“Art” as an aesthetic redemption and as a symbolic sublimation of the “harmful consequences of people’s actions” can be nothing else but the separated apologetic “consciousness” of men and women who live, think and act “less or more” consciencelessly and ex post facto attribute a “Good” or “Bad” meaning (Aristotle) to their own “immutable actions through Arts and Sciences” (Plato), as the latter legitimate themselves as separated, eternal “Absolute Spirit” (Hegel) manifestations in a mutilated, divided community of men and women whose reified “actions” are ipso facto separated from the critical perception of their “own consequences”.
Logically and socio-historically the whole mythical and mystical God-like autonomy of Art as “pure Reason in the Tribune of the World” (Thomas Aquinas) is build upon this naturalized (and not “natural”) and schizoid separation between “people’s actions” and the “meaningful results” or “consequences” of this or that dumb “action”. Only and only on the grounds of this naturalized and fetishistic separation (a.k.a. social domination eternized) which is “taken for granted” by the “religiosity of everyday living” (Marx) Art can legitimize both itself and the alienated world as the “Ultimate Consciousness” of a “Conscienceless World” where the so-called “artist” and his/her so called “audience” as embodied, social figures are/become in an objectively self-delusioned way the “Holly Prophets and Martyrs of the Sacred and Lost Meaning of Life”.
So far, so good, we have deconstructed the “All-Mighty of Art” by conceptually (logically and socio-historically) determining the “limits of Art” as a “bleeding heart in a heartless and dichotomized world” naturalized as such socio-historically. But by doing so we have only a poor and “negative” determination of the meaning of Art in humanly social life and activity. The so much “obvious” and “banal truth” about some diachronic “essence” that seems to grown “inside Art” has no rational, concrete explanation if we only emphatically insist on the determinate socio-historical origin of Art. How this diachronic “essence” can be explained without a single trace of sophisticated mysticism, that is without tautologically intending “Art” as some God-like “Spiritual emanation” (Berkeley) of the phantasmagorical “Transcendent Activity of pure Reason” (Kant)?
Art is born and dies as a living contradiction that generates a humanly sensuous and symbolic form of the contrast between what “IT IS” and what it “COULD BECOME”. The social-historic terms of the existential conflict in the “realms of the real” are depicted by Art but whatsoever cannot be solved or transcended likewise. Art is both “Natura Naturata and Natura Naturans” (Spinoza): it is a mediated and created humanly social activity (natura naturata) that also mediates historically and creates precategorically this activity (natura naturans). Only within this double fashion Art achieves concrete universality (Kosik) and bears not only all the burdens and the contradictions of the particular social-historic epoch in which it originated but goes beyond them by undermining the very act of its historic birth and social being as a separated, “privileged” activity that guarantees a mutilated “Truly Meaningful”. In this multifaceted undermining of its own separation from the “Others” Art auto-suppress itself as Art and is already a form of immanent communism that fully coincides both ways with the origin and the destination of “man” as a social-historic Being-in-Earthly-Nature (Barnes) capable to produce, (re)create and concretize as a living whole his/her truth.
From the very moment the individual’s thought, expression and awareness becomes a commodity and his/her language a simple mean for its promotion, Art becomes a Spectacle (Debord) and the Spectacle becomes Art like a dead and no-more-bleeding-heart in a dead world. The Spectacles of Art and the Arts of the Spectacle in their inseparable unity forged by the a priori and mute social imperatives of the autonomized “self-valorization process of capital” (Marx) constitute the “Absolute Spirit” (in Hegelian terms) of this mystified social form of the humanly Being-in-Earthly Nature. But even now, “good” or “bad” Art, under the omnipresent tyranny of the Spectacle, is still a form of immanent communism where the “final owner” of the artistic creation are “the others”, the “others” that encounter their pains and their losses, their hopes and their sorrows, their own meaning of Life and Death through the artist’s creation. The “artist” himself/herself as a precategorical, embodied mediator of the individual and the universal becomes one of the “others”, is already one of the “others” by seeing himself/herself transformed again and again through the “eyes” of his/her creation, “created eyes” that do not cease to look upon him/her and upon the “others” as the symbolic concrete capacity to perceive what IT IS and what it COULD BECOME, Beauty and Ugliness, Hope and Frustration, Life and Death (“Spirit”) it is not a phantasmagorical relationship between dead things but a mode of existence of the humanly, social-historic Being-in-Earthly-Nature. In our suffocating times, where “Art is spectacularly produced” just like another dead commodity and the “others” are – nothing more, nothing less – a homogeneous mass of “consumers of Arts and Spectacles”, has a meaning at all to speak about the artistic creation in a fully liberatory sense; In a sense that is not an aesthetic apology, a Hubris-Nemesis symbolic legitimation and practical consolidation of-the-existent-world;
The answer must be now quite obvious. Art can realize “itself ” only against-itself and against-this-world as a humanly sensuous and symbolic incarnation of the immanent communism from which both its multiple roots and fruits come to life and death.
 In other more “archaic” terms, Art as an a posteriori Nemesis that responds to an a priori Hubris.
 The “self-valorization process of capital” conceptually and concretely captured is a real mystified/reified social relation (“money the begets money” by devouring abstract labor) structured as a historical totality that is build upon and reproduced by specific mental and practical categories of social Being (value, money, commodity, abstract labor etc) through which the perception of the “real” is constituted both subjectively and objectively.
- Ο δεσπότης Σπάρτης ως ποιμήν των θαυμαστών του Σταυρωτή Μεγαλέξανδρου
- Bertolt Brecht “H βαβυλωνιακή σύγχυση των λέξεων (απόσπασμα)”
- O μακρινός απόηχος μιας μεγάλης ιστορίας
- Σχόλιο για την προτεινόμενη συμφωνία του ελληνικού κράτους για την ονομασία της Μακεδονίας
- note #46 Max Horkheimer: Άνθρωπος και ρινόκερος