Politics is sublime

Abstract : Castella, the factory owner Castella has a big moustache, and he tells vulgar jokes. He does not like reading, he does not like the theatre. He spends his days at a factory, which belongs to him, and his evenings at the theatre, to which he seemingly does not belong. His unrefined ways, lack of education, and lack of artistic culture make him an object of ridicule when he joins the artists for dinner after the spectacle, with the hope of gaining the sympathy of the lead actress, Clara, with whom he has fallen madly in love. But they seem worlds apart. Castella's efforts seem merely to consolidate his position as a joking matter in this artistic milieu. In yet another effort to be close to Clara, Castella attends an exhibition by one of her painter friends and buys a painting. But how could this moustachioed industrialist have a taste for painting not induced by some other motivation? The painter's boyfriend believes that Castella felt obliged to buy it after having unwittingly insulted him and his boyfriendöthe painter öwith a pejorative remark on gays. Clara thinks Castella is buying art to impress her. But Castella goes even further: he commissions the painter to paint a mural on the fac° ade of his factory, which happens to be a paint factory. Although the painter's boyfriend believes that Castella has commissioned his boyfriend because he appreciates his art, Clara thinks they are taking advantage of his feelings towards her. ``I know Castella'', she says, ``he doesn't appreciate it. He doesn't know a thing.'' But when she visits the factory to put an end to this exploitation', as she sees it, Castella surprises her by telling her that he actually likes the paintings, and that is why he is buying them. ``You didn't think for a minute it could be because I liked them? Don't worry'', he assures Clara, ``it's because I like them.'' Clara is speechless; even this uneducated, vulgar factory owner öwho doesn't know, as she said, a thingöhas taste. He is not, as she wrongly believed, trying to satisfy the taste of others'öthe film's title (1) öbut his own. There is something egalitarian here: Castella is capable of making judgments of taste, just like her, her painter friend, and all the others. Abstract. This paper examines the political aesthetic of Hannah Arendt and Jacques Rancie© re who in their own ways, found resources in an innovative reading of Kant's Critique of Judgment. The paper explores the Kantian legacy in the political understanding of these two thinkers. It then focuses on Rancie© re's notion of dissensus and argues that his politics shares the aesthetic features associated with the Kantian sublime.
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Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, SAGE Publications, 2012, 〈10.1068/d12610〉
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Mustafa Dikec. Politics is sublime. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, SAGE Publications, 2012, 〈10.1068/d12610〉. 〈hal-01274402〉

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