LANGUAGE, REALITY, IRONY. THE ARTISTIC BOOKS OF JAROSLAW KOZLOWSKI
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The paper is an attempt to analyze the artistic books of Jaroslaw Kozlowski, produced in the 1970s, in the contexts of language, subjectivity, and absence. These issues, as well as the problem of relations between the discourses of art and philosophy, the author claims to be crucial not only for Kozlowski's whole oeuvre, but for the conceptual art in general, of which Kozlowski's books are a unique example. Describing the artist's attitude as 'liberal irony', Nader claims that Kozlowski considers language to be an autonomous reality where one does not look for truth, but for liberty, so that his books implement in practice Richard Rorty's postulated 'turn from theory to narrative'. The problematic of truth has been suspended by the artist between approaching language as a metaphysical subject and recognizing its contingency. Placing in his final vocabulary such terms as, e.g., the absurd, paradox, solipsism, liberty, and absence, Kozlowski deconstructs concepts, including the concept of conceptual art. Intertwining his art with the discourse of philosophy, he situates the artistic practice not in the discourse of aesthetics, but in the dispute about the possibility and impossibility of metaphysics. Philosophy was involved in his project because it makes a redefined space of artistic creation which gives his intuitions, in respect to which philosophy turned out helpless, a chance to make themselves present.
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