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The Dissolution Of Meaning: Towards An Aesthetics Of Non-Sense

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Chapter Summary

This chapter raises the issue of the relationship between text and interpretation in the case of texts whose ultimate purpose is utmost resistance to interpretation. It begins with a historical outline of efforts made by hermeneuticians from Johann Dannhauer to Hans-Georg Gadamer to explicate the concept of "meaning". The chapter, then, turns to critiques of hermeneutics on the part of Martin Heidegger and Susan Sontag, and the challenges that the field is currently experiencing in the American academia for having been associated with conservative, male-biased, homogeneously non-hybrid, homophobic, colonial, capitalistic enterprises. With modernity, and even more so in post-modernity, the artworks of the avant-gardes have dictated and inspired aesthetic/hermeneutical discourses, constantly forcing aesthetics and hermeneutics to re-think their basic premises. The chapter examines works by the Taiwanese-American artist Shu Lea Cheang, and the Japanese artists Yanagi Yukinori and Nagasawa Nobuho.

Keywords: aesthetics; hermeneutical discourses; Martin Heidegger



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