Not Knowing How to Look

Bourdieu’s judgement, and that of all those who denounce the aesthetic illusion, rests on a simple alternative: you know or you do not [on connaît ou on méconnaît]. If you do not know [méconnaît], it is because you do not know [sait] how to look or you cannot look. But to not be able to look is still a way of not knowing how to look. Whether philosopher or petit-bourgeois, those who deny this, those who believe in the disinterested character of aesthetic judgement do not want to see because they cannot see, because the place that they occupy in the determined system, for them as for everyone else, constitutes a mode of accommodation which determines a form of misrecognition [méconnaissance].

Rancière, Jacques and Jon Roffe (Translator). “Thinking between disciplines: an aesthetics of knowledge.” in: Parrhesia. Vol. 1, 2006. (English).

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