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Main Ideas of the Politics of Representation - Essay Example

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The paper "Main Ideas of the Politics of Representation" states that our ideas of specific images, such as the American cultural view of all people of Arab descent being evil, or of words, such as the slogans found in Holzer’s Truisms, these art forms become powerful tools in reshaping views …
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Main Ideas of the Politics of Representation
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Download file to see previous pages The reason for phenomenon is that art is not static, but rather interactive with its audience and the political and social ideas of the audience’s present as well as the symbols inherent in the particular forms used. The postmodern movement, with its emphasis on illuminating the sublime, brings these ideas to the forefront. “The political and the aesthetic are inseparable, simultaneously present, faces of the postmodern problematic” (Burgin, 1982). On examining the main ideas within the politics of representation I will draw on various philosophical ideas in relation to recent art practices and consider the topical question of visual representation as an instrument of control and power.
Any creative idea is embedded within politics, between the artist’s perception and identity and their subject. Jean-Francois Lyotard argues that realism in art is a form of conformism and that the task of the modern artist is to produce “incommunicable statements” which cannot be fitted into the easy flow of information within computerized society. In his Appendix Answering the Question: What is Postmodernism?, published at the end of The Postmodern Condition, he wrote that the "only definition" of realism is that "it intends to avoid the question of reality implicated in that art." It is associated in this account with those who "pursue successful careers in mass conformism by communicating by means of the correct rules, the endemic desire for reality with objects and situations capable of gratifying it" (Lyotard, p. 75). This uncritical use of established methods of representation is contrasted with avant-garde art, which, he argues, uses experimental innovations in technique and structure to attempt "to make visible that there is something which can be conceived and which can neither be seen nor made visible" (Lyotard, p. 78). This “something that can be conceived but not seen nor made visible” is often referred to as the sublime, a quality of transcendent greatness “with which nothing else can be compared and which is beyond all possibility of calculation, measurement or imitation” (Wikipedia, 2006). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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