Aleš Erjavec
Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts – Institute of Philosophy


The author sketches the development of the relationship between art and aesthetics in the recent past. As his starting point, he takes the position that artists established in the sixties in relation to philosophical aesthetics. In his view 1980 represented a historical threshold as concerns transformations both in art and its philosophy. He then discusses three theories of art and aesthetics – Nicolas Bourriaud’s “relational aesthetics” from the nineties, Jacques Rancière’s aesthetic project from the following decade, and the very recent “theory of contemporary art” developed by Terry Smith. In author’s opinion, these three aesthetic or art theories not only disprove the pervasive opinion that contemporary aesthetics understood as philosophy of art is once more separated from contemporary art and the art world, but also manifest their factual import and impact in contemporary discussions on art.

art, aesthetics, relational aesthetics, Jacques Rancière, Terry Smith, contemporary art



SAJ Vol. 4, 2012, No. 2