Democratization of Art and Emancipation of the Individual: Aesthetics and Politics in the Work of Jacques Rancière
The objective of the project is an in-depth analysis of Jacques Rancière’s aesthetic and political theoretical approaches aiming to provide a new interpretation of his philosophical thought. Through the systematic reading, analysis and the comparative approach of the contemporary French philosopher’s entire work we attempt the hermeneutic reconstruction and evaluation of his aesthetic theory, under the light of its political expediency. On one hand the research takes the form of synthetic reconstruction of Rancière’s theory regarding the relationship between aesthetics and politics in order to examine the conditions and requirements for the fulfillment of the political demands for equality, democracy and emancipation; and on the other hand it attempts to provide an internal and external critique of his though through its comparative examination primarily with rival philosophical theories. The research project follows the methodology of a hermeneutical approach, including a literature survey, and is put into effect with the use of content and meaning analysis of philosophical texts and their terminology. The exact character of the historical methodology Rancière claims to follow in his writing will also be studied along with the way he makes use of his philosophical sources and the dialogue he develops with prior and contemporary thinkers. The purpose of our research is to verify the existence of a strong coherence between Rancière’s aesthetic and political theories and to add to the approach of important and currently relevant issues of philosophical inquiry by detecting (a) whether and under which conditions the democratization already achieved by modern art (in the modern aesthetic realm) can also be brought into the political field and replace the concurrent ‘metapolitical’ state and (b) under which conditions Rancière’s reflection can constitute an applicable model of dealing with the complicated practical and theoretical challenges the individual encounters today in his daily political, social and cultural life, especially during tumultuous periods of crisis.
Konstantinos Kavoulakos, Matina Kiriazopoulou