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Radical Philosophy Review

Radical Dreams and Visions

Volume 12
Art, Praxis, and Social Transformation

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Displaying: 1-10 of 24 documents

1. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Anne F. Pomeroy, Richard A. Jones Editors’ Introduction
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2. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Nicholas Reynolds Family, Inner Life, and the Amusement Industry
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I critically engage Max Horkheimer’s “Art and Mass Culture” from Critical Theory. I split Horkheimer’s essay into three parts, which correspond to the three sections of my essay. The first section details the objective historical conditions that have lead up to Horkheimer’s diagnosis. The second section describes the change in consciousness that corresponds to these conditions, and the third section outlines Horkheimer’s critique of Mortimer Adler and art that belongs to “the amusement industry.” I describe the basic elements of Horkheimer’s aesthetic theory, use several pieces of art as examples of the application of the theory, andprovide contemporary analogues in order to illustrate the relevance of the essay to today’s world.
3. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Samy Azouz Amiri Baraka’s Repertory Theatre Revisited: Art, Praxis, and Engagement versus the Liberal Ethos
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The turbulent 1960s in America testifies to the artistic and intellectual need and move beyond the liberal cult of fantasy and inaction. Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) views the social and political reality in its dynamism, and not in its immutability or stasis. Black art, within a repressive society, must be perceived as an arm, a weapon and not a means of banter or fun. Werner Sollors considers him as the engagé artist par excellence. The political art that Baraka espouses is drastic and functional, an art that exposes common predicaments and plights. Entailed in Baraka’s dramatic art is the diatribe against art for art’s sake, thefusion of art and activism, and the finality of human action. Baraka considers theatrical playwriting as didactic, telic, and constructive. In this light, art, playwriting, and engagement constitute one monolithic unity that could stand in the face of liberal reactionary politics and arrangements.
4. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Rachel N. Hastings Performative Decolonization: Critical Performance Ethnography, Rize and the Battle to Articulate Race
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The montage of personal and social identities displayed in the documentary Rize indicate that there are multiple historical, psychological, and performative responses to racialized conditions. This essay analyzes how the body is used as an instrument of resistance against a society that operates within and among racial symbol systems. Drawing upon critical ethnography and race philosophies, this essay suggests David LaChapelle’s examination of Krump dancers is a process of performative decolonization. To begin, Rize is articulated as a project representative of critical performance ethnography. Next, a discussion of the genesis of race as a political instrument of oppression is offered. In conclusion, an analysis of the dialectal tension between the spiritual and material realms within the documentary Rize is discussed.
5. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Tommy J. Curry I’m Too Real For Yah: Krumpin’ as a Culturalogical Exploration of Black Aesthetic Submergence
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I am interested in looking at Krumpin’ through what I am calling the “politics of submergence.” If my world is chaotic, if my Blackness is my murderer, can I be expected to create beauty? Can my art be transformative? My paper argues that Krumpin’ is in fact transformative, not to the extent that it perpetuates hope, but maintains its social pessimism. In accepting both the conditions that have sustained the racial marginalization of African descended people, and the impotence of this marginalized group to change the systemic social structures that continue racial subordination in the United States, Krumpin’ announces a reflective mode of racial identity and cultural existence that attends to the suffering of African-descended people in American ghettos.
6. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Kristin McCartney W.E.B. Du Bois and the Sorrow Songs: Unburying Resistance in the Roots of Trauma
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While psychoanalysis credits the entrenchment of systems of subordination to the necessity of socialization and the transmission of dominant values from parent to child, by claiming social symbolics independent of the dominant hegemony, W.E.B. Du Bois calls for resistant forms of identification. Psychoanalyticaccounts of social power relations often assume that the dominant social group produces the only operative social symbolic and that this symbolic is also identical with the nation, but Du Bois’s attention to the slave song allows him to trace the burial of a black American symbolic rather than a traumatic inculcation of the dominant white symbolic.
7. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Gertrude Postl From Gender as Performative to Feminist Performance Art: Judith Butler and Valie Export
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Judith Butler’s idea of gender as performative (introduced in Gender Trouble and now a commonplace in feminist theory) is brought into dialogue with feminist performance art (exemplified by Valie Export, the Austrian media- and performance-artist). Butler’s claim that gender is performative and that it can be changed only through a parodic repetition of performative acts is revisited through the lens of Export’s subversive performance pieces. This “interaction” between theory and art practice shall highlight the political potential of Butler’s work and serve to expand her notion of parody as it pertains more directly to women and the female body.
8. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Fei Shi The Impossible Bodies: Gender and Radical Performances in Contemporary China
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This paper attempts to engage with theoretical discourses to address these intersections of gender, body, and space in the forefront of contemporary Chinese visual artists’ radical performances. From Cui Xiuwen’s scandalous video installation Lady’s of the female bathroom in Tianshang Renjian Hotel to Ma Liuming’s iconic androgynous walk on the Great Wall, contemporary Chinese visual/performance artists have challenged the limits and borders of body as art in radically experimental ways. Feminist art has been liberated from female painting in the post-socialist era, and gender hierarchy and norms have been more profoundly critiqued in these performative events. Pressed by the post-socialist political conditions, market economy, the influence of western art in the era of late capitalism, and the Confucian-Taoist tradition, the Chinese artists have embarked on an experimental journey, attempting to articulate a newness of their complicated lived experiences and to call for social and political transformations.
9. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
D. Rita Alfonso Permeability and Impermeability in John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus
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This essay is about experience, and not only about ideas. I have been drawn to write about John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus for a number of reasons: First, I find his work to be part of a new turn in LGBT art and media that take queer lives as a point of departure, and not only as narrative focus, for their work. These areworks that are not just about being queer, but cross the line into being queer works. Of those who can be said to be a part of this recent turn, I find Mitchell’s work to be both especially philosophical and formally interesting. Not only does his work take up philosophical questions over what it means to be human, and the nature of love and sex, but also his works are produced through an organic, cooperative process that re-frames what it could mean to queer representation, political or otherwise.
10. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Anne Bartlett, Gerard Kuperus, Marjolein Oele Aesthetic Sensibility and Political Praxis: Foucault, Lyotard, and the Darfur Crisis
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This paper develops insights from Foucault and Lyotard to examine the Darfur crisis and the transformative potential of spaces of alterity. We show that Foucault’s quest for an aesthetics of existence is an attempt to found an alternative form of ethics based on wakefulness, sensibility, and suspicion on the part of the subject. In the final part of the paper we link this idea to Lyotard’s sensibility of the sublime. We show how aesthetic sensibility can be transformed in a political sensibility which bears witness to political injustices that result from the incommensurability of different genres of discourse. We illustrate this point using aesthetic representations of Darfur.