Aesthetic Rupture

Aesthetic rapture is a peculiar kind of subjective phenomenon, since it presents itself as anything but subjective. It asks to be shared with others in hopes that they too might experience this thing that has had such a profound effect upon us. We then remember that the affective power of works of art varies from person to person, and even from moment to moment within the same person’s life.

Art is an objective pursuit with the same claim to truth as science. Fame, money, conformism, attention-seeking, and knee-jerk rebellion can lure artists to abandon their own vision: The crucial factor isn’t whether we have been amused or delighted by a work but whether we let the forces within it penetrate the closed perimeter of our lives and expand our horizons. If the majority of aesthetic works fails to astonish us then it may have something to do with the ingrained insensitivity that is part and parcel of contemporary life, she says.