Your cart is currently empty.
2024, English
12×19 cm, 64 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-1-915609-61-8
The Contemporary Condition
Dexter Sinister
Centre for Research in Artistic Practice under Contemporary Conditions at Aarhus University

Over recent decades, a post-critical theoretical and methodological paradigm has become increasingly dominant in the human sciences. Proponents of this approach have come to dismiss the idea—central to all modern aesthetics—of the autonomy of art. 

Written by critic and researcher Kim West, this book is a defence of art’s autonomy and addresses some of the major arguments against it in recent post-critical writings. West critiques three key positions: first, that the concept of art’s autonomy equals a myth of objective independence; second, that it is inextricably tied to traditions of formalist elitism; and third, that the ideal of autonomy reinforces the illusion of the inherently free and rational subject. From within this critique, West advances principles for how the autonomy of art could be understood today.