The Critical Theory of Artistic Capitalism

Hermeneia 18:22-33 (2017)
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This article takes up Lipovetsky‟s discussion on artistic capitalism in L’esthétisation du monde. Vivre à l’âge du capitalisme artiste, to trace its definitions and methodological construction, but also in order to create a critical theory of artistic capitalism, based on the following working-hypothesis: the production of art and the production of self, understood in the sense of a Foucauldian project of the aesthetics of existence, represent correspondent purposes in artistic capitalism. My research will be focused on examining previous attempts of developing such a critical inquiry, claimed by Luc Boltanski, Eve Chiapello, and Luc Ferry. It is my thesis that the failure of a homogeneous critical theory of artistic capitalism is owed to different inconsistent interpretations of contaminating ethics with aesthetics in order to create an ideal of morality and authenticity for the existence of the individual inspired by contemporary techniques of art production, aspects that were conceived by Lipovetsky as parts of the process of the “aestheticization of the world”.

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University of Bucharest


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