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Research Project by Dr. Adi Efal

“Die Kunsttheorie als Wissensbereich: Grenzen und Herausforderungen”

My project regards the domain of the theory of art, understood as a conceptual and an epistemological domain bordering other discourses as art history, philosophy of technology, aesthetics, art criticism and poetics. Should the theory of art be identified with the "science of art" (E. Wind), and what are the methodical relations between art history and art theory? (E. Panofsky).

The central hypothesis of the project is that the theory of art is bounded with technique and with production-considerations, that is to say with poietical problems. This kind of problems are more characteristic and essential to the theory of art than reception processes or interpretation problems that stay in the heart of aesthetic discourse. Can the theory of art be relevant to the contemporary art practice? And how does the theory of art distill the principles of a practice or a production process? The project will attempt to approach all these questions, with the historical reference point from the history of the theory of art: the 17th century in France. In and around the discussions in the Académie Royale de peinture et de sculpture one can retrace the process of the foundation of the genre of the theory of art as an institutional instrument, a genre that was impregnated with elements from the history of art, artists' education, philosophy and art criticism.