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‘What Keeps Mankind Alive?’: the Eleventh International Istanbul Biennial. Once More on Aesthetics and Politics

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Starting from the 2009 Istanbul Biennial, with its Brechtian curatorial theme, this essay considers the Left’s varying responses to art’s so-called ‘political turn’. Discussion ranges from the local and regional context of the Biennial’s function as part of Turkey’s bid to join the EU, through to a longer theoretical perspective on the critical debates over ‘art and life’, artistic autonomy and heteronomy, and the revival in avant-gardism. The authors propose that the standard accounts of the intimate connection between the commodity and art have become politically counterproductive. They suggest that Marxist analysis needs to develop a more complexly-articulated philosophical reflection on the relation between economy, politics, and art ‐ and between political and aesthetic praxes ‐ if it is to advance its longstanding contributions to considerations of ‘aesthetics and politics’.

Affiliations: 1: Email: g.a.day@leeds.ac.uk; 2: Email: s.j.edwards@open.ac.uk; 3: Email: d.mabb@gold.ac.uk

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/content/journals/10.1163/156920610x550631
2010-01-01
2016-12-03

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