Black and white photograph of Jacques Rancière
Jacques Rancière

Join us for a rare opportunity to hear philosopher Jacques Rancière in conversation with art historian Claire Bishop. This event will explore how art, far from foundering upon the intrusions of the prosaic world, welcomed images, objects and performances that seemed most opposed to the idea of fine art: vulgar figures of genre painting, the exaltation of the most ordinary activities in verse freed from meter, music-hall stunts and gags, industrial buildings and machine rhythms, and extravagant inventories of accessories from the lives of the poor.

What is art and how does it come to be? Jacques Rancière opens up a history of artistic modernity far removed from conventional understandings of modernism. Aisthesis locates the emergence of art and its ceaseless transformations to build its own domain. Taking us through a series of dramatic and evocative scenes spanning the modern era, Rancière explores how a regime of artistic perception and interpretation was constituted by erasing the distinctions between the different arts along with the borders separating them from the ‘ordinary’.

This event coincides with the publication of his new book Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art (Verso, 2013)

Jacques Rancière is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII. His books include The Politics of Aesthetics, On the Shores of Politics, The Intellectual and His People, Proletarian Nights, Staging the People, and The Emancipated Spectator.

Claire Bishop is Associate Professor in the PhD Program in Art History at CUNY Graduate Center, New York. Her publications include Installation Art: A Critical History (2005) and Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and The Politics of Spectatorship (2012). Her curatorial projects include the exhibition Double Agent at the ICA, London (2008) and the PRELUDE.11 performance festival at the Graduate Center (2011). She is a regular contributor to Artforum, October, e-flux, and other magazines.

The event is organised in partnership with Verso.

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