Tanja Wischnewski

Taking Detours. Studies on a Critical Theory of Aesthetic Practice

Along the question of the relationship between social and aesthetic practice, an attempt is made to think praxeological and aesthetic theories together - against the background of the (im)possibility of conceptualizing aesthetic practice. Starting from the thesis that praxis is always grounded in a multi-personal completion of activities and must be thought from the completion itself, it is perhaps a dilemma of both sociological and aesthetic theories to think them precisely too much from the subject position - from which the central concepts of aesthetics such as autonomy, judgment, experience, and taste also derive - which offers a traditional perspective, but precisely only a perspective on the whole. The concept of praxis emphasizes on the one hand the execution, but on the other hand also an interconnectedness, from which only in the movement of demarcation, but also of entering into relationship, a unity or a subject is constituted. It is precisely the relational aspect that comes up short in many thinkers of the critique of power and domination, and in their attempts to step out of dualistic thinking, they fall back into it again and again. Dualisms strive for univocity with the goal of eliminating ambivalences and tensions. A critical theory of aesthetic practice could offer a way to go beyond the dominant dualistic thinking, or at least to consider it in its tension, without tipping back into a relation of domination in thinking.


Tanja Wischnewski studied Cultural Studies (B.A.), Sociology (M.A.) and Aesthetics (M.A.) in Leipzig, St. Petersburg, Frankfurt am Main and
Paris. With a focus on aesthetics, she was a research student and later a research assistant at the Institute for German Literature at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Since April 2022 Tanja Wischnewski has been a doctoral researcher in the DFG Research Training Group "Aesthetic Practice".