Whose Shoes? Identity in Works of Art

Synthesis Philosophica 26 (2):283-297 (2011)
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Abstract
The problem of identity in the world of art is relevant from many perspectives. This paper aims at discussing the identity of the work of art. The discussion is built in three steps: the problem of identification of an object as work of art, the problem of the relevant properties of a work of art and the question of the author of the work of art as decisive (or not) for the identification of a work of art. These issues are raised with the evolution of artistic practice and art theory in the last century. The appearing of the “ready-made” destabilized the firm identity of a work of art and now we have to decide what the difference is between a work of art and its perceptually identical pair. Traditionally relevant perceptual features lost their importance in conceptual art, so we have to decide what relevant properties belong, even today, to works of art. Finally, the practice of appropriation in postmodern art challenges the notion of the artist and of the meaning of genuine creation.
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