and a New Paradigm
second half of the 20th century - culture and art theory diagnosed
the crisis of Western civilization. The apocalyptic motives of decline,
end, and death have replaced the belief in modernisation and progress.
And yet, alongside with the deconstruction of contemporary culture,
a new movement for a holistic paradigm, participation aesthetics and
modern humanism is being promoted in art criticism and theory, political
philosophy, physics, psychology, and other fields. The idea of a new
paradigm reinstates in cultural discourse concepts like meaning, responsibility,
morality, ethics and love to the surrounding world.
The contemporary art scene displays symptoms of a rekindled arts
interest in social, political, and economic problems. This may be perceived
as escaping the overwhelming crisis or a sincere attempt to become part
of life. Voices are becoming prominent that the essence of nowadays
art is to acknowledge the needs of the world, to embrace reality, and
obliterate the limits between art and life.
To be part of the epoch making social and political events seemed attractive
to avant-garde artists of the early 20th century, yet politics and art
have never been closer as in the 60s. The 70s saw emerge quite
a number of outstanding artists who do not shun political and social
pathos. Artists who proclaim holistic ideas perceive their role as sending
an alarm signal. Participation aesthetics implies responsibility and
Modernist theory dissociates art from society and morality. Yet on the
other hand, cultural objects are transformed into economic values. Therefore
rebuilding the myths of consciousness may break this union of capitalism
and culture. Also, art, as a process that helps people, may become aesthetically
more valuable than art that provides only visual satisfaction. The emerging
new paradigm encourages perceive art in the context of general processes.
Among the new categories, the concept of artists responsibility
is no longer just romantic rhetoric, but an inevitable condition for