IBNA- An interview-based book, 'Politics and Aesthetics' featuring Peter Engelmann’s discussions with French philosopher Jacques Rancière suggesting how the ideas of the latter were formed, has been rendered into Persian and published.
The book is an introduction to the ideas of a forward-thinking and individualistic French political philosopher who has been actively working on questions of worker emancipation since the 1960s. 'Politics and Aesthetics' has been translated into Persian by Ashkan Salehi and released by Ney Publishing in 101 pages and 770 copies.
Rancière’s primary concern is emancipation from roles and identities that have been allocated to the weak by the powerful. He argues that one’s sense of the world is directly linked to the role one has been assigned, and so perceiving the world in new ways is the beginning of emancipation. Of course, artistic expression and its approval or disapproval has always been of great interest to elites.
Therefore, it explores the enduring connection between politics and aesthetics, arguing that aesthetics forms the fundamental basis for social and political upheaval.
Beginning from his rejection of structuralist Marxism, Rancière outlines the development of his thought from his early studies on workers’ emancipation to his recent work on literature, film and visual art. Rather than discussing aesthetics within narrow terms of how we contemplate art or beauty, Rancière argues that aesthetics underpins our entire ‘regime of experience’.
He shows how political relations develop from sensual experience, as individual feelings and perceptions become the concern of the community as a whole. Since politics emerges from the ‘division of the sensual’, aesthetic experience becomes a radically emancipatory and egalitarian means to disrupt this order and transform political reality.
Investigating new forms of emancipatory politics arising from current art practices and social movements, this short book will appeal to anyone interested in contemporary art, aesthetics, philosophy and political theory.
Peter Engelmann is a publisher, philosopher and editor at Passagen Verlag.