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The electronic version of Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics is available at: www.ceeol.com

2/2019

LVI (New Series: XII)
Issued: September 2019
Biannual
Founded: 1964
Re-established as an international journal: 2008
ISSN: 0014-1291 (Print)
ISSN: 2571-0915 (On-line)
Language: English

The Problem of Intentionality in the Contemporary Visual Arts

http://aesthetics.ff.cuni.cz/archive/535/the-problem-of-intentionality-in-the-contemporary-visual-arts

 

The discourse regarding intentionality and interpretation in analytic philosophy of art, although ample and lively, has concerned itself almost exclusively with the literary medium. Starting from a paper published by Hans Maes, I discuss the complications that may arise in straightforwardly applying current intentionalist strategies to the realm of the contemporary visual arts. I first present a detailed account of the difference between hypothetical intentionalism and moderate actual intentionalism which will help to better understand the nature of Maes’s arguments in his paper. I then argue that the characteristics which shape the approach of moderate actual intentionalism cannot be accommodated by certain contemporary visual artworks. I will demonstrate how in certain contemporary artworks, should a viewer be interested in accepting actual intentions within her interpretation, she will have to do so with an extreme intentionalist posture rather than a moderate actual one.