Art as Performance
Art as Performance
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In this richly argued and provocative book, David Davies elaborates and defends a broad conceptual framework for thinking about the arts that reveals important continuities and discontinuities between traditional and modern art, and between different artistic disciplines.
- Elaborates and defends a broad conceptual framework for thinking about the arts.
- Offers a provocative view about the kinds of things that artworks are and how they are to be understood.
- Reveals important continuities and discontinuities between traditional and modern art.
- Highlights core topics in aesthetics and art theory, including traditional theories about the nature of art, aesthetic appreciation, artistic intentions, performance, and artistic meaning.
“regional qualities” of the movements themselves, that we have dance. Whether we focus on dance, theater, film, literature, music, or the visual arts, we can formulate a common-sense view of what counts as a work in that art, what is involved in appreciation, and what constitutes artistic value, and can then find entities that pass as works in the late modernist tradition in that art, yet that seem to present problems for such a view. This, however, raises a number of methodological questions.
explicable in terms of either manifest pictorial properties or category of art, we must reject the moderate empiricist’s supervenience claims. However, as Currie acknowledges, Walton can respond that the differences in ascribed value in such examples are not differences in artistic value, in our sense, but differences in art-historical value. Such value, it will be claimed, is ascribable to a work in virtue of its place in the historical development of an art form, and may testify to the
strong counter-empiricist thesis on such grounds, the thesis is much stronger than is required if our sole concern is to defeat moderate empiricism. The latter is committed to the claim that all artistic properties supervene on manifest properties and category of art, and is therefore open to refutation if it can be demonstrated that at least some indisputably artistic properties of artworks fail to so supervene. To counter the claims of the moderate empiricist, we need only find indisputably
any 44 Aesthetic Empiricism and Philosophy of Art identification of visual artworks with structures or patterns. Both take works of visual art to be physical objects. We may therefore distinguish between “global” and “local” forms of ontological structuralism. In its local form, structuralism is a thesis about the ontological status of works in one or more particular arts, whereas in its global form it is intended to apply to all the arts.13 There is a further question that any proponent of
work are relativized in the appropriate sense. If we follow this course, however, then we will have to ascribe, to a single work identified with a given structure, discrete internally coherent sets of artistic properties for each instantiation of that structure. In the case of the work identified with the sound-structure of Brahms’ Piano Sonata op. 2, for example, there will be one set of properties each of which is relativized to the instantiation by Brahms and another set each of which is