Within the complex realm of artistic production, a thorough investigation reveals the existence of two pivotal junctures in the dialectical progression involved in constructing constellations. The initial phase, which is distinguished by its analytic and conceptual characteristics, consists of partitioning and segregating the phenomenon’s multifaceted aspects and interpreting them through the lens of discerning concepts. The objective of this analysis is to deconstruct the “representations” of sociohistorical veracity that are embedded in the phenomenon’s constituents’ symbolic language. By translating these constituent parts into the theoretical framework, they acquire a greater interpretive potential and become comprehensible texts. Thus, the analytical process emerges as the site where objects that are perceptually “given” undergo a metamorphosis into the language of the hidden social process, thereby revealing their intricate interconnections and unearthing deeper levels of significance.
The transformative fusion occurs at the moment of representation, the second phase. The aforementioned constituents combine in a manner that engenders their fusion, ultimately resulting in a discernible depiction that embodies the societal actualities innately enshrined within them. Through the generation of “trial combinations” using these constituents, dialectical development encounters a temporary halt, but not in the traditional Hegelian manner of resolving conflicts. Instead of nullifying or surpassing them, these images shed light on the inherent contradictions that permeate the social structure. The current moment of representation is characterized by mimetic representation, which involves the replication of reality as opposed to a fusion that eliminates incongruities.
Theodor Adorno examined the relationship between the arrangement of constituent elements within an artistic work and the resulting representation of the underlying concept. Through an analytical interpretation of the visible world employing Freud and Marx’s approaches, he attempts to demonstrate how these veiled concepts manifest themselves within the realm of existence. The artist’s constellations have a profound quality similar to hieroglyphics, serving as a unifying element that bridges the gap between the perceptible and the abstract. The observed phenomena undergo a metamorphosis into perplexing enigmas, entities whose inherent properties, when juxtaposed, resemble tangible concepts.
Considering the intricate process of dialectical constellations we are compelled to acknowledge the artist’s and society’s profound interdependence. Through analytical deconstruction and subsequent representational synthesis, the artist reveals the social fabric’s complexities. The artist assumes the role of interpreter, deciphering the inherent truths embedded within the investigated subjects and illuminating the inconsistencies and conflicts that permeate the community. The artist creates a space for contemplation and analytical engagement through their creative expression, allowing the audience to comprehend the multifaceted and diverse aspects of reality.
Again, the process of constructing constellations through dialectics can be observed to occur in two distinct but interrelated phases. During the analytical-conceptual phase, observable components are analyzed, interpreted, and transformed into written works, thereby revealing sociohistorically relevant realities that were previously concealed. In the subsequent phase of representation, the constituent elements coalesce to produce discernible images that reveal the fundamental inconsistencies embedded in the social structure. The dynamic relationship between analysis and representation, which involves the interpretation of concepts and the synthesis of mimetic elements, generates an environment that encourages critical engagement and reflection.
In addition, a deeper examination of the relationship between the analytical-conceptual and representational aspects inherent in constructing constellations reveals that this endeavor transcends mere aesthetic contemplation. As a potent instrument of social criticism, it reveals the inherent contradictions and fundamental dynamics of a given society.
During the analytical-conceptual phase, isolating and analyzing constituent elements through the application of critical concepts can be compared to the systematic excavation of societal layers. This process reveals latent codes and symbols deeply embedded within the objects, allowing for a more nuanced understanding of the sociohistorical realities they represent.
However, the subsequent moment of representation is when a significant transformation occurs. The combination of elements that have acquired a profound conceptual meaning results in the production of perceptible images that encapsulate societal reality. Instead of providing a coherent amalgamation or resolution of conflicting elements, these images serve as poignant indicators of the persistent tensions within the social framework. The act of reflecting back our collective consciousness acts as a catalyst, compelling individuals to confront the complex and paradoxical nature of our existence.
Thus, in arts, constellations serve as agents that provoke critical reflection and discussion. The audience is encouraged to participate actively in the investigation of the paradoxes and dilemmas intricately woven into the social fabric. This compels us to evaluate critically the existing norms and structures. By representing contradictions visually and physically, the artist forces us to confront unsettling realities and question established narratives. The constellations become sites of opposition, laying the groundwork for disagreement and the investigation of alternative possibilities.
Furthermore, the mimetic representation inherent to the second phase of constructing constellations has significant implications for our understanding of art and its relationship to reality. The constellations, unlike conventional Hegelian dialectics, do not seek to transcend or spiritualize contradictions. They instead acknowledge and explain these conflicts. The artists recognize the complexity and fluidity of social existence and refrain from imposing artificial coherence or synthetic harmony.
Constellations can be interpreted from this perspective as inherent dialectical critiques. Their purpose is not to provide definitive answers or solutions, but to encourage analytical thought and introspection. They compel us to actively engage with the contradictions and complexities that shape our world, requiring us to navigate the complexities of our social reality.
Theodor W. Adorno, “Aesthetic Theory” (Germany)
Herbert Marcuse, “The Aesthetic Dimension: Toward a Critique of Marxist Aesthetics” (United States)
Walter Benjamin, “The Origin of German Tragic Drama” (Germany)
Jacques Rancière, “The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible” (France)
Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” (United States)
Terry Eagleton, “The Ideology of the Aesthetic” (United Kingdom)
Guy Debord, “The Society of the Spectacle” (France)
Hal Foster, “The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century” (United States)
Peter Bürger, “Theory of the Avant-Garde” (Germany)
Rosalind Krauss, “The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths” (United States)