Research Line 4

Postcolonial Aesthetics and Media Image

In this research, on the one hand, the creative practices are observed by considering the resources and sociocultural stimuli under the ideological context of the reproduction of the productive forces—the means of production with their technologies and their labor force—and democracy. On the other hand, art is related to the universality of democratic ideals and aesthetic and social reflections upon the cultural context that exists in today’s globalized world. The various visual manifestations through media, cinematography, art exhibitions, and visual culture aim to discuss democracy and the sociopolitical context regarding inequality, post-colonialism, the exploitation of minorities, immigration, ethnicity, gender, and climate change. These visual manifestations of social issues shape the dynamics of the global city, structuring the productive forces and its reproductions aiming at democracy.

Therefore, this research line focuses on the analysis of postcolonial aesthetics and the global media image in its relationship to the values of traditional European culture. Images that operate in the global visual media seem to present essential socio-political values of modernity and contemporary art. In the process, reference images of 18th-century art are also visualized in many current media images. In this sense, it does not seem to be necessarily considered that the socio-political meaning of images or actions is exercised politically. Rather, both are instead contained within politics (Weber). From this, it becomes clear that the connection with history, religion, or politics does not form autonomous discourses through aesthetic experience and art when political activity is seen as part of this reality. That is is because the sensitive aspects of these images include the content and thus the political subject. The theoretical references for this argument can be found in Friedrich Schiller (1879), Jacques Rancière (2006, 2011, 2018), and currently in the work of Morton Schoolman (2020). These authors link aesthetics to many of society’s human achievements concerning politics, which would prevent any conception of autonomous art. One possible effect would be to question the postcolonial discourse through art in the present. By this, some images of contemporaneity allude to freedom of expression, ethics, and democracy. The rationale of this study is based on significant works that reflect the evolution of modern art towards contemporary art in Europe and outside Europe. The present work deals with the socio-cultural framework and the consequences of a long period of decay of these reference systems caused by the dissolution of classical criteria – such as the criterion of imitation, fidelity to nature, the ideal of beauty and harmony. Discussed are contemporary art and the meaning of the violation of the norms of visual art, characteristic of modernist artists since the 18th century. Through manifestos, movements, and treatises, for example, an attempt is made to bring art closer to a postcolonial society, as the concept of the “Anthropophagic Manifesto” by Oswald de Andrade, which was considered a break with the values of art according to the European tradition, considered as a reference of the colonizers of Brazil.

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