WHY THE BRILLO BOX? THE RECOVERY OF THE AESTHETIC

In Applied Social Sciences: Philosophy and Theology (2013)
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Abstract
Arthur C. Danto convincingly argued that works of art are not differentiated from common objects by aesthetic properties. With this he broke down the system of aestheticism, which discussed art as a sub-category of the aesthetic experience, looked for the universal, historically and culturally unconditioned significant form in works of art. At the same time, Danto’s theory can also be read as one considering the aesthetic point of view irrelevant for the essence of art. The paradigmatic starting point of Danto’s theory is Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box. However it was the Brillo Box that created the opportunity for the questioning of this anti-aesthetic consequence, both Andy Warhol, when he created the Brillo Box, as well as Arthur C. Danto, when he chose it to be the starting point of his art philosophy, were driven by aesthetic motives. This inconsistency can be resolved by accepting that common objects are “transfigured” in the framework of an art theory, while adding that from the moment they have transfigured into a work of art, their (new) aesthetic properties become substantial.
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