In The Future of the Image, Jacques Rancière develops a fascinating new concept of the image in contemporary art, showing how art and politics have always been intrinsically intertwined. He argues that there is a stark political choice in art: it can either reinforce a radical democracy or create a new reactionary mysticism. For Rancière there is never a pure art: the aesthetic revolution must always embrace egalitarian ideals.
“Much of the value of Rancière’s writings on art and aesthetics arises from his initial refusal of terms that are self-evident to the point of invisibility. ”
“It is too simplistic to say that Jacques Rancière is the anti-Bourdieu. But it is not inaccurate. Robustly conceptual where Bourdieu is empirical, abstractly philosophical where Bourdieu was sociologically precise, he offers a recasting of aesthetic questions that attempts implicitly to rescue the category of the aesthetic from the learned helplessness, or cynical reason, in which Bourdieu left it.”