Monday, 1 April 2019, David Davies (McGill University), “Artistic value(s) and the value of art: a non-aestheticist account of artistic value”

Venue: Sala Stefanini, Piazza Capitaniato, 3 – Padova, 16.30-18.30

The talk will be live-streamed and will remain available on YouTube. Remote participants can watch the live webcast and ask questions using the YouTube Live chat channel.

Abstract: Philosophical debates about ‘artistic value’ examine the kinds of values that artworks have and ask which of these values bear upon the appreciation of worksas such. What one takes to contribute to artistic value depends upon one’s conception of what makes something art. On standard ‘aestheticist’ conceptions, what makes an artifact an artwork is that it is intended to be appreciated ‘for its own sake’: artistic value is then the value it has when so treated. Aestheticist conceptions of artistic value also understand the latter as experiential. On this conception, it is difficult to see how instrumental and achievement value can be part of artistic value, and for many this also applies to cognitive and ethical value. I explore these debates, and develop and defend an alternative conception of artistic value, grounded in an alternative conception of what makes something a work of art. On this conception, artworks are distinguished by the way in which they are designed to perform whatever may be their intended functions. Artistic value is then a matter of performing a given function well in virtue of performing it in the ways distinctive of artworks.

The Aesthetics Lecture Series is part of the Analytic Philosophy and Philosophy of Art Graduate Seminar organized by Prof. Massimiliano Carrara, Prof. Giuseppe Spolaore, Prof. Gabriele Tomasi, Dr. Elisa Caldarola, and Dr. Vittorio Morato for the academic year 2018-2019 at the FISPPA Department (Philosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy, and Applied Psychology) of the University of Padova, Italy.

The Aesthetics Lecture Series is funded by the University of Padova through the initiative “Supporting TAlent in ReSearch@University of Padova” – STARS Grants (Starting Grant 2018-2020, APAI – “A Philosophy of Art Installation”, P.I. Dr. Elisa Caldarola).

 

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Talk “Understanding Site-Specific Art” at the Philosophy of Art Conference, Inter University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia

I am participating into the Philosophy of Art Conference in Dubrovnik (more info here),  giving a talk on site-specific art on April 9th 2019.

Here’s a provisional abstract:

Scholars call ‘site-specific’ a wide variety of artworks: for instance, Carl Andre’s metal plates installations, Andrea Fraser’s gallery talks, works of community art, and also works such as Michelangelo’s Last Judgement fresco in the Sistine Chapel and Pietà Vaticana. As a result, we get a quite confused picture of what it means for a work to be site-specific. This paper develops a strategy for looking deeper into site-specific art, filling a void in the literature. In the first section, assuming that ‘site-specific art’ designates an art genre, I make some preliminary remarks on what conception of art genres guides my investigation of site-specific art. In the second section, I identify some key features usually possessed by site-specific works: (1) being sited; (2) being such that their artistic content emerges from the artist’s manipulation of the site, among other things; (3) being site-concerned. In the third section, I make some remarks on the historical span of site-specific art. In the fourth section, I illustrate the peculiarity of site-specific works of installation art.

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Robert Smithson, Broken Circle (1971)

 

Talk: “Exhibitions and Museums: When Are They Art?” at Aesthetics Research Centre, University of Kent

On Wednesday 3rd of April 2019 I’ll be giving a talk at the Aesthetics Research Centre, University of Kent in Canterbury (UK).

Abstract: Marcel Broodthaer’s Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles (1968) confronted the public with an exhibition that criticized traditional museum practices by means of appropriating them. This work was explicitly intended to qualify as both an exhibition and a work of conceptual art. In this talk, I explore the hypothesis that the artwork status of some exhibitions might instead have remained, so far, unnoticed, even by their makers. To illustrate my view, I analyze the exhibition of pre-and proto-historic artifacts at Berlin’s Neues Museum and argue that such exhibition is a work of site-specific installation art.

Here’s the link to their full program: http://aesthetics-research.org

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Palladio Museum, Vicenza, Italy

Monday, 11 March 2019, Eleen Deprez (University of Kent), “What Are Curated Exhibitions? An Ontological Question”

 

Venue: Sala Stefanini, Piazza Capitaniato, 3 – Padova, 16.30-18.30

Abstract: In this paper I will raise questions about the nature of curated exhibitions. My focus will be on the ontological entity (the identity question) and the identity conditions (the individuation question) of curated exhibitions. I will consider curated exhibitions as a site-responsive (i.e. not site-specific) display of items, that creates an appreciative context and makes an utterance. An exhibition can move location. Exhibitions travel from one museum to another and the display adapts its arrangement each time. Sometimes, a reinstallation will use exactly the same artworks, reuse plinths, reproduce the wall labels, and try – within the scope of the new space – to rehang the works in the same way. More often than not however, a reinstallation looks very different from the original exhibition. We intuit that curated exhibitions can be repeated with significant noticeable differences to their display, but there seem to be some limits. How much can an exhibition change when it is being reinstalled? Are, with respect to the identity of a curated exhibition, some features more significant or consequential than others? I will argue that curated exhibitions are an ontological hybrid: a combined ontological entity. The hybrid theory maintains that a curated exhibition comprises a concrete site-responsive display of works of art and an abstract curatorial utterance made through that display. We shall see that the answer to the individuation question is that two curated exhibitions are identical if their authored-curatorial utterances have the same illocutionary force and if their display supports that utterance through a similar appreciative context.

The Aesthetics Lecture Series is part of the Analytic Philosophy and Philosophy of Art Graduate Seminar organized by Prof. Massimiliano Carrara, Prof. Giuseppe Spolaore, Prof. Gabriele Tomasi, Dr. Elisa Caldarola, and Dr. Vittorio Morato for the academic year 2018-2019 at the FISPPA Department (Philosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy, and Applied Psychology) of the University of Padova, Italy.

The Aesthetics Lecture Series is funded by the University of Padova through the initiative “Supporting TAlent in ReSearch@University of Padova” – STARS Grants (Starting Grant 2018-2020, APAI – “A Philosophy of Art Installation”, P.I. Dr. Elisa Caldarola).