HKUA03613U  Art History: A History of Taste

Volume 2013/2014
Education
History of Art
Content

The principle of Taste leads as such to absurdity, because the exceptions build its capital. Searching for the sub-principles of Taste implies on the other side an assumption of its compound character, so indicating the existence of the rules of thought, which would be able to dissolve the taste-paradox. The paradoxes of the necessary simultaneous aestheticization and historiography of art and culture – their qualification and quantification – are not least clearly manifested at the points where the artificial boundaries between Aesthetics and the Art History have been drawn. In recent decades, the increasing devaluation of the "fine arts" and the appreciation of the “culture” and “natural sciences” have intensified the social pressure on the Humanities to conform to the changing norms due to the political and economical circumstances.
To be accepted and further recognized, the academic Art History has adapted itself to this pressure by widely denying precisely the aspect, without which an objective justifying of the discipline would not be possible – the emotional effect and the judgment of the artwork as a centerpiece of the concept of art: It is undisputed that the judgments of the works of art of all genres make up a considerable part of the art historical documents and that they belong to the "historical facts" with the same right as the works of art themselves (the reception-aesthetics and the rise of subjectivity-research might be taken as concepts wide accepted across the disciplines). Against this background remains the Taste as both aesthetically and historically affected concept a very interesting object of study. The course will contextualize the subjects and objects of Taste by displaying the necessary conceptual and historical prerequisites for informed discussions about Taste, subjectivity, and critical appreciation of the perceptual realm. The Taste and the attempts of its rationalization and scientification under the name of Aesthetics will be discussed along to the readings of the original texts from the 17. and 18. century which form both conscious and unconscious common ground for a sound aesthetic and cultural analysis.

Timetable
THINKING, PERCEIVING AND JUDGING: NOTION, FUNCTIONS AND THE ACTUALITY OF TASTE. AN INTRODUCTION
01. 4. February Prehistory of the Taste concept: Philosophical fragments

FORMATION OF THE TASTE CONCEPT
02. 11. February Taste dispute of the French Absolutism

ERA OF TASTE 1710-1770
03. 18. February Taste and Common Sense in England and Scotland
04. 25. February Taste dispute of the German Enlightenment
05. 4. March The birth of Aesthetics as the Science of Taste

NATURALIZATION OF TASTE 1770-1830
06. 11. March Taste and the Fine Sciences
07. 18. March Taste in the German Classicism and early Romanticism
08. 25. March Taste and Idealism – Kant
09. 1. April Digression I. In the Mirror of Taste. Game paradigm and the principles of accumulation / abundance and squandering / dissipation. ‘Elitistic’ Taste and the Court Culture in France
Digression II. Infinite Jest: Relevance and enhancement in value of the industrial analysis of the mirrors in France and England
10. 8. April
Digression III. William Hogarth´s ‘Squander-fields’ mirrored by his materialist interprets
Digression IV. Under steam. Work paradigm and the principles of performance, efficiency and rationalization. ‘Emancipatory’ Taste and bourgeois culture

AESTHETIC OF CAPITALISM: ON HISTORY AND HISTORIOGRAPHY OF TASTE. A CONCLUSION
11. 22. April Summary and Discussion

Taste Studies - Facebook closed group (course group):
https://www.facebook.com/groups/753327944697157/?bookmark_t=group

Credit
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other
Criteria for exam assesment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 33
  • Exam
  • 84
  • Preparation
  • 302
  • Guidance
  • 1
  • Total
  • 420