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Modernist FraudHoax, Parody, Deception$
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Leonard Diepeveen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198825432

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198825432.001.0001

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Intent in Practice

Intent in Practice

(p.150) 6 Intent in Practice
Modernist Fraud

Leonard Diepeveen

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with an account of the Blind Man’s defense of Duchamp’s Fountain, using it to make a more general point that inferring intent is central to the aesthetic experience and meaning of art in general, and in highly particular ways in modernist works of art. Inferring intent is inevitable, and it is always uncertain and messy. Modernist works of art highlighted that tension, presenting unclear signs of intent and making uncertainty central to the value of their aesthetic experience. Particularly at modernism’s avant-garde edges, readers and viewers uncertainly perform intent in modernist artworks, an experience which implies a particular argument about the place of intent and fraud in aesthetic experience. The chapter ends with an inductive turn on the basis of this argument, presenting a theory of intent’s function in aesthetic experience, and its relation to ideas of aesthetic autonomy.

Keywords:   intent, autonomy, avant-garde, formalism, Marcel Duchamp

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