that what I think of writing, inscribing letters and characters in books and articles, is only a small amount of writing, and not the earliest form. Derrida argued that ‘the concept of writing exceeds and comprehends that of language’, and I was convinced. Considering that philosophy written in books was only one, and not necessarily the most well qualified, way of communicating ideas opened my mind to the possibility that by only pursuing my interests through ‘philosophy’, a certain kind of book and curriculum, I was not remaining focused on the cream of the crop, but completely neglecting a vast body of material relevant to my ‘philosophical’ interests.

Francis Bacon and Pop Art

In ‘Comedy and Finitude’, chapter 10 of Ethics— Politics— Subjectivity, Simon Critchley explains that, in the context of post-Kantian philosophy, art has taken the place that religion and metaphysics once had, of providing models and tools for grappling with existential concerns. In ‘Comedy and Finitude’, Critchley specifically discusses tragedy, and explains how it has represented an influence on the problem of death, of the possibility of our own impossibility, in many modern thinkers. Critchley criticizes tragedy as a model for resolving this tension, and instead presents comedy as a preferable solution. In this paper, I will try to expand Critchley’s by analogizing dramatic tragedy with Francis Bacon’s portraiture, and Pop art with Harpo Marx’s comedic performance.