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No 2 (49) 2017 - Negations of Art

Issue 2 (49) 2017 of Tekstualia devoted to “Negations of Art” is an attempt, as it were, to face the “negative” legacy of 20th century art and aesthetics, or what modern authors refer to as the new artistic “tradition of negation.” From the repertoire of oft repeated commonplaces such as “the end of art,” “the death of art” or “exhaustion” we have deliberately chosen that of “negation” as the most abstract and capacious. It slips away from any pessimistically unequivocal judgements or final determinations.  According to the old Hegelian tradition, negation is both an energizing and destructive gesture which opens up new avenues of reflection. Such antithetical and dialectic mode of thinking played a key role in avant-garde assaults on artistic institutions and paradigms. During the dawn of futurism and Dada, negation and refusal were deployed in hopes of rejuvenating and cleansing language and experience. A similar belief in the emancipatory power of negation appears an inherent part of the horizon of modern and postmodern aesthetics. Being a seed engrained within art itself, negation may blossom into an agent of resistance against dominant cultural codes. It changes mental attitudes, retrieves meaning and may even engender wholly new conditions. Negation and refusal is not synonymous with finality but a search for that which is forgotten, unsaid and unexpressed.


Editors: Alicja Rejniak-Majewska, Łukasz Żurek


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