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Rewriting Lyotard: Figuration, Presentation, Resistance

Rewriting Lyotard: Figuration, Presentation, Resistance

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The visual arts operated as a touchstone for French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard, influencing his thinking on everything from epistemology to politics. Building on the recent publication of a bilingual, six-volume edition of his writings on contemporary art and artists, this special issue of Cultural Politics provides a focus on Lyotard’s aesthetics.The issue includes a review of Lyotard’s writings on art, a discussion of his early figural aesthetics, and an essay on Lyotard’s little-known work, Pacific Wall, as well as two essays on Lyotard and music. Two previously untranslated works by Lyotard himself are also featured: the influential article “Argumentation and Presentation: The Crisis of Foundations” and the interview “What to Paint?,” given at the time of the publication of the book of the same name. Painter Leon Phillips, whose work embodies many of the attributes of painting that were most important to Lyotard, is the featured artist for the issue. Throughout, the contributors argue for the primary importance of aesthetics in understanding Lyotard’s thought.Peter W. Milne is Assistant Professor in the Department of Aesthetics at Seoul National University.