2010 Abstracts Stage 3

Art as Free Expression under Capitalism

John Tait, 2010, Stage 3

My overall aim: To determine whether art can be free expression or whether it is always constrained by capitalism’s effects.

My objects: The works of; Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht and the film Fight Club.

Philosophy: Heidegger, Vattimo and Adorno.

The concepts I wish to explore include…

Alienation – Does a film that can be bought and sold provoke, as a result, alienation from its message?

Truth – Can a work under a capitalist agenda still give us the semblance of truth? I will contrast Adorno with Heidegger and Vattimo in addressing this.

Is it necessary to adopt Artaud’s methods of enveloping an audience as described in The Theatre of Cruelty in order to freely express under capitalism? And is this compatible with Adorno’s critique of culture?

By the end of the work I will answer the question of the possibility of resistance of capitalism by art. I will have taken into account the postmodern views of Heidegger and Vattimo and contrasted them with the philosophy of Adorno. At the end I will have determined whether any of the artists mentioned have produced any works of originality or if, under capitalism, this is merely an illusion. I will also determine whether a film like Fight Club can be seen as original in its criticism of capitalism.

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