THE SOCIAL METAPHOR OF THE HUMAN BODY: What Is Aesthetization?
Robert Rogoziecki 1 1 - Uniwersytet Gdański MAeS 2015; 16 (1): ICID: 1150842 Article type: Original article IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
Many scholars connected with so-called postmodernism have taken it for granted that
nowadays reality undergoes the process of aestheticization, so that reality becomes strangely unobligatory. It is reshaped in accordance with the mode of a work of art. In the
paper What is aestheticization? as a point of departure I took the concept of the aestheticization
by Wolfgang Welsh. But finding it unsatisfactory, I refer to that of Jean Baudrillard.
He has assumed that aestheticization equals the transformation of reality into hyperreality
– a reality that, in essence, is truer than the real itself. So now the question leads us to
another, namely that of reality. How is it possible for hyperreality to become truer than
reality itself? What was reality and what is hyperreality? What did the real existence of
things consist of? Accordingly to Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason for a thing to exist in
reality means that it has a place in time and space and is subjected to the laws of nature.
These in turn are rooted in the unity of transcendental apperception that is introduced
into the world of appearances by the pure concepts of understanding. Today this unity has
collapsed because of modern industry, which produces things on a mass scale. Nothing
has its own place and everything is replaceable. So the Kantian order of nature has become
impossible. Nature was absorbed by culture, and then culture itself subordinated to the
mass production of objects. At the margin of the processes the masses came into existence
and created a proper type of art for themselves – mass art, which became typical for the
functioning of all social reality. So aestheticization consists in the masses, mass media and
mass art swallowing reality. This results in the loss of the obligatory character of reality. Of
course, that does not mean that reality does not exist any longer, only that it is included
and reaching its sense and meaning from the aesthetic domain of beautiful semblance,
and this semblance is that of mass art.