Art Escapes Criticism, or Adorno's Museum Author(s): Catherine Lui Source: Cultural Critique, No. 60 (Spring, 2005), pp.

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ARTESCAPES OR CRITICISM, ADORNO'S MUSEUM
Catherine
Lui

The bourgeois want art voluptuous and life ascetic; the reverse would be better. -Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory

AND ARRIVALS DEPARTURES
Theodor Adorno belongs to a generation of intellectuals who did not celebrate the pleasures provided by popular culture: as a consequence, he has been identified with a kind of elitist condescension that generations of academics have worked to overthrow. Being identified with elitism implied that one was consigned to a special dustbin of history reserved for embarrassing relics of Leftism gone wrong. Dancing upon the grave of the Frankfurt School may not be as popular as it once was, but for a while, it was a jubilatory activity. Adorno himself wrote about the inescapable conflict between elitist and amateur in the essay "Valery Proust Museum," and in it, he shows remarkable sympathy for Proust's defense of bad taste and superficiality. In this essay, Adorno demonstrates that Valery and Proust represent two perspectives on art that are "diametrically opposed, but not directed polemically against each other, nor in fact does either betray any acquaintance of the other."1 The difference between Valery and Proust is irremediable: to travel the abyss that separates them is to venture onto the faultline that slices through the landscape of modernity. Both Proust and Val ry rebelled against the increasingly rational disposition of art objects, but like two prisoners plotting separate escapes from the prison house of modernity's contradictions, they did so without paying any attention to the efforts of the other.
CulturalCritique60-Spring 2005-Copyright 2005 Regents of the Universityof Minnesota

pleasure is the point of departure in any discussion of art. then the museum goer is taught to assume the correct posture with regard to a continuum of models and ideals to which she may be compared. They owe their preservation more to historical respect than to the needs of the present. "museal" [museum-like].4 Preziosi argues that the modern museum establishes the Kantian "aesthetic" as "a separate and distinguishable realm of cognition" and thus promotes an idealized realm of coherence and commensurability between the objects themselves. the museological art object underwrites modern individuality. According to Donald Preziosi. Valery represents the unhappy elitist. Pleasure in art.2 "Historical respect" is opposed to "the needs of the present": the respect of history institutionalizes and places the art object under quarantine. realization of "historical respect" takes place as a disciplining of both art object and the museum goer: the latter is produced as a subject of the Enlightenment and a citizen of the nation-state. It describes objects to which the observer no longer has a vital relationship and which are in the process of dying. the disposition of works of art in museums participates in the endless construction and reconstruction of a model of individual agency-as an idealized image of secretive genius at work. They testify to the neutralization of culture. and Proust the enthusiastic dilettante. has unpleasant overtones. Adorno demonstrates that for both these critics. Nevertheless. In Adomo's Aesthetic Theory.aesthetic pleasure is inextricably linked to a promise of happiness both evoked and renounced by the artwork. is inextricably linked to museums. The German word. Art treasures are hoarded in them and their market value leaves no room for the pleasure of looking at them. while the former is psychologized as an expression of individual creativity and agency. media theorist and historian Wolfgang Ernst . Neutralized culture still has its pleasures. Like Preziosi. at a safe distance from the tensions of contemporary contradictions. Museum and mausoleum are connected by more than phonetic association. In this way. that pleasure is dependent on the existence of museums. or the pleasure of art. which bears the traces of its struggle with "the instinctual conflicts of its genesis. If we understand the art object in the museum as an "ideal vision" of the modern subject."3 Moreover.218 CATHERINE LUI In Adorno's essay.

like national pavilions in universal exhibitions."' Ernst reminds us that the radical restructuring of orders of knowledge that occurred during the eighteenth century produced the modern museum."6 In J. Contemporary art museums were established by elites eager to legitimize their own modernity by promoting the work of living artists: Lorente adds that "the first museums of contemporary art. the relationship between museums and the construction of modern subjectivity is further complicated by his findings on the museum of contemporary art that emerged during the nineteenth century. it was private philanthropy that funded these new galleries. He argues that the museum became a medium that organized art objects to be apprehended by the new discipline known as art history: "The specialization and compartmentalization of arts and sciences in the late 18th century necessitated a specific memory appropriate to the fine arts in order to keep them distinct from other discourses.ART ESCAPESCRITICISM 219 emphasizes the museum's relation to other Enlightenment institutions that aspired to display not only discreet objects but a new form of interrelatedness: "The category of the universal interrelation of things (nexus rerumuniversalis). Pedro Lorente's Cathedrals of Urban Modernity: The First Museums of ContemporaryArt (1800-1930). The results were art history and the modern museum . borrowed from Enlightenment thinking.. under the condition that the public powers provided the rest."8 Other European capitals took up the challenge of the Parisian Museum of Living Artists: in the case of Great Britain."9 Lorente adds that the social history of the founding of new museums is deeply implicated in the aspirations of the nineteenth-century nouveaux riches for social respectability. were produced as a parade ground of patriotic pride. the museum as difference engine distinguishes the new from the old.' Lorente notes that it was the anxious Restoration monarch Louis XVIII who opened up the Luxembourg Palace to the public as the Mus6e des Artistes Vivants or Museum of Living Artists.. became temporalized in nineteenth-century museology. Rich individuals and self-made men such as John Sheepshanks (baron of cloth manufacturing) and Henry Tate (sugar magnate) "offered either a purposebuilt edifice or a large collection (or occasionally both) for the creation of a new museum. Museum patriarchs hoped that in their acts of cultural philanthropy .

the art objects in the Louvre can no longer exist in "proper relation to each other" because their mother. the art object is reduced to an object of education and information.220 I CATHERINE LUI the "discreditable origins" of an immense fortune based on the brutal exploitation of the working classes and the colonies could be either rewritten or forgotten. arranged in what is for him a chaotic jumble that seemed designed to produce disorientation and confusion in the sensitive viewer or connoisseur. the new museum of contemporary art played a crucial role in legitimizing monarchy and capital while producing a new sense of urbanity and promoting an image of citizenship within the nineteenth-century city and state. Art being simultaneously recent and nationalor better still. is dead. In both the British and French cases. with a combined interest for novelty and parochialism. architecture. The museums of contemporary art were explicitly nationalist and chauvinist in their policies: This cult coupling nationalism and the love of the new was not a particularity of the biggest capitals: it could be observed in museums of provincial cities as well. local-was the favorite hobby-horse of an urban public of cultural consumers. In the modern museum. The "progress of art" has produced a kind of homogenization and democratization that the true art lover will have to reject. lay citizens and art-critics shared an almost religious belief in the progress of art. What Valhry is nostalgic for is the space to which the art object belonged: the architecture of that space allegorizes the feudal genealogy where treasures stayed in the family." Since they can no longer have an organic and natural relationship to one another. According to Val"ry.0o Lorente points out that in this spirit the nineteenth-century reorganization of the Grande Galerie at the Louvre. Perhaps this violation is what Valdry deplores when he describes the overabundance of treasures at the Louvre. the paintings of Italian Renaissance masters were replaced by the works of recently deceased French artists. which implied they unashamedly proclaimed as the climax of art history the art of their time-and that of their own countries in particular. the more it is distinct from . the forced intimacy of art objects ancient and modern destroys their singularity by neutralizing their capacity for destruction. The sanctum sanctorum had been violated. "The more beautiful a picture is. Following the doctrines of influential books like Modern Painters. by John Ruskin.

Indeed. Of the glass ceiling that was built on iron scaffolding over the Gare St. he gave himself to their popularity.. Over a sprawling city it stretched its wide. but death managed in a modernized and rationalized way.13 To Adorno.. in the second. That popularity is difficult to imagine nowadays. because our museums of contemporary art rather intimidate popular crowds . the museum exists as an associative space in which aesthetic experience..ART ESCAPESCRITICISM 221 all others. contemporary art. the departure of a train or the raising of a cross. In these spaces." If this is forgotten. she is interpellated as a passenger whose individual and particular journey is determined by railroad schedule."12 His ruined enjoyment is based on his "specialization" or his capacity for distinguishing one particular form of beauty that might be fatal to all others. "public displays of contemporary art enjoyed the highest success amongst lay citizens.-Lazare he writes. in the first case. kills the ones around it. one sometimes says.-Lazare that Proust loved. define the rationalization and historicization of the art work that Valery deplores. According to Lorente. If for Valery. In fact. while. as Adorno points out in his reading of Proust..-Lazare is compared with certain skies painted by Mantegna or Veronese: the association of these two skies is made possible by an unnamed object in the novel-the Monet paintings of the Gare St. This picture. Certain skies of Mantegna or Veronese are as modern.. before . wasted heaven full of ominous dramas.. Proust's description of looking at art recognizes its fungibility with regard to other experiences of the modern city. Proust was certainly not alone in his love of the Monet paintings. Valery warns. the museum and the train station are both associated with death. The crowd is also encrypted in Proust's descriptions of the "museal" art object and the train station. The sky seen through the glass dome of the Gare St.14 Both museum and train station are also places inhabited by the nineteenth-century crowd. looking at art is the model of an incommensurable experience whose pleasure lies in the isolation of a dangerous and incomparable beauty. and everyday life are temporarily conjoined. the heritage of art that museums were meant to conserve will be destroyed. the subject is submitted to chronological order and timetables that. almost Parisian--under such a vaulting sky only terrible and solemn things can happen.

to leisure time. public displays of the latest art were one of the most highly attended urban amenities. the skies of "Parisian modernity": in this network of associations appears the concept of tragic modernity.'s The radical particularity of Marcel's suffering appears as one moment in a series of associations between place names.16 The miraculous quality of train travel has less to do with the distance covered than with the radical difference it can call up. museums. paintings. Marcel takes leave of his mother. and train stations. Beneath the glass ceiling of the train station. According to Adorno. Proust writes "terrible and solemn things" can happen under skies perceived through the immense glass rooftops of the Gare St. From Proust's point of view. the traveler has to accept the tragic potentiality of this new temporality."'" The museum and the train station were disciplinary sites where the modern subject had to orient herself with regard to the intimate stranger.222 I CATHERINE LUI the popularization of cinemas. Valdry mourns the artwork reduced to relic because he clings to a craftsmanlike relationship to writing. For Proust. timetables. Marcel studies the train schedule from Paris to Normandy. investing the one twenty-two train from the Gare St.-Lazare.-Lazare with the power to cut a groove and mark the very contours of his world. a crystal image or prism in which what is made visible is Monet's painting. and this terrible event gives him an intimation of a future when the woman whom he adored would become a stranger to him. the rail lines connect two distinct individualities that are the place names one can read at the train station: these names are separate from the cities they serve insofar as they are containers of the essence of the place. to long-distance travel. In .Lazare. After hearing from Swann about the remarkable beauty of the little PersianNorman church at Balbec.17 Between the train station and the traveler's experience lies the association between the skies in the paintings of Mantegna and Veronese and the skies perceived through the modern iron frame and glass ceiling of the Gare St. and to the urban crowd seeking distractions and temporary escape from the infernal rhythms of working life. Adorno points out that it is following the paragraph about the one twenty-two to Balbec that Proust's own itinerary takes us into the museum by drawing an analogy between the placards of train stations and the signage of museums.

!: :•i:•': ?i-:::::: Ic~'-~iiii :::::::::_:-: : ::-:-_-i~I GEM. -::-:i'i:. As Didier Maleuvre puts it.... Pure aesthetic experience is guaranteed by such a retreat.ART ESCAPESCRITICISM 223 work. •:. For Proust.iiii•i i:. ii:iiiii!i•!:iii:l.. ..sisiii .. :---: ::. "s'abstrait" or abstracts himself in order to create the art object. only the museum's austerity can transport us into the "espaces interieurs" into which the artist disappears..•.:..i i~i i~ ~iii .::. For Proust. A masterpiece can only be properly viewed in a museum. ~'i~iiiiiiiiiii~ -i:.!ii-i-iii:!: . i:i••iii~iii :...! i!!l-:..-i iisl':iiii ::":i: 9iiii:-i-.• _-:_-~si iiiii ~ i ii! i:iiii . ii• !iii iii'•ii : iiiii i. In fact... it is the public gallery that best evokes the artist's ability to disappear into his work. he retreats into the "studio" where he can mourn the loss of art's immediacy with regard to life: he takes refuge in the concept and refuses to attribute to poetic language any representational qualities..:-"'i~i~":i~iiiiiIBMiiii8i X X M I.:: i:ii!•. . ii iiiNiiii. and not in a collector's home where one might be dining.•:•..•i iiiiii-iii i• il i!iiiiiiil il:iiiiiiii iiiil iii l li!!:•!i i ii i ii '•iiii. The self-abstraction. iiilii ..... or self-subtraction.ii! i:-'.. that defines Valery's particular understanding of poetic modernism that he inherited from Mallarme is spatialized by Proust's apprehension of museum space as allegorical of the artist's disappearance act. The hostess will have been too concerned with doing research about reconstituting (through interior decor) the artwork's original milieu.. .:i !i:i i i i ii ~ ~~~iiiii"~ • ~ iii!ii••ii~iii iiiiiii iiii!iiii• iiiiiiiiiiiiii i :. there is a pleasure particular to the museum as a space for viewing art..

Adorno ends his essay with the following sentence: "In the Jeu de Paume.. where the "Gare St. of course."21 It is..20 Just as we learn how to be in the city from our visits to the museum.. If Valery plays on the singular pathos of orphaned art objects. Proust situates Marcel's painful separation from his mother in the midst of a teeming train platform and its infernal crowd of Benjaminian and Baudelairean associations. we learn how to be in relationship with others by traveling on the train and identifying with the individuality of places.22 Aestheticization of history takes place as urban renewal. As Adorno pointed out. Proust's critique avoids the trapof a second-order contextualism saying that the artby work only belongs to the museum because the museum represents the least amount of context: artworks belong to museums because there they are most free from belonging.-Lazarehangs today at the Musee d'Orsay. ART LOVER Museums are ambiguous and tragedy-bound features of the landscape of urban modernity where difference. the handball courts where the Third Estate declared the founding of the National Assembly in 1789.-Lazare" now hangs. it loses its distinctive power.224 CATHERINE LUI The museum represents the absence of a place .19 Maleuvre also points out the logical consequences of Valery's rejection of museums: if the art object is deprived of its original context. a great historical irony that Monet's Gare St. a former train station. Proust's "mode of perception" endows him with an ability to perceive "history as landscape": in fact. The abandoned station was remade into a museum by architect Gae Aulenti to house the Impressionist works that once hung in the Jeu de Paume. Pedro Lorente lay out for us. for him names are as vivid as individuals. Proust's view takes in the historical landscape that Donald Preziosi and J. distance. abandoned to places they do not belong. and names are . Proust's Elstir and Valery's D6gas live peacefully next to each other in discrete separation. This implies that the art object itself is "subsumable" as one element among others of contextual grounding.

23 Proust is able to liberate himself from the fetishism of art objects as such. The amateur is incomparably more comfortable in the museum than is the expert. There is something extraterritorial about his relation to art and many of his false judgments. He is first of all an admiring consumer."24And what follows is Adorno's extraordinary analysis of Proust's attitude of "admiring consumerism" that allows him to anticipate the attempted negation of his own critique of the culture industry. stoppedwith the afterlife of works of art. he is not invested in art for art's sake or other homilies repeated by outraged snobs. as in questions of music display traces of the dilettante to the end. so completely and accu- rately that it became a new type of productivity. Val ry feels himself at home in the studio. an amateur. For Proust's primary relationship to art is the precise opposite of that of the expert and producer. . novelistic language overturns hierarchies of taste and order and is related. One could almost say that his genius consisted not least of all in assuming this attitude . thus intensified. turned into recollection. and the power of inner and outer contemplation.25 Although Adorno recognizes the significance of Proust's enthusiastic dilettantism and the value of his bad taste or "false judgments" (at least in music). In this way. Proust strolls through an exhibition. virtually begins where Valery the poet. Adorno sees in Proust the unleashing of hyperbolic admiration or fandom as an infernally productive and authentically innovative position with regard to the commodification of culture. . as Bakhtin insisted. he does not suggest that we can dismiss Valdry's . art has lost its immediacy to life only because it exceeds its aesthetic qualities. For him.ART ESCAPES CRITICISM 225 displayed in such a way that the museum goer can recognize in them the spatialization of his own experiences of temporality and everyday life. Proust's understanding of the novelistic enterprise was deeply informed by its history as an optic through which the bourgeoisie could explore new forms of being in the world and being in history that had everything to do with learning how to be around art. involuntary memory. inclined to that effusive and for artists highly suspect awe before works that characterizes only those separated from them as though by an abyss. to linguistic reversals of the carnival and the feast: "Proust the novelist.

Adorno writes. Finally. Adorno condemns Proust for a capacity for adaptation to the inevitable.28Valdry's position on art's objective autonomy from history as well as social and economic forces has also become institutionalized wisdom. "Works of art can fully embody the promessede bonheuronly when they have been uprooted from their native soil and have set along the path to their own destruction"27Nothing could be more dangerous and more threatening to the singularity of the art object than the commodity: hence the exhilarating fearlessness of those art objects that recklessly mimic the high production values and diabolical attractiveness of commodities.226 LUI I CATHERINE condemnation of the museum's "barbarity" and his pleas on behalf of the art object. which for museum education departments entails integrating new communities of museum goers into its constituency. Adorno points to complementary blind spots in both Valery's and Proust's positions. Proust knows the cure for this. there has been an acknowledgment that the "elitist" attitude consigns art and museums to a gilded obsolescence in the age of the spectacle. when confronting declines in public funding and public attendance. and he shrinks back in terror from the realization of his dream. More recently. In contrast to Valery's quixotic campaign against museums.26 It is only by injecting a small amount of superficiality and dilettantishness into the "deadly seriousness" with which we must treat both world and art that we can arrive at a rigorous relationship to aesthetic experience. In a sense works of art return home when they become elements of the observer's subjective stream of consciousness. Elitism has become the ground of critique against the academy as well as the museum. which exist in homeopathic sympathy with each other: For it is only in museums.30 One could say in the perpetual crisis of . however. but his radical subjectivism has been appropriated by educational initiatives and community outreach in the hope of "empowering" the amateur. The assertion of art for art's sake was a form of modernism that was apotheosized in the Cold War programs of American cultural institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art. where paintings are offered for contemplation as ends in themselves.29 Proust can hardly be considered the populist here. that they become as absolute as Valery desired.

He identified a wellspring of "Unbehagen" or discontent and discomfiture that was produced by the exigencies of "Kultur. the accusation of elitism has a special resonance. the subject of modernity must learn to experience the correct amount of reverence with regard to a cultural history increasingly institutionalized and rationalized along the lines of mnemotechnics and its various media. museums distinguish the arts from the sciences while providing spaces for modern and urban recreation." By rationalizing and organizing art objects. he or she must also assume the burden of an individuality formed along the lines of a radical subjectivism. the year Freud published Das Unbehagen in der Kultur or Civilization and its Discontents. ELITISMIN THEORY In the United States. with its impoverished pleasures and cynical promises of happiness. its contemporary incarnations have tried to resolve the contradictory purposes into which it was born as indoctrination by entertainment. he demonstrated that reactions against "Kultur" or civilization often took the form of a regressive group psychology. It echoes a powerful refrain in the language of insurgency dating from the heyday of the Populist movement of the 1890s. when the label was reserved for the enemy in an American-style class war that eventually gave birth to radical. If Max Weber has shown that capitalism is dependent on the internalization of a certain disposition with regard to both renunciation and experience. the reactionary movements were gaining momentum in Germany by speaking to the discontentment of a large part of the population against its liberal and parliamentarian government. governmentally imposed .ART ESCAPESCRITICISM 227 the museum. Adorno the shared Freud's critical view of Massenpsychologie: regressive aspect of popular culture would dominate Adorno's study of the culture industry. On the other hand.31 Museums participate inevitably and fatefully in the "dialectic of enlightenment. in so doing. In 1930. On the one hand. Freud took very seriously the price that this vexed and difficult process exacted upon psychic life." but. Rationalization and individuation produce specific forms of backlash or reaction.

working class.228 j CATHERINE LUI reforms on robber-baron capitalism. William Jennings Bryan. but all the issues upon which they focused were cultural rather than economic affronts to the Moral and Silent Majority. The producers of the Midwest lay claim to higher moral ground than the corrupt East Coasters. in recent years. Elitists could be anyone from critics who did not believe that the stock market would set us free to trade unionists and "Keynesians. the Christian fundamentalist from Nebraska. culture has become the battleground upon which a self-styled right-wing insurgency wanted to wage war against liberals and their effete tastes. As Thomas Frank has shown. The Populist movement preached rebellion against the elites of the East Coast: it was made up of selfstyled "producers. Whereas the original Populists of the People's Party denounced the economic oligarchs of the East Coast."-or worse yet. became the presidential candidate upon whom the progressive insurgency pinned its ardent hopes for change. "elitism" was used to describe dissent with regard to what he calls "market populism"-a volatile cocktail of free-market capitalism and antigovernment libertarianism. eventually sweeping Franklin Delano Roosevelt into office."33 Membership in the People's Party was based less on one's actual economic standing than on one's moral and political probity: this was class consciousness with an American and Evangelical twist. Bryan lost the election. backlash politics staged a revolt on behalf of the people against "elitism" by reinvoking the moral outrage of the People's Party. who were more often than not. white. but the energy of Populist insurgency only swelled into the twentieth century. The Right spoke in the incendiary language of outraged moral rectitude calculated to resonate with the average American or the common people. The Populist movement was an authentic revolt of small farmers and Midwestern laborers against the oligarchs and was the most successful attempt to establish a third party in American history. Louis. In the 1980s and 1990s." farmers and laborers of the Midwest who were saddled with debt and struggling to survive during the economic crises of the 1890s. they could be liberals who . and struggling. the People's Party gathered in 1892 to battle the corruption of the "moneyed aristocracy" or the venal plutocrats who were sapping the economic and moral strength of "rural and urban labor alike.32In St.

illegal parliamentarism." The appropriation of revolutionary rhetoric by the forces of reaction is described in Karl Marx's tour de force of political journalism. Even as Ronald Reagan was undoing the very moorings of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. Theodor Adorno.ART ESCAPESCRITICISM 229 believed in the integrity of democratic institutions such as public education but did not believe in Jesus Christ. Using culture to mobilize the so-called Moral Majority. The French revolutionaries of 1848 had gotten rid of the Restoration monarchs only to see their newly minted government and National Assembly usurped by a strongman opportunist who claimed to have a direct connection to the "people. seized power after the revolution of 1848. the right wing succeeded in rallying the working class to its side in wars over culture and values. Louis Bonaparte. the enemy of the common people's popular enjoyments was. Again and again. Adorno bashing seemed to have become the preferred way in which the art critic or philosopher could reassure an expanded readership that he was not a coddled snob.34 In academia. The Eighteenth Brumaireof Louis Bonaparte." Marx's critique here was directed both at Louis Bonaparte's opportunism and at the blindness of bourgeois parliamentarians who were so busy storming from victory to victory that they did not notice that the National Assembly along with universal suffrage were conjured away before their very eyes. the liberal Left allowed itself to be waylaid . more often than not.36 Through a combination of rabble rousing. When Ronald Reagan swept to power in 1980. and sheer terror. the Democratic Party and the American New Left were stunned to discover that the Right had successfully appealed to the white working class by appropriating the language of populism and using it against a liberal agenda. he professed in his honey-voiced tones his deepest admiration for his predecessor.35 The tactics of reactionary politics make use of the language of insurgency in order to ventriloquize the "voice of the people. Frank has shown that recent revolts against elitism dress themselves up in the revolutionary outrage of Populist insurgencies past: Ann Coulter and David Brooks have appropriated the jargon of authenticity in their pseudoheroic forays against the supposed corruption of the liberal elites. he seized power for himself in 1852. Marx analyzes this counterrevolutionary strategy of usurpation by showing how Napoleon Bonaparte's power-hungry nephew.

so criticism initially kept aloof from the State so that later. through that very separation it could. kept aloof from the State. Reinhart Koselleck's genealogy of criticism as an Enlightenment institution is a trenchant critique of the institution of criticism itself: the conclusions he draws lead to an affirmation of the liberal and enlightened state and casts in stark relief the danger of cultural criticism that takes the moral high ground. Koselleck puts this complicated situation best: Just as the Masons. extend its reach to the State and subject it to its judgment. through that very separation. The Right was engaged upon a relentless campaign of cultural criticism that threw its adversaries increasingly off balance.37 The subject of absolutism accepted submission to the state in order to be protected from the threat of Civil War. by virtue of the secret.230 I CATHERINE LUI by battles increasingly defined by their conservative opponents. politics suffers: delegitimization of democratic . became the victim of its ostensible neutrality. It is on the grounds of a secret genealogy of criticism that Koselleck builds his critique of a political aberration that seeks to legitimize itself and its own judgments by declaring a state of emergency in which the moral prerogative of rule would devolve to the delegitimators. which conjured up the phantom menace of elitism whenever it needed to cement its consensus. That higher moral order is generally associated with religious experience. only to reemerge as the citizen who would begin to question the legitimacy of all institutions. For Koselleck. for it is on the basis of a personal. Criticism. higher order of morality and justice that the citizen dissents and demands a relegitimization of all categories. When critics on both Left and Right skirmish to take the moral high ground in political debates. and it is here that Koselleck finds the ground of criticism most shaky." whose counsel and will trumps all political institutions and actualities. By neglecting the economic issues that were the core of the Populist movement. seemingly neutral. it turned into hypocrisy. Hobbes's subject is metamorphosed into Rousseau's critic. to occupy the State seemingly non-politically. as we shall see. or what has been called "the higher Father. the American Left ceded its base of support to the Republican Party. the institution of criticism denies its own compromised and complicitous status with regard to the state. initially in order to elude its influence but later in order. interior.

however. between art and life. In the world of museums.ART ESCAPESCRITICISM 231 institutions of dissent is the eventual outcome of such strategies of engagement.38 The very existence of a museum in which are housed the treasures of a deposed ancien regime betrays the ruin of art itself. theory arrives like a messianic force that will liberate the art critic from the contradictory demands of contemporary practices and academic disciplinarity. elitism became identified with modernism itself and museums were criticized by a new generation of art critics who found themselves armed with "theory" or sometimes "poststructuralist theory" or "postmodernist theory. the "poststructuralist text" arrives like the Absolute Master when the winged owl of Minerva takes flight. For Crimp. he wanted to heal the famous divide between art and life. theory would abolish the difference between high and low cultures. between art and politics. theory in the United States inspires an excessive devotion: it hystericizes philosophy. calling us to confront the challenge that Hegel threw down . For Rabat6.39 In this vision of intellectual history. It is as if the creative powers of modernism had migrated into theory and come to full self-consciousness in the poststructuralist text-the owl of Minerva spreading its wings at the fall of dusk. hypnotized by the success of going for the moral high ground. "postmodernist practice" and AIDS activism were presented as a critical antidote to the steady institutionalization of an exhausted aesthetic. Crimp writes. Jean-Michel Rabat6's The Future of Theory takes a rather sanguine and therapeutic view of this kind of overinvestment in the power of theory: he does so by analyzing its haunting by Hegel. Leftists in the academy began to cast its own enemy within: "elitism" emerged as one of the most damning criticisms." Douglas Crimp was among the most prominent of these critics: in trying to demonstrate the ways the curatorial practices of museums continued to propagate oppressive modernist myths. Poststructuralism offers a theory of modernism characterized by Nachtrdglichkeit. In addition. both in the psychoanalytic and historical sense. During the eighties.40 For Crimp. Didier Maleuvre has shown that the modern museum has had to face such charges from its very birth in the violence of the French Revolution. In his deft historiography of the criticism of museums.

while . of determinate and fixed positions of address. the structural changes in museum financing." This has been "exclusively the project of feminism and a part of the Left. Recently. all contributed to a heightenedneed to createan artisticstarsystem. to take one particularly egregious example. What emerges in the ruins of criticism is the nimbus of the art star.43 Criticism was once the site of rational and disinterested judgment. [T]he art critic normally functions as a kind of intermediary between the frenzied pluralism of the marketplace and the sacralized judgment seat that is the museum."44Such a statement. or exhortative and didactic modes of critique. was now expected to generate a certain box office. In such an environment.41 In her critique of museological practices. and the postmodern. criticism has become unmoored from its "normal" position as a mediator between the "frenzied pluralism" of the market and the sacralizing rituals of the museum. Solomon-Godeau describes a process of "putting into question traditional conceptions of political correctness.232 LUI I CATHERINE in Phenomenologyof Spirit regarding the thinker's relationship to Absolute Knowledge. but the critic is now reduced to playing the servant to both market and museum. have been propelled from obscurity to the pantheon without one single serious critical text ever having been produced in support of their work.42 What Solomon-Godeau identified in 1986 as the museum's designs upon blockbuster shows is even more evident today. even this mediating process has been bypassed. feminist critic at that. Abigail Solomon-Godeau draws conclusions that are dependent upon criticism's "aloofness" or neutrality: legitimacy devolves only to the critic. artists such as Julian Schnabel. in addition to everything else. As a way out of the contradictions of art criticism and museological practices. the increased emphasis on blockbuster exhibitions. the new importance of corporate funding in lieu of individual private support.A canonicalfigure. however. Her indictment of the Museum of Modern Art's photography department and of John Swarowski for canonizing Eugene Atget's work as art photography resounds with passionate outrage: Specifically.

products of artistic genius. still holding on to an idea of critic as mediating visionary. Solomon-Godeau's criticism of patriarchy and Hickey's criticism of institutionality depend on restoring the dignity of human experience: they are not so far apart after all. is primarily proscriptive. As a feminist and a critic. and it was Norman Rockwell's great gift to see that life in twentieth-century America.. Of humanness.e.46 But this is a critical odd couple. The last essay of Photography at the Dock ends in the following way: To the extent that photography has been a particularly effective master's tool. in this instance. . has been exceptional in the extreme.ART ESCAPESCRITICISM 233 explicitly antididactic. even less compatible at first glance than Valery and Proust." i. whose own writing is explicitly antiauthoritarian and whose work has had as its goal the destruction of institutionalized wisdom and stultifying curatorial practices. the former the traditionalist. Hickey writes. Solomon-Godeau's critique of MOMA and Swarowski is based upon her intellectual/critical capacity to see the conservative museological practices for what they are: attempts to monopolize the reception and understanding of Atget's photography as "art photography. and here she would seem to be in agreement with Dave Hickey. wearing. Hickey's ruminations on Rockwell arise from a childhood memory of accompanying his father to a jam session in post-World War II suburban Dallas and his various attempts at describing the beauty of art and life reconciled on that exceptional afternoon. Solomon-Godeau's own rhetoric breaks down at crucial moments and leaves us with a few shiny kernels of mystification.45 Reclaiming the camera for "more humanly satisfying ends" is a sentimental and irreproachable gesture. it is incumbent upon feminist art practice to try to use it in different-critical-ways. I would less wish to assert a dubious authority than to affirm a collective solidarity with the project of claiming the camera for more humanly satisfying ends. Nostalgia for private philanthropy casts Solomon-Godeau and John Swarowski in a strange battle: the latter is the futurist and the populist (if even in a reactionary way). Human art and language (as opposed to institutional art and language) always cite the exception. a curatorial hat. though far from perfect.

What cuts through the haze of the bureaucrat's fog of war against creativity? Money. 2) Treat everyone the same. punitive.234 CATHERINE LUI BACKLASHES High Noon is Dave Hickey's favorite image of heroic confrontation: in his showdown. His writing. condescending. simply because like most conservative reactions to the '60s it was aimed specifically at the destruction of sibling society-the society of contemporaries. taking down the highbrow mandarinism of theory-addled. but what he defended with great fervor against the career bureaucrats and party apparatchiks of "theory" was nothing more than the democratizing powers of money itself. ignorant. its storyteller's seductions. and perverse. its Baroque inflections. All of a sudden rather than an art world made up of critics and dealers. His plea for the legitimacy of aesthetic pleasure was made on behalf of the studio practice of artists. His timing is perfect: he takes a strategic position in the culture . Only money talked and walked in the desert city that had abjured taste in the name of only two rules. is celebrated by those looking for a homegrown antidote to fancy-pants theorizing. you have curators. who Hickey describes as the very incarnation of the demonic-all-powerful. with its populist twang. All the essays in Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy are attacks on the figure of the bureaucrat. a vast shift in the structure of cultural authority. a public funding bureaucracy-you have all of these hierarchical authority figures selling a non-hierarchical ideology in a very hierarchical way. Hickey tells the history of art and theory's unfortunate relationship in the following manner: And then in the late '60s we had a little reformation privileging museums over dealers and universities over apprenticeship. Just as one might in a democracy!"47 In an interview with zing magazine in 2000. hysterical. you have tenured theory professors. he is the righteous cowboy. the bean counter. collectors and artists. useless. but also pretentious.48 Hickey's authentic animosity to bureaucracy is enormously appealing. Culture vultures visiting Las Vegas were hopelessly disoriented by the stunning absence of all forms of distinction produced by cultural capital. puerile. bean-counting academics and curators. "1) Post the odds. deceitful. This really destroyed the dynamic of the art world in my view. lazy.

ART ESCAPESCRITICISM 235 wars by defending marketplace values against the putative corruption of university and museum. the twin towers of liberal elitism gone mad. Romantic art remains estranged from and indifferent to sensuous immediacy: this has the unexpected effect of liberating the aesthetic. Everyday objects are susceptible to aestheticization because the locus of intensity has been displaced from the material nature of art to the inner experience of the aesthetic." Hickey's art professors and curators are a bunch of insecure charlatans.50 Hickey makes an impassioned plea for the "frenzied pluralism" of the market as a form of frontier justice against the enemies of creativity itself. it is the intensity of individual experience and the inadequacy of external forms that creates aesthetic effects. museums ignore the experience of life and the judgment of the market. For Hickey. also sunder art from life itself by supporting a bevy of spoiled. Who could possibly argue for the managed dissemination of aesthetic theory? Indeed as incarnations of the spirit of bureaucracy itself. In Romantic art. bloated by an infusion of hard-earned. Hegel called this kind of aesthetic elevation "spiritualization" and traced in its dialectical movement a sign of the end of art itself."5 . for Solomon-Godeau. tenured professors with sweaty hands extended for their yearly merit raises. So Hickey's love of custom cars actually illustrates Hegel's art history: in classical art. public dollars. they are slaves to it. the focus is on the objective materiality of the thing as sensuous manifestation of the immutable distinction of the gods. in Hickey's world.49 Just as the original Populists described the exploiting class as a parasitic group of oligarchs living off the labor of the "producers. university and museum appear on the range as the twisted enemies of the righteous dynamism of both democracy and the art market. Public funds and bureaucracy produce not only generations of lazy welfare queens but. fending off with tweedy elbow Hickey's attempts to engage them on the merits of TristramShandy while running to suckle at the teats of an ever-bountiful bureaucracy. And yet both critics share a desire for reconciliation and elevation in art through something called humanness. For Hegel. His eloquent condemnation of museum curators and tenured professors as petty tyrants of aesthetic experience and social justice are underwritten by his inimitable outsider's innocence.

"52 How does Kafka remember our bestiality? Kafka's writing endlessly restages the tragicomic agon of heroic individualism facing down an inscrutable. Kafka's fiction denies this to his powerless heroes. the exhibit provided a dark and dizzying vision of contemporary art's para-entertainment values. organized by Philippe Vergne. Richard Shusterman's essay in the catalogue of the Walker Art Center's Let's Entertain: Life's Guilty Pleasures exhibition is a call to arms in the very name of pleasure. the individual demand for justice or truth degenerates into senselessness. but the impotent who appear superfluous. and miniaturized progeny. If for Debord the spectacle is the apotheosis of the commodity form. from Dan Graham to Leigh Bowery. Vergne abjured the use of the term spectaclefor the more banal term entertainmentin order to avoid associations with the Situationists' political ambitions." About Kafka. From Dara Birnbaum to Jeff Koons. the supreme bourgeois concept. entertainment is its ubiquitous. it is Adorno who occupies. and massive bureaucracy. which is why. in his portrait of bureaucracy. This exhibit. an authentically dissenting position with regard to "elevation. the position of the individual and the outsider is endowed with all the imaginary dignity of fairytale protagonists."54 HAVINGFUN In the United States. from Martin Kippenberger to Damian Hirst. arbitrary.236 LUI I CATHERINE If both Solomon-Godeau and Hickey actually yearn for the reinvestment of humanness and dignity in the experience of art. there emerges in him [Kafka] the salutary recollection of the similarity between man and animal. featured a pragmatic but ambivalent affirmation of Guy Debord's society of the spectacle as a space of relentless and endless entertainment. "Instead of human dignity. the demand for the reconciliation of art and life takes place as a demand for a democratization of pleasures. he writes. inescapable. Vergne's conversation with Olekumi Ilesanmi published in the exhibition catalogue takes place in the Rainforest Cafe at the Mall of . "It is not the powerful.53In Kafka's narratives. from beyond the grave. While feminist and populist rage against the infernal museum in the name of a better life and better art.

55 Shusterman's essay hopes to participate in this provocative conversation about both art object and the commodity: the mimicry of the language of advertising promoting the transgressive and addictive pleasures of cigarettes lets us in on the complicity between the author and the culture industry as Shusterman exercises his hiphop-powered agency and "appropriates" Madison Avenue's creative genius.what they all share. Shusterman uncritically affirms the notion of "fun" because fun is a uniquely American. leads us beyond art to the higher realm of religion but ultimately culminates in the spiritual pinnacle of philosophy. Shusterman blames the near death of aesthetic pleasure on almost "two centuries of modernity's sacralization of art. Minneapolis. and the broken dreams of the avant-garde. Founding the fatal modern tradition that makes fun the enemy of true art. It was Hegel's ambitiously metaphysical idealism that displaced the classical connection of art and pleasure. and mass-produced notion of enjoyment that is by definition accessible to everyone. He argues for the consideration of different kinds of enjoyment but refuses the most important distinction that can be made. In it.ART ESCAPESCRITICISM 237 America. Shusterman joins his voice to that of the market populists who want us to enjoy popular pleasures most: the condemnation of hierarchy is their exhortation to enjoy the pleasures that can be most easily purchased. democratic.besides their antihedonism. Hegel instead subordinated art's role to the quest for spiritual truth.58In proposing to put the "fun" back . he argued." He offers us his philosophical training as ammunition against the enemy of unmediated aesthetic experience--Hegel and his dialectic: However different the aesthetic philosophies of Heidegger. In his essay on Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. This quest. the artist formerly and once again known as Prince. Gadamer.57 For Shusterman. Adorno describes the rationalization of sexual pleasure as being founded on "having fun" with an equally "fun-loving" partner. there is no difference between commodified and aesthetic/sensual pleasure. is Adornoand Danto. a common heritage in Hegel.56 Shusterman's "Come Back to Pleasure" offers nothing less than the redemption of visual pleasure for the masses. but like Dave Hickey. Shusterman may counter that this is because he does not want to ascribe to a hierarchy of pleasures promoted by the elitist crypto-Hegelian gang. they reflect on art.

Hegel writes. except in group-psychological formations. Not only are they not fun. For Adorno. he wants to go after the intellectual in order to receive an invitation to the Rainforest Cafe. extremity. It is not yet pure thought. The sensuous aspect of a work of art.59 Fun is about survival and self-preservation: it is focused only on objects and is without any relationship to transgression. In the Aesthetics. they have prevented us from having fun ourselves. the intellectual 6migre had to eradicate himself in order to survive in the relentless sunniness of 1940s Southern California: in Shusterman's case. plants. and organic life. however. Shusterman has to perform the ritual sacrifice of nonconformists who are just no fun.is elevated to a pure appearance. John Dewey's claims for politics and art are crucial to Shusterman's argument for the connectedness of aesthetic experience and political participation.it is no longer a purely materialexistent either. he tries to deduce what it is about the art object that makes it .238 CATHERINE LUI in art. Shusterman's work has been distinguished by a commitment to the reconciliation of aesthetic experience and an expanded notion of philosophical activity and democratic participation. group-psychological tendencies. While Adorno gives Huxley credit for anticipating the Americanization of sex. and the work of art stands in the middle between immediate sensuousness and ideal thought. in comparison with the imme- diate existenceof things in nature. Adorno was trying to redeem something of the notion of pleasure in the age of its mass and mechanical reproducibility. so it is all the more surprising that he cannot resist Hegel bashing in the name of fun. or even other people. Fun is the miniaturization not just of pleasure but of experience in general. like stones. but despite its sensuousness.60 A careful consideration of this and other passages in Hegel would prove that the philosopher does not subordinate art to philosophy. But Shusterman makes the same claim: instead of the culture industry. he has discovered that it is actually idealist philosophy that neglects and flattens out our notions of sensuality and pleasure. he also insists on the insufficiency of Huxley's critique because of its dependency on the category of the individual. Shusterman's dismissal of "the fatal modern tradition" is reassuring in a way that flatters our most regressive.

"That the work of art is an expression of the intellect seeking to be one with the sensuous does not mean that it achieves such fusion. or Mike Kelley should not and cannot be reducible to "fun. In this sense. and has been. Shusterman offers philosophy up as a slave to actuality."61 Finally. His distortion of philosophy is an apologia for thinking. in the sensate. Martin Kippenberger. I would argue that the work of Dara Birnbaum. a kind of Viagra for the mind: this is why he relies in the end on evolutionary biology to prove the importance of pleasure in the functioning of the human brain." although it revels in its flirtation with the culture industry and its sometimes cuddly. art can . thus enhancing our perception and understanding. in the midst of the fully developed commodity society."62 In the end. the problem with pragmatism. Shusterman's account of pleasure is based on a notion of self-improvement and "profit": aesthetic pleasure can "intensify our active concentration on the work. For Shusterman. Baudelaire's poetry was the first to codify that. sometimes shiny supplements. they will trust him to have given a fair representation of the philosopher's thinking. Few of Shusterman's readers will bother to prosecute him for misreading Hegel.ART ESCAPESCRITICISM 239 radically different from both thought and immediate existence. The work of art does not merely dwell in being. but raises it to a reflective level." evoking the relationship between the two but refusing to reconcile with or subordinate itself to either. The sensuality of the art object vibrates between "immediate sensuousness" and "ideal thought. contemporary art is able to produce an experience of the "new" as described by Adorno: The new is the aesthetic seal of expanded reproduction with its promise of undiminished plenitude. Maleuvre writes. What Hegel introduces in his Aesthetics is an account of art as one part of a larger culture steeped in history and riven by contradictions: the space that art occupies in this larger culture is decidedly nonempirical. Shusterman instrumentalizes aesthetic pleasure even as he appears to be rescuing it from "trivialization" in the hands of Hegelian pessimism. By implicitly accepting enhancement and profit as final values. and his critical stance cannot actually account for the aesthetic experience of viewing the art in the Let's Entertain exhibition. This is. aesthetic experience is a concentration enhancer.

. Art is indeed related to the sideshow. or else it becomes "innocuous. this is why art no longer tolerates the innocuous. but nonsensuousness restores what is singularly resistant to apprehension in the concrete muteness of the art object. or pleasure. . Solomon-Godeau. populism. Yet however deep the compulsionmay lie that art divest itself of every trace of being a show.. the carnival. Spiritualization does indeed contribute to the destruction of art: Shusterman was correct about that aspect of Hegel. each one seems assured of his or her righteous oppositionality to an enemy who is interfering with aesthetic pleasure." Although Crimp. According to Adorno however. In fact." a certain amount of mediation is necessary. does art become eloquent. To insist that mediation is necessary to any reflection on the crisis in art and the crisis of the museum is to take seriously both pleasure and critical thinking as vital elements of aesthetic experience and democratic process. there is a deep consensus here: all of these critics want the gap between art and life to be closed. feminism. Hickey. Adorno thought that Hegel's prophecy about the end of art was actually a cynical confirmation of the status quo. the socially outcast.63 Contemporary art mimes the "hardened and the alienated" not in order to "entertain. Spiritualization becomes a counterforce to the gypsy wagon of wandering actors and musicians." It has to take a risk with regard to commodities and spectacle. art no longer exists when that element has been totally eradicatedand yet it is unable to provide any protectedarenafor that element. and all propose that hierarchies of judgment should be overturned in favor of a more pluralistic and democratic order. and Shusterman seem to occupy extraordinarily different positions with regard to both museum and aesthetic. of its ancient deceitfulness in society. Whether they make their pleas in the name of poststructuralism. the two processes are related: spiritualization wants to reduce art to pure sensuous intuitability. Art is modern art through mimesis of the hardened and alienated. and the whole array of popular and folk culture's most fantastic and cruel entertainments. and not by the refusal of a mute reality..LUI 240 1 CATHERINE ignore this tendency only at the price of its own powerlessness. only thereby.64 If art is to be rescued from its spiritualization or its transformation into "objects of sensual gratification.

2002). 14. 173-86 (Cambridge. 1998). See Wolfgang Schivelbusch's TheRailwayJourney: Industrialization The of Timeand Spacein the NineteenthCentury(Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.. Donald Preziosi. Ibid. 19. Emile Zola explored the analogization of the human instincts to the railroad itself by situating all of the drama of La BeteHumaineon the Gare du NordLe Havre line. 20. 10. 15. The Gare d'Orsay is where French prisoners of war disembarked from the trains that brought them home from the German camps after the Liberation of . Lorente. Cathedrals UrbanModernity: First Museumsof ConThe of Art (1800-1930) (Aldershot. 12. Brainof the Earth'sBody:Museums and the Phantasmsof Modernity(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Ibid. C. Ibid.. 37. Notes 1. 12. Aesthetic Theory. 10-35 (Stanford. Didier Maleuvre.edited by Susan Crane. 36-37. Cathedrals UrbanModernity. 2000). Art. 1982). Adorno. Ibid. 21. 1998).. temporary 8." 181. 177. J. (New York:Vintage.. 17. Museum Memories: History. 6." in Prisms. 4. Technology. 65. p.trans.. Moncrieff.. 3. "ValeryProust Museum. 1987). Ibid." in Museums and Memory. K. (Stanford. Marcel Proust. UK: Ashgate Publishing. 1997).493. 5.ARTESCAPES CRITICISM 241 A mindless celebration of the museum's and contemporary art's familial relation to megamall or dancing bear produces the same result as the rationalization of art object as a vehicle of a message of reconciliation: to defend either position by excluding the other is to render criticism inane and art. 13. 22.. CA: Stanford University Press.20. Marcel Proust." 177-78. 18. 36-37. "Valery Proust Museum. of 16. 9. Ibid. 185.translated by Robert Hullot-Kentor (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Theodor Adorno. 7." in Swann's Way. Ibid. 39. Pedro Lorente. 175. 18.38-39. Ibid. Swann's Way. translated by Samuel and Shierry Weber. 176. 178. 1999). 2. "ValeryProust Museum.. innocuous. Wolfgang Ernst. "Place Names: The Name. Theodor Adorno. 11. MA: MIT Press. CA: Stanford University Press. Adorno. "Archi(ve)textures of Museology.

2000)."in ExhibitingCultures:ThePoeticsand Politics of MuseumDisplay. More recently. Ibid. See Pierre Bourdieu and Alainn Darbel.. 1987). 35." New York Times. and exhibits. Ibid. in effectalong. 24. 180-81. 54). Ibid. L'Amour de l'art: les musies et europdens leurpublic (Paris:Editions de Minuit. 31." one that will reliably fall into step. Thomas Frank considers the transformation of his home state of Kansas from a hotbed of radicalism into a "red state. Frank writes. Frances Stonor Saunders's TheCultural ColdWar: CIAand the World ArtsandLetters The New Press. 30. 28. Museums and Communities (Washington DC: Smithsonian Institute Press. journals. 26.The reimagining is guided by many handsomely designed informational boards-cue cards. The whole notion of consensus has to be rethought when confronted with the ways in which the government actively sought to shape intellectual debates and intellectual arguments by funding the journal Encounterand promoting the activities of the Congress for Cultural Freedom. How Proust Can ChangeYourLife(New York:Vintage.. 27. with the agendas of the right wing. 1992). DC: Smithsonian Press. 1991]. Ibid. 29.MarketPopulism.242 LUI I CATHERINE France. Thomas Frank. Al. 1998). of course. in every election.. 1995). "the backlash itself has been a political trap so devastating to the interests of Middle America that even the most diabolical of stringpullers would have had trouble dreaming it . 34." 180. For a compelling account of the history of the Populist movement. 23. 25. 33.. "New York's Bizarre Museum Moment. on the brink of death by starvation. One MarketUnder God:ExtremeCapitalism. For Stephen Greenblatt. and the End of Economic Democracy(New York:Doubleday. (New York: of 2001) presents a fascinating and chilling vision of how the CIA influenced cultural intellectual life in the post-World War II period by sponsoring and promoting conferences. See de Botton. and finally the devastating reunion with her deported husband who arrives back in Paris from the German camps. ed. 1966). See Ivan Karp. Serge Guibaut was the first to point to this in his How New York Stole the Idea of ModernArt (Chicago: University of Chicago Press.and Steven Lavine. Marguerite Duras's The Wardescribes the "terrible and solemn" waiting. 185. 32. 29. Adorno. with extraordinarybuilding itself" ("Resonance and Wonder. 42-56 [Washington. Christine Mullen Kreamer. The Proustian perspective on culture and aesthetics has been successfully framed by Alain de Botton as an ironic self-help manual.edited by Ivan Karp and Steven D. immensely productive period in Frenchcultural history. See Michael Kimmelman. Lavine. "ValeryProust Museum. Gae Aulenti's renovation of the Musee d'Orsay "remakes a remarkable group of highly individuated geniuses into engaged participants in a vital.July 11. 30-31. 2004. see Michael Kazin's The Populist Persuasion:An AmericanHistory (New York: Basic Books. since the declassification of many Cold War archives. 184.

1997). TheFutureof Theory(London: Blackwell. Disgust with museums proves to be a profitable line of argument. is a rebellion against the 'establishment' that has wound up abolishing the tax on inherited estates" (What'sthe Matterwith Kansas?How ConservativesWon the Heart of America[New York:Metropolitan Books. 1984)." in Photography the Dock: Essays on Photographic History."in Prisms. Institutions. 43.Available at http://www. Valery was named to the Conseil National des Mus6es. MA: MIT Press. E Hegel. In 1931. G.ART ESCAPES CRITICISM I 243 up. Reinhart Koselleck. 38. 37.." in at Photography the Dock:Essays on Photographic History. 44. Hegel's Aestheticsare also available on-line at http:/ //www. Karl Marx. and Practices. 50. Critique and of ModernSociety(Cambridge. Abigail Solomon-Godeau.and Practices. 2002). "Sexual Difference: Both Sides of the Camat era. 1991). 1991). translated by T. 42.256-280 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1997). Ibid. Abigail Solomon-Godeau. 36. 46. 1987). Knox (Oxford: Clarendon Press.15). Douglas Crimp. The health insurance crisis may have contributed as much to the lack of dissent in our democracies as anything else. "Canon Fodder:Authoring Eugene Atget. Hickey's arguments are compatible with those of Valery's. The Eighteenth Brumaire Louis Bonaparte (London: Internaof tional PublishersCompany.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/. published during and after the Restoration of 1815 (MuseumMemories. Jean-Michel Rabate. "Living with Contradictions: Critical Practices in the Age of Supply-Side Aesthetics. Aesthetics:Lectureson Fine Art. Air Guitar:Essays on Art and Democracy(New York:Art Issues Press. 51. 7). and Practices.htm. Strangely enough. Dave Hickey was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant. 1988). 1993). 148. Abigail Solomon-Godeau. 28-51(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 22. In 2001. and Crisis:Enlightenment the Pathogenesis 37. after all. David Hickey. 270. 23.243-71 (Cambridge. 40. 52.marxists. 280. 124-25. 47.. W.zingmagazine. 1991). 2004]. 45. M. 98." in Photography the Dock:Essays on at Photographic History. On theMuseum's Ruins(Cambridge. 48. MA: MIT Press. "Notes on Kafka. 38. 41. Ibid.translated by Samuel and Shierry Weber.com/zingl4/hicey/03. Henry Holt and Company.Institutions. Theodor Adorno.MA: MITPress.org/archive/ marx/works/1852/ 18th-brumaire/ch01. 39. See Maleuvre's analysis of Antoine-Chrysostome's criticisms of the establishment of museums by the Revolutionary and Napoleonic governments.124-48 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.. Hickey admits that there was a reason why he was driven into the ranks of the cowardly: the health insurance crisis of the late eighties.html. Institutions. Ibid. which made freelance work increasingly hazardous to one's health. . http://www. 49. Here.

" in Let's Entertain:Life's GuiltyPleasures(Minneapolis. "Come Back to Pleasure. 2000). "Notes on Kafka. Richard Shusterman. MuseumMemories. 63.38. In an essay in which he seems less eager to please his popular-culture masters. 55. 62. 59.. 33-47. Phillipe Vergne and Olekumi Ilesanmi. "Aldous Huxley and Utopia. 35 (emphasis added). "Come Back to Pleasure. 94. Shusterman. 60."Monatshefte no.' This can transform the subject. . 1 (2002):24-42.244 LUI I CATHERINE 53." 48. 2000). 58. 1997). Aesthetics. 64. Shusterman writes. Ibid."256. Hegel. 61. whom he understands quite well.95-118 (Cambridge." in Prisms. 103. MA: MIT Press. "Unlike facile pleasure of the subject.' for Adorno. 'real aesthetic experience. AestheticTheory.1:38. 94. translated by Samuel and Sherry Weber. Adorno. See Stanley Corngold's "Adorno's 'Notes on Kafka': A Critical Reconstruction. 21. Maleuvre. Adorno. 18-28. MN: WalkerArt Center. thereby de more suggesting new avenues of emancipation and a renewed promesse bonheur potent than simple pleasure" ("The End of Aesthetic Experience. WalkerArt Center. but a willful distortion of Adorno's work. 'requires self-abnegation' and submission to 'the objective constitution of the artwork itself.. 56. 57." Journalof Art and Art Criticism55 [1999]:29-41). Ibid. Theodor Adorno. 54. This proves that his essay "Come Back to Pleasure" is not based upon a misreading of Adorno. Let'sEntertain:Life'sGuilty Pleasures (Minneapolis.

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