logo

Založba → TRANSformacije

Aldo Milohnić: Art in the Times of the Rule of Law and Capital (Umetnost v času vladavine prava in kapitala)

About the Book 

Aldo Milohnić’s book Art in the Times of the Rule of Law and Capital (Umetnost v času vladavine prava in kapitala) is the result of several years of the author’s research on the position of art in contemporary society. It foregrounds performing practices, which appear as unique distortions in the system of art and, at the same time, in other social fields, especially politics, but also law and economy. In the first part of his study, the author explores the critique of bourgeois law, the relation between law and the state, the ideological effects of law fetishism, and the functioning of the state of law from the perspective of the critique of political economy. The central part of the book is dedicated to the analysis of selected examples of artistic practices that offer “empirical” material for theoretical reflection on the relation between art, law and economy. In the second part of his investigation, Milohnić focuses on the bourgeois category of “autonomous art” and on the position of the author/artist in the contemporary legal sphere through the analysis and critique of concepts such as freedom of artistic creation, autonomy, immunity, positive discrimination, equity, copyright, etc. Milohnić analyses performing practices in their relation to political action (which, nowadays, is far from limited to the so-called engaged art); however, he also breaks down the resistance of the art sphere to the demand for the system of art, as an often introverted and institutionalised creativity, to open up. Among other things, the author discusses possible approaches to the articulation of the field of art in times that are noticeably marked by the dictate of neoliberal market economy and legal determination of the political sphere. Particularly interesting for Milohnić are those practices of contemporary art that develop specific approaches with which they try to draw attention to the inherent irrationality of political and economic rationality pervading contemporary society. Examining some characteristic examples of performing practices in their relation to politics, law and economy, the author also analyses conceptual changes at the level of theoretical discourse. The book Art in the Times of the Rule of Law and Capital is an original study in the field of theory of art and an important contribution to the humanities in Slovenia. 

Amelia Kraigher
 

About the Author 

Aldo Milohnić holds a PhD in Sociology of Culture; he is Senior Lecturer at the University of Ljubljana, the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, where he teaches the history of theatre; since 2013, he has been Head of the Theatre and Film Studies Centre. He has edited several collections of essays (such as Prišli so Pupilčki: 40 let Gledališča Pupilije Ferkeverk; New Paradigms, New Models: At the Crossroads of Cultural Politics; Evropski vratarji; Along the Margins of Humanities) and special issues of cultural journals (such as Gledališče upora; The Politicality of Performance; Artivizem; Body/Differences; Brecht/Gestus; Kaj lahko naredimo z besedami v gledališču; Ženske v gledališču; Uvod v Heinerja Müllerja). He is co-author of several books (such as Kultura d.o.o.: materialni pogoji kulturne produkcije; Čas je za Brechta) and author of Theory of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Art (Teorije sodobnega gledališča in performansa, Maska, 2009) and several articles in specialist and professional journals. He has participated in a number of local and international research projects on the history and theory of performing arts, sociology of culture and cultural policy. He is a member of the Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia (DGKTS), the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR), the board of the Slovenian Theatre Institute, the editorial boards of the journals Maska and Amfiteater, and the international boards of the journals Frakcija and TkH.
 

Quotation from the book 

And what is this world like, in which Kantors rule? This is the world of the bourgeois state, in which the law reigns supreme, while farmhands Jernejs wonder about in vain searching for justice. There is no need to search for a tasteless morality play in this; simple brute facts suffice. And it is a brute fact that class domination constitutes the basis of the bourgeois state, and not vice versa. Thus, the state does not subordinate farmhands Jernejs to exploit them, but “merely” to ensure political subordination of the class that is already subject to capital in the production process. […] Is it perhaps any different in our Betajnova today? Assisted by expensive lawyers, present-day Kantors are successfully turning the drama of the state of law into a farce. Oligarchic-political elites are playing with the law enforcement and administration like Kantor with Pepček and Francelj; only small fry are incarcerated, and perhaps a Franc Bernot. And even when the court declares some of the most conspicuous Kantors guilty, their orthodox supporters light candles in front of the court crying: “We are all with you! God bless you, Kantor!” For, indeed, probably no one would believe their eventual admission of guilt, just like in The King of Betajnova: “The King of Betajnova a murderer! What a joke! He sprinkled himself with blood just for fun, out of boredom!” Let’s look around, across the vast Betajnova, and perhaps we can see what, according to his own statement (in the essay “How I Became a Socialist”, 1913), Cankar “experienced himself in torment and doubt”, namely that “science and history only demonstrated amply” what “life itself had told him”.

Aldo Milohnić, Art in the Times of the Rule of Law and Capital

Content

IN MEDIAS RES: “RIGHT IS CREATED FOR THOSE WHO CREATED IT …” 

AUTONOMY OF LAW 

THE “WITHERING AWAY” OF THE STATE AND LAW 

LAW AND POLITICAL ECONOMY
Law, exchange and relations of production
Law fetishism and its mystery 

BRECHT: “MARX AS THE SPECTATOR OF MY PIECES …” 

METAMORPHOSES OFCOMMODITY IN THE ART MARKET 

“DICTATORSHIP OF LAW”: FETISHISATION OF LAW AND RIGHTS 

PUPILIJA IN THE STATE OF LAW: HUMAN OR ANIMAL RIGHTS? 

ART IN AGREEMENT WITH LAW 

THE PROBLEM OF THE “DEFINITIONAL MONOPOLY” OF MODERN ART 

AUTONOMY OF ART 

AUTONOMY OF THE AUTHOR
Author as the “creator” and (creative) “genius”
Author as cultural and productive worker
Author as legal subject 

“ARTISTIC IMMUNITY”: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND ARTISTIC CREATION 

COPYRIGHT 

POST FESTUM: “YOU LIVE AT MY MERCY, AND YET YOU DESPISE ME!” 

Literature 

Summary 

Lev Kreft
ART ‒ LAW ‒ CAPITAL
Afterword

Colophon

Aldo Milohnić
ART IN THE TIMES OF THE RULE OF LAW AND CAPITAL 

TRANSformacije Series,
Book No. 37
Series Editor: Amelia Kraigher 

Publisher:
MASKA, Institute for Publishing,
Cultural and Production Activities
Metelkova 6, SI – 1000 Ljubljana
info@maska.si
www.maska.si
 

© Maska, Aldo Milohnić 

Afterword: Lev Kreft
Copy-editing: Mojca Hudolin
Proofreading: Gašper Malej
Index of Names: Amelia Kraigher, Nika Leskovšek
Design and Layout: Ajdin Bašić, Mitja Miklavčič
On Behalf of the Publisher: Janez Janša
Print: Cicero
Print Run: 400
Ljubljana, 2016 

The publication of this book has been financially supported by the Slovenian Book Agency in its invitation for tenders in 2015. 

According to Item 7, Article 25, of the Value Added Tax Act (ZDDV), the tax on this book is calculated at the rate of 9.5%.

Events
— 06-03-2017 : Aldo Milohnić: Art in the Times of the Rule of Law and Capital - lecture
Maska Institute, Metelkova 6, Ljubljana
Maska's Seminar of Contemporary Performing Arts