Dialectical Passions: Negation in Postwar Art Theory by Gail Day

Dialectical Passions: Negation in Postwar Art Theory

byGail Day

Kobo ebook | December 22, 2010

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Representing a new generation of theorists reaffirming the radical dimensions of art, Gail Day launches a bold critique of late twentieth-century art theory and its often reductive analysis of cultural objects. Exploring core debates in discourses on art, from the New Left to theories of "critical postmodernism" and beyond, Day counters the belief that recent tendencies in art fail to be adequately critical. She also challenges the political inertia that results from these conclusions.

Day organizes her defense around critics who have engaged substantively with emancipatory thought and social process: T. J. Clark, Manfredo Tafuri, Fredric Jameson, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, and Hal Foster, among others. She maps the tension between radical dialectics and left nihilism and assesses the interpretation and internalization of negation in art theory.

Chapters confront the claim that exchange and equivalence have subsumed the use value of cultural objects-and with it critical distance- and interrogate the proposition of completed nihilism and the metropolis put forward in the politics of Italian operaismo. Day covers the debates on symbol and allegory waged within the context of 1980s art and their relation to the writings of Walter Benjamin and Paul de Man. She also examines common conceptions of mediation, totality, negation, and the politics of anticipation. A necessary unsettling of received wisdoms, Dialectical Passions recasts emancipatory reflection in aesthetics, art, and architecture.

Gail Day is senior lecturer in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.
Title:Dialectical Passions: Negation in Postwar Art TheoryFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:December 22, 2010Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023152062X

ISBN - 13:9780231520621

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. T. J. Clark and the Pain of the Unattainable Beyond
2. Looking the Negative in the Face: Manfredo Tafuri and the Venice School of Architecture
3. Absolute Dialectical Unrest, Or, the Dizziness of a Perpetually Self-Engendered Disorder
4. The Immobilization of Social Abstraction
Afterword: Abstract and Transitive Possibilities

Editorial Reviews

A wonderfully enjoyable examination of some of the key figures, debates, and points of intrigue in art theory influenced by the New Left.