PRECIS: Art as a Living Thing

The central idea of Adorno's "Aesthetic Theory" has to be the personification of art. Adorno speaks of art as if it were a living being, constantly moving and of no origin. Art has no "definition" (2) and did not come from any one thing--it is and always has been. It's twisting and turning against itself at the same time, both reflecting and rejecting the world. It is what it is because it isn't--any one thing, that is. It's only real defining quality is that it moves and never stays the same. What society would consider art in one era is redifined in another, so it is not up to our culture to say what is classified as art or not (we only know what is occurring now to be truth, 3, and that type of art may change in the course of history). "Artworks are alive," says Adorno, "in that they speak in a fashion that is denied to natural objects and the subjects who make them" (5). Art tells about society and culture in a way that no one person can, and it can often be traced back to motion among life itself (ex. dance, rituals).

This text also seems to ridicule the idea of art as being for only the high class, or one piece of art being better than another.

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