1. What does Danto mean by the End of Art?
The end of art is not the death of art, but the wholesale elimination of what used to be considered art and its replacement by a new concept: pluralism. When art has exhausted itself and this concept has been brought into the forefront of the consciousness, this awareness signals the end of art. Art is no longer art in the traditional sense (having a manifesto-aesthetically pleasing, etc.) because the accessibility to art and to create art has allowed the masses to be exposed to it and to manipulate it. As Danto says any “art” made after Andy Warhol in the 1960s is not attached to any manifesto, and the art that is produced after the end of art is consider pluralism and cultural artifacts. A shift from the artwork itself evoking an emotional response is no longer relevant. The criterion for which art must stand up to be is gone. Simply, essentially philosophy becomes more important than the art itself. As shown by Hegel, “We have gone beyond just the emotional response to art, our ideas about the art, our judgments about the art is not for creating art again, but understanding the philosophy behind it. As with Modernism which pushed art to its limit, “The age of Manifestos is what it took to be philosophy into the heart of artistic production…discovery of that philosophical truth” (Danto, 30). An example of common manifesto of the college dorm room: The lava lamp, the Salvador Dali poster, the futon, the psychedelic trinkets overall the place individually, but now it has combined separate manifestos into one manifesto together. What the artist has created become less about the physicality of it and about the philosophy and the idea behind it. He takes the idea that there are no more criterion to what makes “art” art, that anything can be art, and thus the term “art” becomes meaningless and needs a new term: pluralism. The freedom that anyone can create something and it may possibly be considered pluralism or a cultural artifact has democratized the whole process and eliminated the critics, the middlemen, in the process. The consumer and the creator are brought together, and the critic is left looking for work. What is considered art is determined by a group of individuals who are involved in the arts either academically, critically, an artist, buyers, sellers, etc. Danto believes that art critics decide what is considered art and then art is assigned a worth. I disagree with Danto. The art critic is obsolete because if anything can be “art” then there is no real authority on what is art (pluralism) in the post historical phase? What self-respecting art critic would stake his or her reputation on say, beanie babies? But people pay thousands of dollars for something that in an earlier age could only be described as art. It is not that people will not make art, but that “pluralism” cannot be held up against the traditional criteria of the past historical art, as shown, “Not that art died or that painters stopped painting, but that the history of art, structured narratively, had come to an end” (Danto, 125).The modernism movement in which art shifted from being about making interpretations of the world to a search for internal meaning. “Artists were no longer concerned to imitate reality, but to give objective expression to the feelings reality elicited in them” (Danto, 65). Hegel’s idea that art had ended was not accepted widely during his time because much more artwork and the furthering of art would continue for some time. The imitation of reality through painting was mastered when we shifted from the mimesis paradigm in which painting reality as accurately as possible was the goal. The camera was the nail in the coffin. (Danto, 25) Realism was out a job. So what do you do when you don’t have a job? Become a philosopher! Modernism reflects the only thing that taking a brush loaded with paint to a canvas had left to do: make a closing statement. Danto’s claim is...
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