Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Phenomenology – Aesthetic Experience

CRIT this WEDNESDAY 9 May 2pm Opt-In

A series of three seminars by Dr Daniel Barnes are coming to the Chelsea opt-in space.


This seminar series focuses on the role of philosophy in the making, reception and understanding of art. It takes the form of short talks, question and answer, group discussion and practical exercises. It aims to furnish artists with philosophical theories and insights that will enable them to clarify ideas, analyse concepts and provide the tools for a critical approach to making art that is fully engaged with a sound theoretical backdrop. It also discusses key ideas in philosophical aesthetics as an attempt to expand the understanding and appreciation of works of art. It tackles questions concerning the role of contemporary art in society, the interpretation of meaning and the nature of aesthetic experience. The overall approach is less a philosophy of art than it is a navigation of the space between philosophy and art.

Wednesday 9 May 2012 5.0 pm

3. Phenomenology – Aesthetic Experience

This seminar takes a practice-based approach to analysing the aesthetic experience of artworks. That is, it takes Merleau-Ponty’s seminal essay ‘Cezanne’s Doubt’ as its starting point, but introduces phenomenology in the form of a practical workshop. Phenomenology is the school of twentieth century philosophy which holds that the human body is a mere extension of the physical world, so that the primary source of knowledge is the bodily engagement with the world. It is most notably propounded by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre. This seminar challenges the idea that the appreciation and understanding of art – especially visual art – is a matter a visual perception. It investigates the role of the body, of sensation, in our engagement with works of art and argues that understanding is dependent on the ability to engage with the work as pure physicality, which is the ultimate source of knowledge.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty, ‘Cezanne’s Doubt’, in The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader, ed GA Johnson, (Northwestern University Press, 1994).

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