Clemena Antonova

The Power of Images and the Failure of Aesthetics: The Russian Position

Much of postmodern aesthetics and the philosophy of art have been motivated by the realization that the mainstream of Western aesthetics, deriving from Kant and dominant at least till the 1960s, simply fails to explain religious art. The wider implications of this failure are connected to the idea of the interconnectedness between aesthetics and the project of Western modernity. As Hal Foster wrote, “the adventures of the aesthetic make up one of the great narratives of modernity.” In other words, any serious critique of aesthetics is bound up with a critique of modernity.

In my talk, I would like to draw attention to Russian philosophical writings on the icon from the beginning of the twentieth century, which were part of a self-consciously antimodern discourse, which, at the same time, anticipated at least several of the ideas of postmodern philosophy. This is the broad context, which we need to understand statements, such as Pavel Florensky’s in an essay of 1918, that the “problem of religious art” was the most significant problem of our time.



October 16, 2020
14.00 (Vienna) | 8.00 am (NYC) | 3.00 pm (Moscow) | 8.00 pm (Singapore)
online via Zoom

See program of the Eighth Graduate Workshop for other interesting talks.