An-Aesthetic Theory: Adorno, Sexuality, and Memory
Feminist Interpretations of Theodor Adorno, 2005
24 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2020
Date Written: January 5, 2005
Theodor Adorno's condemnation of the culture industry's attempt to erase the sensitivity to and memory of suffering is especially appropriate to contemporary cultural representations of sexual violence. The deadening (literally anaesthetic) effect of the compulsive and consumptive representation of female sexuality in popular culture depoliticizes and naturalizes sexual violence against women. Adorno's visionary aesthetic goal - of true aesthetic representation that decenters the viewer and compels him or her to resist the world as it is, including the importance of Betroffenheit (concern) - can serve as a powerful weapon against the hegemonic accommodation of sexual violence.
Keywords: Adorno, aesthetics, feminism, pornography, Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, sexual violence, Walter Benjamin, mechanical reproduction, aura, rape, Lisa Gier King, Deep Throat, Larry Flynt, Zizek
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