Recent thinkers I admire have called for renewed attention to art and aesthetics as places “where one goes to think,” in the words of Néstor García Canclini, celebrated Argentine anthropologist.1 In his latest book, Art beyond Itself, a meditation on the intersections between the social sciences and the arts, García Canclini offers the idea that artists “are freer than social scientists to use metaphors to express condensations and uncertain meanings that we cannot formulate as concepts,” adding later, “Perhaps this way of saying things without pronouncing them fully, this imminence of an impending revelation, is the key to the nature of art.” I find García Canclini's observations compelling,...
Aesthetics, History, and the Crisis of Meaning
Charlene Villaseñor Black is professor of art history and Chicana/o studies at University of California Los Angeles. She authored Creating the Cult of St. Joseph: Art and Gender in the Spanish Empire (Princeton University Press, 2006) and edited Tradition and Transformation: Chicana/o Art from the 1970s through the 1990s (University of Washington Press, 2015), among other books.
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Charlene Villaseñor Black; Aesthetics, History, and the Crisis of Meaning. Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture 1 April 2020; 2 (2): 4–11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/lavc.2020.220002
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