Hegel, art, freedom


FullSizeRender-2.jpgI recently found a page of notes on Hegel’s lectures on aesthetics in an old notebook I was tearing pages out of. It begins with a note on Alberti. Whether the sculptor or the poet is meant, I have no idea, and strangely, I have no memory of reading either. The notes seemed interesting, so I have transcribed them below.

  1. As in Alberti, the notion that the significant difference between art and craft is achieved through freedom of action.
  2. Art represents at once the fracture effected by the progress of the mind and the mind’s attempt to remediate that fracture, which comes to appear, in a certain way, as a form of distress.
  3. In fact, it is the perception of freedom, of intention, that separates one’s understanding of artistic as distinct from natural beauty, and provokes the special sort of attunement we reserve for art objects.
  4. The an-und-für-sich Seiende  in Hegel must be the primal perception of another being experienced in its twin possibilities of menace and object of conquest (be it violent, erotic, domesticating) – these are our most basic modes of understanding other beings… [This drifts into notes that are partly illegible, and incomprehensible where they are not.]
  5. In terms both of form and content, art is constrained by its relation to the spirit. The nature of every genre of creative act (art, science) is defined by the specific limits that demarcate its realm of action from that of pure freedom.

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