reseach on discourse

I came across an article on the following site ( , accessed Feb 2017) it relates to the art of jewelry making, but it references the art historian T.J. Clark which I found quite interesting [T.J. Clark, Image of the People (London: Thames & Hudson, 1973)]:

“T.J. Clark writes that he doesn’t want to talk about art as a ‘reflection’ of ideology, social relations or history. He doesn’t want to think about history as a ‘background’ to the artwork, mostly unimportant and every now and then brought into view. Nor does he want to assume that the artistic community (the avant-garde) is necessarily the artist’s point of reference. And he refuses intuitive analogies between form and ideological content, as if a lack of firm compositional focus equals egalitarianism, or fragmented composition equals human alienation in industrial society.”

“I want to discover what concrete transactions are hidden behind the mechanical image of “reflection”, to know how “background” becomes “foreground”; instead of analogy between form and content, to discover the network of real, complex relations between the two. These mediations are themselves historically formed and historically altered; in the case of each artist, each work of art, they are historically specific.”

“Clark wants an art history that keeps looking for active relations between its terms, refusing to allow anything to settle. Objects, whether French paintings or American jewelry, are not expressions of social, political or cultural relations, but instead they actively shape and construct these relations.”


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