An interview with Jacques Rancière : on medium-specificity and discipline crossovers in modern art
McNamara, Andrew E. & Ross, Toni (2007) An interview with Jacques Rancière : on medium-specificity and discipline crossovers in modern art. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, 8(1), pp. 101-109.
Jacques Rancière's work on aesthetics has received a great deal of attention in recent years. Given his work has enormous range – covering art and literature, political theory, historiography, pedagogy and worker's history – Andrew McNamara and Toni Ross (UNSW) explore his wider critical ambitions in this interview, while showing how it leads to alternative insights into aesthetics. Rancière sets aside the core suppositions linking the medium to aesthetic judgment, which has informed many definitions of modernism. Rancière is emphatic in freeing aesthetic judgment from issues of medium-specificity. He argues that the idea of autonomy associated with medium-specificity – or 'truth to the medium' – was 'a very late one' in modernism, and that post-medium trends were already evident in early modernism. While not stressing a simple continuity between early modernism and contemporary art, Ranciere nonetheless emphasizes the on-going ethical and political ramifications of maintaining an a-disciplinary stance.
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