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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/24918

Title: Mood (Stimmung) / Blandness (Fadeur): On Temporality and Affectivity
Authors: Ionescu, Vlad
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Citation: van Tuinen, Sjoerd (Ed.). Speculative Art Histories. Analysis at the Limits, Edinburgh University Press, p. 81-97
Abstract: At the end of the 19th century, Alois Riegl, Heinrich Wöllfin and Wilhelm Worringer subordinate art history to a 'scientific' methodology that had the ambition to separate the study of art from vague aesthetic categories. My objective here is double fold: first, I show how modern art history actually integrated speculative aesthetic concepts in its attempt to reform art history. Mood (Stimmung) is such a concept and it appears at the core of Riegl’s and Wölfflin’s art histories. In these authors, an art historical style is a visual structure that actualizes an affective constitution. Second, because mood is a central affective category, I examine the experience of the landscape and the ruin as mediators of mood. This aesthetic category shifts in Riegl from art history to an architectural theory concerning restoration and the analysis of landscapes. This allows us to correlate this category pertaining to Western art history to similar Chinese notion, namely ‘blandness’. We refer here to François Jullien’s analysis of blandness as the affective horizon for the Chinese experience of landscape. Why correlate these two? In order to test two hypotheses: first, that despite the ‘scientific’ ambitions of German art history, these subjective aesthetic categories resit its objectifying ambitions. Second, that these categories modify our experience of art, architecture and nature by introducing the qualitative experience of time, i.e. the duration. Through these categories, the lived experience time and its felt qualities (slowness, fastness, infinity) becomes central to the understanding of art and nature.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/24918
ISBN: 9781474421058
Category: B2
Type: Book Section
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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