Bredvid verket i arbete : Ramens verkan i dansens estetiska autonomi
Sammanfattning: The aesthetic autonomy of dance is a blank spot in the history of aesthetics. In this study, dance is used as an umbrella for both visual art performance, live art and choreography. Different from these other notions, dance appears in early historical writings and enables a coherent reading of the history of this specific artform, where the embodiment of the artwork is central. Starting from Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgement, in which this study unravels why dance has been given such a limited attention in the history of aesthetics. Departing from this ignorance of the artform and the lack of theories of aesthetic autonomy when it comes to dance ever since, the study proposes that the aesthetic autonomy of dance could be understood through the notion of parergon. The word is initially found in the Critique of Judgement, where Kant uses parergon to describe the infrastructural framework upon which both the piece of art and the judgment relies. With the help of Jacques Derrida’s reading of the Critique of Judgement through parergon, the notion is understood with a double meaning: as both the frame ot the artwork and the work behind the piece of art. Derrida doesn’t either mention ”dance” in his rewriting of Kant’s work, why this essay applies the parergon upon the only art form where the working body embodies the work of art: dance. For dance, the work behind the piece and the piece itself, is the same. Through this understanding of parergon, the aesthetic autonomy of dance is can be understood as the frame at work. With references from a western history of arts and aesthetics, the study works through literature on dance from the 16th century until today. This enables a timeline from the inauguration of the first royal ballet academies, to the enlightenment, through modernity up until postmodernity, is read. Such a consistent reading of the history of dance is still rare, but the main reason for the study is not to sketch a new history, but rather to, through its history, establish an understanding of the aesthetic autonomy of dance. Through examples from philosophy, literature, art history, dance history and art criticism, the development of dance as an autonomous artwork is contextualized. Arriving at the 20th and the 21st century, three specific artworks are analysed through available documentations, writings and conversations. Through the three notions hetero-affection, immanent critique and indexical dialectics, the aesthetic autonomy of dance is written through an understanding of its dialectical negation as its positive matter; the frame (at work). This understanding is applied to the three modern and post-modern examples of dance, where the frame at work is autonomously unworked and re-worked.
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