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I argue that in Postmodernism, as per Lyotard’s writings, art “…caters to the impossibility for an attainable wholeness or sense of presence” (1131). And yet, this state of ‘unattainable wholeness’, does not deny to postmodern art the role of the experience that can carry emancipatory power. Yet, it may not be a ‘unity of experience’ as per Habermas, but still constitute a space of experience and presentations of the unpresentable that is predicated by difference. I propose that Lyotard’s theory of the presentation of the unpresentable, which sees presentation of artworks oriented towards formless art language games and communication, are divergent works of art that are concerned with a formless aesthetics of the Lyotards’ ‘true sublime.’ To substantiate this theoretical analysis of the ‘presentation of the unpresentable’ in art, I show the works of Alfredo Jaar: “33 women,” 2019; and “What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears,” 2018.
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Pease, Silvia Márquez, "The unpresentable and the aesthetics of the sublime in the Art of Alfredo Jaar" (2022). Department of Art and Art History. 8.
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