Aesthetics & Alienation
What is the role of the aesthetic state apparatus?
Aesthetics has recently become the focus of greater attention, and is now seen as a central problem in critical cultural theory and Marxism. This places Gary Tedman's work at the forefront of this concern, where his concepts of the aesthetic level and of aesthetic state apparatuses have proved to be a challenge even to many conventional Marxisms as well as mainstream academic cultural theory.
Beginning with an immersion in the work of Louis Althusser, Tedman sets out the concepts for an aesthetic theory that expands on and offers solutions to some difficult problems in the Marxist theory of social mediation (cult of personality, for example), the space between Marx and Freud, the question of feelings, and the role of art and media in class struggle. He takes issue with the Lacanian interpretation of Althusser's work, and returns us to the Marxist Althusser in the process.
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