Aesthetics of Installation Art

Juliane Rebentisch and Douglas Crimp

Sunday 24 March, 2013
3pm, $0

22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City

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In recent years, debates surrounding the concept of art have focused in particular on installation art, as its diverse manifestations have proven to be incompatible with the modern idea of aesthetic autonomy. Juliane Rebentisch, author of the newly translated Aesthetics of Installation Art (Sternberg Press, 2012), asserts that installation art does not, as is often assumed, dispute aesthetic autonomy per se, and rather should be understood as calling for a fundamental revision of this very concept. Rebentisch thus proposes a new understanding of art as well as of its ethical and political dimension.

"Aesthetics of Installation Art will rejuvenate and irrevocably change debates about the nature of aesthetic experience, the autonomy of art, modernism and postmodernism, and, through all of these, about installation art—certainly, in Juliane Rebentisch's expanded definition of the genre, the most important form of art since the 1960s."

—Douglas Crimp


"Juliane Rebentisch's study of the philosophical underpinnings of installation art brilliantly reevaluates the concept of aesthetic autonomy as the very condition of the possibility of 'art' itself. With captivating readings of Martin Heidegger, Theodor W. Adorno, Clement Greenberg, Rosalind E. Krauss, Jacques Derrida, Stanley Cavell, and others, Aesthetics of Installation Art pushes debates about 'site specificity' and 'institutional critique' to argue that aesthetic autonomy and the public sphere in installation art are, in fact, inseparable."

—Tom Holert


Juliane Rebentisch is a Berlin-based philosopher, whose work focuses on aesthetics, ethics, and political philosophy. She teaches at Hochschule für Gestaltung, Offenbach am Main, and is the co-editor of WestEnd: Neue Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung. She has published numerous essays and books, including Ästhetik der Installation (Suhrkamp, 2003), Kreation und Depression: Freiheit im gegenwärtigen Kapitalismus (coedited with Christoph Menke, Kadmos, 2010), and Die Kunst der Freiheit: Zur Dialektik demokratischer Existenz (Suhrkamp, 2012).

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