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Illuminating History by Lily Díaz, 25.IX.2000

of art is art itself. In this context, the relevance of the artist's work exists only within the language of art, as a proposition to art.8

Therefore, it can be argued that contemporary art is not so concerned with the interaction between the cognitive and manula aspects of the creative process. For the emphasis is placed on art as a way of interpreting things, centered, and solely dependent, on a notion of the artist as the absolute individual. The work of art proper, so to speak, is not circumscribed to physical objects but rather exists within an aesthetic and intellectual experience that is defined a priori. This proposition would seemingly contradict Danto's statement about knowledge, skill and training as being a pre-requisite for art. It is possible that in modern and contemporary art, the explanation about the work is of more significance than the work itself. Perhaps art is retrieving that discarded territory where meaning and ethics once converge, and that used to be the province of philosophy. Further and further removed from craft, is art turning into philosophy? Or as Joseph Kosuth has remarked when speaking about art after philosophy: "If he [the artist] doesn't take the responsibility of it being art, who can, or should?"9Indeed, it has been pointed out that theoretical discourse of the fine arts has become "one of the most potent areas of discourse in twentieth century European and North American literary culture". 1 0

Art is also a collective phenomenon whose subjective actors are not limited to artists, but include a gamut of professionals working in diverse disciplines such as art history, cultural history, philosophy and museology. These subjective actors understand and help delineate the motives behind the activity. In the case of contemporary Western art, for example, Danto has identified museum and gallery personnel, connoisseurs, and critics as the make weights of the Artworld. Within their ranks one will find those who create the artistic theory that defines what is a work art, and that therefore, makes

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