Resistance, the embodied image and aesthetics (2012)


The ‘art of living’ or the ‘aesthetics of life’.

‘Life as an art project’, as a perfectible project moving towards selfrefinement and self-design, is an old philosophical paradigm.

Its traces are rooted deeply in the history of our culture and proliferate through various channels, and across multiple fields of discourse. In philosophy, Plato, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, or Foucault, to name only a few, addressed it. In religion, it is at the heart of virtue theory and a way to reach a higher state of belief.

‘Man’ as self-created, self-designed and self-determined, autonomous being is, on the other hand, the belief and image, the brainchild, of modern thinking.

Give body to this thought and nurture it to postmodern sizes and shapes and you get the well-designed, purposeful, practically minded and controlled body-ideal of a neo-liberal postmodern
society. Measured, calculated, functional, cost-effective, optimized, general.

Maximize the same body and purpose. Inflate its frame, define the lines of its parts, increase its mass to new heights and you get the extravagance and obviousness of a singular, individual body, with
no other function than the display of pure difference, as image and in image. Singular in its conspicuity, unsettling in its aesthetic, this monstrous, exceptional embodiment, is simultaneously, the
becoming alive of a monumental inorganic mass, and the metamorphosis of an organic body into an inorganic monumental sculpture.

Cojanu, C. (2013), ‘Resistance, the Embodied Image and Aesthetics’,
http://phdproject.cojanu.com/stage/essays-2/resistance-the-embodied-image-and-aesthetics/
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