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ERIC Number: EJ875598
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0039-3541
The Magical Quality of Aesthetics: Art Education's "objet a" (and the New Math)
Tavin, Kevin
Studies in Art Education: A Journal of Issues and Research in Art Education, v49 n3 p268-271 2008
Why is there so much anxiety around the possible loss or the "striking through of aesthetics" in art education (Kamhi, 2007; Lankford, 2007)? And, why have some scholars (Duncum, 2008) gone to great lengths to argue that there is no concept of more import to the field of art education than aesthetics? While precise answers to these questions are impossible to know, it is this impossible, unknowable dimension that may provide a partial understanding of the "elevated status" of aesthetics in art education and the attendant anxieties caused by the mere mention of its loss. This author suggests that employing Lacanian psychoanalytic theory may help explain how there is "something in aesthetics" in art education which is more than itself, and how this magical surplus supports a fantasy that in turn supports desire, and in turn, anxiety. Lacan's notion of the "objet a" may help explain how the argument for multiplication (the "new math") functions as the disavowal of the fantasy frame that surrounds the discourse of aesthetics in art education. For Lacan, the "objet a" was not an actual object or particular word, but rather the status, fantasy, and surplus around the object or discourse that makes it phantasmatic. Tavin state that it may be time for art education to cut across the fantasy of aesthetics and, through psychoanalytic theory, traverse its surface and recognize as a field how educators have endowed it with the magic of "objet a." (Contains 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A