The Art Delusion
Art has been watered down, relegated in many cases to just another consumer product. Yet the very essence of the aesthetic experience is to counteract our mundane perceptions of the world and the beauty of an artwork lies in its mystery being beyond explanation. All this has become irrelevant, lost in the pretentious clamour of the so-called cultural scene.
Confrontational and erudite in equal measure, Karl Heinz Bohrer defends art against its well-intentioned agents. His criticism is levelled at cultural studies that reduce a work of art to a cheap simulacrum of social conditions or director’s theatre that demotes the power of drama to the lowest common denominator of declamatory invective. For Bohrer the essence of all art is illusion, as exemplified by the texts of Ovid, Hölderlin, Kleist and Baudelaire.