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The Emancipated Spectator Hardcover – November 2, 2009
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“What we see here is Ranciere developing a unique voice as a political theorist.”—Bookforum
“In this follow-up to his fruitful The Future of the Image, French philosopher Rancière argues forcefully against familiar critiques of the ‘spectacle’ ... This persuasive argument is fleshed out through close readings of art, ¬photography, literature and video installation, and a drily amusing analysis of leftwing ‘melancholy’ and ‘rightwing frenzy’ in critiques of ¬capitalism.”—Steven Poole, Guardian
“French philosopher Jacques Ranciere is a refreshing read for anyone concerned with what art has to do with politics and society.”—Art Review
“His art lies in the rigor of his argument—its careful, precise unfolding —and at the same time not treating his reader, whether university professor or unemployed actress, as an imbecile.”—Kristin Ross
“It’s clear that Jacques Rancière is relighting the flame that was extinguished for many—that is why he serves as such a signal reference today.”—Thomas Hirschhorn
“In the face of impossible attempts to proceed with progressive ideas within the terms of postmodernist discourse, Rancière shows a way out of the malaise.”—Liam Gillick
“What we are given is, above all, a figure of the spectator whose capacities to sense and think are greater than we have been prepared to conceive.”—Radical Philosophy
“The Emancipated Spectator is intended to improve our comprehension of art and deepen our grasp of the politics of perception ... [it has an] impressive concern with the political analysis of art and the use of imagery”—Times Higher Education
“Ranciere’s writings offer one of the few conceptualizations of how we are to continue to resist.”—Slavoj iek
About the Author
Jacques Rancière is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII. His books include The Politics of Aesthetics, On the Shores of Politics, Short Voyages to the Land of the People, The Nights of Labor, Staging the People, and The Emancipated Spectator.
Gregory Elliott is a member of the editorial collective of Radical Philosophy and author of Althusser: The Detour of Theory and Labourism and the English Genius: The Strange Decay of Labour England?.
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But aside from this bit of confusion, the text is great and the different essays still cover roughly the same territory of thought. The "Aesthetic Separation, Aesthetic Community" essay is in fact particularly enlightening for outlining his understanding of the aesthetics of knowledge. The first essay, "The Emancipated Spectator," is another highlight in terms of developing Rancière's thinking on aesthetics and politics.