New Criticals

Jacques Rancière (2011)  famously takes issue with the proposition that in order to emancipate the spectator he/she has to be relieved from the role of the spectator through the active engagement in the artwork. According to Rancière, the emancipation of the spectator can take place through dis-identification which he considers to be an initial aesthetic effect (2011, 74). Dis-identification is a result of exercising politics through aesthetics where political subjectivation is achieved through unsettling existing subject positions. He says:

Aesthetic experience has a political effect to the extent that the loss of destination it presupposes disrupts the way in which bodies fit their functions and destinations. What it produces is not rhetorical persuasion about what must be done. Nor is it framing of a collective body. It is a multiplication of connections and disconnections that reframe the relation between bodies, the world they live in and the way in which they are ‘equipped’ to adapt to it. It is a multiplicity of folds and gaps in the fabric of common experience that change the cartography of the perceptible, the thinkable and the feasible. As such, it allows for new modes of political construction of common objects and new possibilities of collective enunciation. However this political effect occurs under the condition of an original disjunction, an original effect, which is the suspension of any direct relationship between cause and effect. (2011, 72–73)