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Speculative Art HistoriesAnalysis at the Limits$
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Sjoerd van Tuinen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474421041

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421041.001.0001

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Asynchronous Present Past

Asynchronous Present Past

(p.11) 1 Asynchronous Present Past
Speculative Art Histories

Armen Avanessian

Edinburgh University Press

Peter Osborne has recently made the ‘speculative proposition’ that post-conceptual art articulates a post-aesthetic poetics. Contemporary art might no longer be an aesthetic art, or at least, it might no longer be understood within the traditional (philosophical) framework of aesthetics. Just as art is undergoing an ontological change, the new linguistic ontology of contemporary fiction or narration, too, demands a Speculative Poetics. Both the con-temporary (in the arts) and the present tense (in recent novels) are characterized by the co-presence of several present times. This co-presence cannot be experienced as such by a subject, it is only present for speculative thought. This quality of the con-temporary and the asynchronous present displayed in art and literature today provokes the question of the extent to which a speculative art history or speculative theory of literature needs to go beyond aesthetics. The hypothesis to be explored here is that we witness the first signs of a revision of the eighteenth-century inauguration of aesthetics, which had relegated poetics (and rhetoric) to the sidelines. A speculative criticism targets the very correlationism of aesthetics, i.e. its structural implementation of the hermeneutic relation between the object and its subjective observer or reader.

Keywords:   Speculative, post-conceptual art, post-aesthetic , poetics, speculatuve poetics , fiction, narration, con-temporary , present tense , speculative art history, correlationism, asynchrony

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