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By J. Hellings

A complete, serious and obtainable account of Theodor W. Adorno's materialist-dialectical aesthetic thought of artwork from a modern standpoint, this quantity indicates how Adorno's serious conception is awash with pictures crystallising innovations to any such measure that it has each cause to be defined as aesthetic.

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Would be able and willing to read the text, understand the message, accept its content and put it to the kind of use the author intended. ). ) done all in his power to save the message from extinction. ) the duration of hope, to the indestructibility of possibilities and the frailty of adversities that bar them from implementation. 10 The open work’s equation of unknown variables also describes the construction, distribution and reception of artworks ‘as indeterminate, as antithetical to definitions’ (AT 72), which may wordlessly express a lonely language of suffering and despair, but which always address themselves to uncertain futures and imaginary witnesses who may or may not be capable of reading them.

For, as Nietzsche once observed, ‘even amongst the “deceptions” (Täuschungen), as semblance, delusion, error, interpretation, manipulation, art’ there is truth (BT 8). ’28 Appearance, then, is not opposed to essence, but, rather, essence shines forth, it appears. As Adorno repeated Hegel: ‘essence must appear’ (C 84–5). If ‘constitutive semblance’ (AT 82), describes art, then the latter, according to Adorno, ‘gains no power over semblance by its abolition’ (AT 109). ), is part of art’s truth. Anti-art nourishes art, but to give up entirely on semblance (à la Lukács), is to give up both on art and the hope for a better, more truthful, reality that shines forth through works of art (AT 110).

11 Adorno’s model or image of messages in a bottle as a form of (non-)communication allows for no such immediate detailed reflection on politics. 12 That society (and its politics) appears refracted in art and aesthetics is an idea Jay Bernstein’s book The Fate of Art unfolds: From Adorno’s perspective, it is evident that art’s political moment resides in its refusal of immersion in given political programmes for cultural reform. Indeed, Adorno’s defense of this refusal, and his dismissal of engage art, has been the most criticized element of his theory.

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