Grappling with Jacques Rancière, trying to get a grip on the concept of the “ethical regime of art”;
in which artistic images are evaluated in terms of their utility to society. This is linked by Rancière with Plato’s banishment of painters from his ideal community.
Rancière associates this “regime” with the antique idea that defines artwork as common craft labor. Under this regime, he writes, the mimetician provides a public stage for the ‘private’ principle of work (The Politics of Aesthetics p. 43) — that is, artists’ work cannot be granted too much power or acclaim because the laborer performing the “artistic” task of imitating reality operates according to the same criteria as someone making a bucket, and in this, Plato’s, aristocratic way of thinking, common laborers have no voice within society.
I’m not happy to read Rancière, his language is far to dense and, most of the time: incomprehensible. But I also have a vague feeling that there is something, in this textual maze that I would like to know – …