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Agnieszka Bandura / Politics of Replacing in New Romanticism

New romantic tendencies in art are nowadays often mixed up with postmodernism. In the mean time neoromantic artistic movements and initiatives (like Romantic 2.0 or others) elaborate their own theoretical frames, axioms and descriptions, and build a relatively coherent image of new romantic contemporary arts, unified by the Novalis’ imperative of romanticizing: “Insofar as I present the commonplace with significance, the ordinary with mystery, the familiar with the seemliness of the unfamiliar and the finite with the semblance of the infinite, I romanticize it.”

First of all, I would like to present and compare the main strategies of imaging in new romantic arts (mostly on the example of a new German-born, though international movement called Romantik 2.0) and to consider how art is trying to replace scientific methods of exploring reality, of providing the truth about it, or of inaugurating cognition, etc.

I want to show how young artists deal with doubts and how they question established relations between science (scientific wisdom, technology, etc.) and nature or intuitional, bodily knowledge (from senses, feelings, imagination, etc.). How art proves that not only the science deposits or provides the reliable, “only” truth about the human and reality (treating, for example, a human body as an artefact, shaped by scientific concepts and instruments, as well as the artistic ideas and practice).

I am also going to describe the transitional status of new arts and their specifically romantic self-critical melancholy (mentioned by Jean-François Lyotard) in expressing dissatisfaction about the present that is increasingly uninhabitable (often unbearable) and a desire for the future that has not yet been entered, and probably will never be.

Moreover, I would like to present new romantic strategies of replacing or removing what is essential or general in the image by the accidental (detailed). My aim is to demonstrate (following Georges Didi-Huberman) how a detail of an image (installation, work of art, etc.) escapes the established, general meaning of what is seen, slips our minds, and builds a new sense or begins to tell a whole new story in the space between the visible and the idea.

Finally, I intend to answer the question if there is, in fact, any unity in new romanticism or maybe the only rule that determines the movement (the artworks) is unruliness, lack of style, pseudo-subjectivity or apparent originality, etc., of which new romanticism is often being accused.