Both scholars entertain a long-standing relationship with contemporary art; and both take a critical stance. Yet, while Rebentisch stresses the fundamentally different logic of the aesthetic and follows Adorno in his reading of the artwork as autonomous, Keenan has claimed art for more overtly political means, including his contribution to formulating a new forensic aesthetics and his appeal to human rights organizations to take seriously aesthetics’ proximity to ethics and politics. By having them engage in discussion, we hope to shed light on the relationship between art and politics, art and non-art, the definition of aesthetics and its role in contemporary art and political culture.
Lecture, comment, and discussion will be in English; the event is free and open to the public.
Thomas Keenan is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Human Rights Program at Bard College. He received his PhD in Philosophy from Yale University. His research interests include media and conflict, literary and political theory, humanitarianism and human rights, violence and politics, evidence and photojournalism. Among his publications are: Fables of Responsibility (Stanford UP, 1997); Mengele’s Skull (with E. Weizman, Sternberg, 2012); New Media, Old Media (ed. with W. Chun, Routledge, 2005); The Human Snapshot (ed. with T. Zolghadr, Sternberg, 2013). Also, Keenan is the curator of Antiphotojournalism (with C. Guerra, 2010/11), and Aid and Abet (2011).
Juliane Rebentisch is Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at HfG Offenbach where she has also served as Vice President since 2014. In addition, she is a member of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and President of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ästhetik (2015–18). Her main areas of research include aesthetics, ethics, and political philosophy. Among her publications are: Ästhetik der Installation (Suhrkamp 2003)/Aesthetics of Installation Art (Sternberg 2012); Kreation und Depression. Freiheit im gegenwärtigen Kapitalismus (ed. with Ch. Menke, Kadmos 2010); Die Kunst der Freiheit. Zur Dialektik demokratischer Existenz (Suhrkamp 2012); Theorien der Gegenwartskunst zur Einführung (Junius 2013).