The Artist Objects
The third to last paragraph in Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition also contains the book’s final footnote; its focus is art and modern man:
(Page 323, bold added)
Needless to say, this does not mean that modern man has lost his capacities or is on the point of losing them. No matter what sociology, psychology, and anthropology will tell us about the “social animal,” men persist in making, fabricating, and building, although these faculties are more and more restricted to the abilities of the artist, so that the concomitant experiences of worldliness escape more and more the range of ordinary human experience. (footnote 87)
87. This inherent worldliness of the artist is of course not changed if a “non-objective art” replaces the representation of things; to mistake this “non-objectivity” for subjectivity, where the artist feels called upon to “express himself,” his subjective feelings, is the mark of charlatans, not of artists. The artist, whether painter or sculptor or poet or musician, produces worldly objects, and his reification has nothing in common with the highly questionable and, at any rate, wholly unartistic practice of expression. Expressionist art, but not abstract art, is a contradiction in terms.
The Man burns in 18 days.
Next Up: Arendt Footnotes #4 and The Popular Belief in a Strong Man, Tuesday 25 August.
Posted by Bryan W. Brickner