marxism amp art

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Published on January 16, 2008

Author: Raulo


Art and Marxism:  Art and Marxism Under the Guidance of Prof Milind Malshe HS 463- Arts and Aesthetics Presentation By: Akash Gupta (03004021) October 2006 Contents :  Contents Introduction Base and Superstructure Materialism Marx Thoughts Romanticism to Materialism Marx on “Art for Art’s Sake” Marx and Literature Marx and Realism Summary References Introduction:  Introduction Idealism By Plato the philosophical theory that ideas are the only reality the view that the existence of objects depends wholly or in part on the minds of those perceiving them or that reality is composed of minds and their states Realism a scientific idea As a term in philosophy, realism refers to a thesis that general properties, technically known as universals, have a mode of existence or a form of reality that is in a certain sense independent of the things that possess them Romanticism a style and movement in art, music and literature in the late 18th and early 19th century, in which strong feelings, imagination and a return to nature were more important than reason, order and intellectual ideas Introduction:  Introduction “Karl Marx & Frederick Engels” - Founder of Marxism Both had an excellent knowledge of world of art and truly loved literature, classical music, painting and also the epics of various nations and other types of folklore e.g. songs, tales, fables and proverbs Both wrote poetry in their youth time Both were well acquainted by classical literature They used artistic imagery to express their thoughts more forcefully and vividly in their journalistic and polemical works Introduction:  Introduction Superb knowledge of world art helped Marx and Engels to elaborate genuinely scientific aesthetic principles. They were thus not only able to answer the complex aesthetic questions of the previous age, but also to elaborate a fundamentally new system of aesthetic science. Karl Marx 1818-1883 Frederick Engels 1820-1895 Base and Superstructure:  Base and Superstructure Karl Marx proposed a base/superstructure model of society The base refers to the means of production of society The superstructure is formed on top of the base, and comprises that society's ideology, as well as its legal system, political system, and religions etc. Functional Hierarchy :  Relation of Production Art, Law, politics, & state; Consciousness etc. Given Material Condition: 1. the satisfaction of needes by technical areas 2. creates new needs (& thereby, history): in particular 3. the family 4. Social Releation of Production Functional Hierarchy Base (Property) Superstructure "the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness." - Marx Materialism:  Materialism Base of Marxism “materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions.” Materialism:  Materialism Materialism:  Materialism Historical Materialism: methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history which was first articulated by Karl Marx Dialectical Materialism Discovering the truth of ideas by discussion and logical argument and by considering ideas which that are opposed each other (contradiction) Given by “Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel” Historical Materialism:  Historical Materialism stages or modes of production Primitive communism or tribal ownership Slave society, ownership through subjugation Feudalism, ownership conferred by military conquest and allegiance Capitalism, ownership through investment and market-based success Communism Historical Materialism:  Historical Materialism Marx and Engels stripped away the romantic idealisation of the Middle Ages and, at the same time, demonstrated the inconsistency of the abstract view held by the Enlighteners that this was merely an age of social and cultural regression They pointed out that the transition from slave-owning to feudal society was historically inevitable and showed that the establishment of the feudal mode of production was a step forward in the development of human society, compared to the reign of slavery which had preceded it. This enabled Marx and Engels to form a new approach to medieval culture and art and point out those features in them which reflected the progressive course of historical development Marx Thoughts:  Marx Thoughts Marx did not believe that spiritual contradictions led to historical changes; rather, Marx believed that economic contradictions led to historic change and conflict "art is an aspect of religion (and vice versa) rather than a separate spiritual mode, and the collective expression of a society rather than of an individual voice” – Hegel “Society’s economic structure (and the dominant socioeconomic class of that structure) determined the creation of art and literature. This belief evolved into what Marx called economic determinism.” "getting and keeping [of] economic power is the motive behind all social and political activities, including education, philosophy, religion, government, the arts, science, technology, the media, etc." Romanticism to Materialism :  Romanticism to Materialism Problem : Relationship between art and reality “It is absolutely impossible to understand art and literature proceeding only from their internal laws of development.” Problem was solved on the basis of materialist dialectics Essence, origin, development, and social role of Art could only be understood through analysis of social system as whole within which economic factor plays the decisive role Romanticism to Materialism:  Romanticism to Materialism Thus art is one of the forms of social consciousness and it therefore follows that the reasons for its change should be sought in the social existence of men Creating works of art appeared as a result of the long development of human society and were the product of man’s labor also “in accordance with the laws of beauty” They emphasise that man’s aesthetics sense is not inborn, but a socially acquired quality They use dialectical view of the nature of human thought to analysis of artistic creativity Marx on “Art for Art’s Sake”:  Marx on “Art for Art’s Sake” Definition – “For something’s own sake” :: because of the interest or value something has, not because of the advantages it may bring Marx and Engel both were highly critical of attempts to place the theory of “art for art’s sake” Works of realist writer should reflect a progressive world outlook, be permitted with progressive ideas and deal only with truly topical problems Marx and Literature:  Marx and Literature The Birth of the Novel – Because of the revolution a new social class came up & they used the novel to support and maintain their dominance On Novel - "a product of the men thrown into struggle by the specific contradictions of the given social formation. In their literature and art, men do not produce some mysteriously congruent copy of the social structure; rather they express the content of the fundamental struggle with nature and with their own nature which that society, at its particular stage of development, carries forward or inhibits, or does both at the same time" - Marx Epic represents what Marx called the 'natural conflict' and tragedies reflect characters true literature to Marx would not realistically reflect Marx and Literature:  Marx and Literature People viewed themselves in one of the following four categories a romantic-reactionary yearning for some lost idyllic, organic past order disillusion, pessimism and despair or impatience, indiscriminate rage and violence a philosophical resignation to what is taken to be the human condition a confused combination of or oscillation between any of these; alternatively, they may seek, against these moods, a revolutionary theory and practice to overturn the existing social order novel is merely a reflection of bourgeois ideals, and so supports capitalism A Marxist story would run along these lines: Keep in mind that I am not the main character! Marx and Realism:  What this image represent Marx and Realism Problem of Realism – The most accurate depiction of reality in an artistic work Marx and Realism:  Marx and Realism Realism as a trend in literature and a method of artistic creation “Realism to my mind”, “Implies, besides truth of detail, the truthful reproduction of typical characters under typical circumstances” – Engel Marx’s & Engel’s demands on the artist include truthfulness of depiction Summary:  Summary Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time Function of art is to serve society Economics is all and art should be its servant Marxist theory in fact crippled the arts in communist countries Sidebar: damage to art by imposition of aesthetic or political dogma References:  References Marxist aesthetics: foundations within everyday life for an emancipated consciousness, Author - Johnson & Pauline, Publisher : Routledge and Kegan Paul, London 1984 Art and society : essays in marxist aesthetics (translated by Maro Riofrancos), Author - Vasquez & Adolfo Sanchez, Publisher - Monthly Review Press, New York 1973 Marx and Engels On Literature and Art Preface. ( Marxist Literary Criticism, Department of English, Virginia Tech University, References:  References Historical materialism, Dialectical materialism - Wikipedia, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Thank You:  Thank You

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