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Kant and Tolstoy Art as Judgment about a Form Or Art as Infectious Emotion.

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Presentation on theme: "Kant and Tolstoy Art as Judgment about a Form Or Art as Infectious Emotion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kant and Tolstoy Art as Judgment about a Form Or Art as Infectious Emotion

2 Vermeer: Woman in Blue

3 Vermeer: Woman Reading a Letter


5 Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” vs. A Medieval Cruxifix


7 Kant’s Aesthetic of Communicable Pleasure Disinterested Interest—An Appeal to Taste A Public Sentiment—We Share a Judgment Purposiveness without a Concept of Purpose—”The Rose is without a Why”— Beauty Expression of Feeling rather than of a Concept—Form not Subject

8 Tolstoy’s Aesthetic of Communicating Feeling By means of perception, I can feel the same feelings as another who expresses them. Art infects us with feeling. Almost all of life involves the activity of art— jokes, lullabies, mimicry, clothing, utensils, religious icons, stories, speeches etc. Not beauty but human communion through feeling. Art is dangerous—better that all art be banished than all art is tolerated.

9 Four Versions of the Annunciation Fra Angelico ?? Leonardo DaVinci Sandro Bottecelli El Greco





14 From Figurative to Abstract Vermeer Turner Klee Abstract Expressionist Artist O’Keefe






20 Self Portrait by Rembrandt The power of the canvas to emulate a gaze. The mystery of the artist who, through a painting, gazes from outside at his own gazing from within. Who is looking at whom, as Rembrandt’s “persona,” his painted likeness, looks out from the canvas?


22 The Place of the Sublime? That which overwhelms our capacity to respond Not strictly aesthetic for Kant, since the sublime undermines contemplative judgment and so the beautiful The genre of Horror is that of the sublime





27 Horror in Persona and SWF Horror is the excitation of our sense of the uncanny, (german unheimlich—”not at homeness”) In the uncanny we find either a) we have become “other” to ourselves, totally outside of who we are; or b) the “other” outside ourselves has possessed us from within The familiar is made absolutely unfamiliar, or the unfamiliar is made absolutely familiar.

28 Persona The word Persona suggests a mask, that one’s identity is a play act, a role. The horror of flickering lights on a screen becoming a world we are absorbed in. For Bergman, simply viewing a film is horror. The viewer struggles to determine who is real and who is not in the film. The two characters are in a struggle about being possessed and being dispossessed. But the viewer ends up implicated in this struggle. We do not know with which figure we should empathize. Elisabet possesses Alma, even as Elisabet finds herself dispossessed of her life.

29 SWF Ally is possessed by Hedra, as Hedra adopts Ally’s styles of clothing, hair and gesture. Hedra even finds a boyfriend who looks like Ally’s boyfriend. Conversation in no way works as it did in Persona—to unveil or hide deep secrets that threaten to undo the lives of the two participants. The possession of Ally come “from without.” Ally is never overwhelmed from within. The possession is not uncanny but consumptive. Ally’s life is being enjoyed by, eaten up by Hedra The viewer never questions with whom to have empathy. The film is about Ally’s struggle with Hedra, the outsider. The outsider never violates Ally from within.

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