Philosophical Alternatives – 4-2020

Issue editors: Ivanka Stapova and Sylvia Borissova
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords & The authors in the issue

Ivan Stefanov (Prof. DSc. at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
The Art Career of Kitsch
The advent and development of kitsch is genetically related to the specific sociocultural context of 19th-century second half, when art became an autonomous and independent reality. It can no more rely on mythology, religion, philosophy, and politics, and pretends to be only and solely a 'pure art'. Art narrows, and in the vacuum opened, the new aesthetic phenomenon of kitsch ensconces. Kitsch has become an intrinsic, aesthetically immanent element of the system of art as a totality. An infinite internal transition between these two so cognate and so different, opposite spheres has emerged. The dialectics of these relations shows that kitsch is not only a waste of art.
Keywords: Àdorno; Benjamin; Mukarjovsky; kitsch; art.

Kristiyan Enchev(Assoc. Prof. at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology , Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
“The Blind Spot” in the Indexical Analogies of Experience (Theses on the Poetics of the fluctuating Image)
. This is a text-experiment of thinking simultaneously intentional implication and transitive intentionality, with a focus on the affective side of perceptions harmonized in subjectivity. Kinesthetic activity is a permanent immanent transcendence. The technique thrown outside is the 'blind spot', the 'point of the gaze' behind the 'point of view'. The exteriority of technique is not objective, we touch or see it when we touch or see the image: we see the invisible and touch the untouchable on the surface – this is the contact with the impossible possibility of the image. In technique, recognition and conceding by anonymous others is an inseparable part of our own kinesthetic organization: a permanent, intrinsic transition within ourselves as something other than ourselves. Our horizons of expectations do not remain unaffected by indexical analogies, by the 'pinning' of a related to habitually assimilated context 'blind spot' in the midst of 'doing-work-as-if'. The affective tissue that accompanies the indexical analogy in mimesis, inscribes into the 'scene' of space the 'scene' of its own habitualized space, and thus a change of optics and perspective becomes possible, decentering becomes possible. This decentering makes the image fluctuating by analogy – “indexical analogies of experience” – with the indexical history.
Keywords: blind spot; point of the gaze; decentering; indexical analogies of experience; fluctuating image.

Galin Penev (Assist. Prof., PhD at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology , Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Visual Space and Illusion
. The article considers how the non-Åuclidian features make sense of the visual space and daily perceptions. The profiles we face in daily experience and art are explained in terms of a visual illusion which origins from the form of visual space. When a profile is not responding to a unified spatial syntax it turns out to be an anomalous phenomenon. In fact, art and philosophy share the same area revealing unexpected profiles of the things.
Keywords: visual space; perception; illusions; curvature; figure; background.

Nikifor Avramov(Assist. Prof., PhD at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
Partiality, Wholeness and Art
: The text examines the categories of partiality and wholeness in light of art and its adequate understanding. The categories are understood not simply as describing certain objective state, but also as orientations in worldview and interpretation which assume their own objectivity. The essence which defines the orientation and its objectivity we identify through the referring to the metaphysical consciousness term “spirit”. We relate the categories to accompanying concepts, among which the concepts of chaos and order.
Keywords: partiality; wholeness; art; worldview; metaphysics.
Galina Dekova (Assist. Prof., PhD at the National Academy of Art Sofia)
Plasticity and the Language of the 'Unconditional' in Nikolay Raynov's „History of Plastic Arts“
: The study examines some aspects of the History of Plastic Arts by Nikolay Raynov and, more specifically, the concept of plasticity, which is of great importance for the 20th-century Bulgarian art. Raynov introduces it in a different sense from that of its later understanding. Important for Rainov's theory of art is his attitude to the applied arts, and this issue needs a much more detailed consideration. The same applies to the 'unconditional', which is also present in many of Raynov's articles on art. There is a need to trace these categories in the voluminous work of Nikolay Raynov and this article only marks issues that need to be developed in the future.
Keywords: plastic art; plasticity; unconditional; japonism; decorative art; art theory; history of art; modernism; painting.

Emanuela Yaneva (PhD Graduate Student at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
An Aesthetic-Political Discourse: Representation and Regimes of Visibility
.: The paper focuses on an attempt to conceptualize the ambivalent relationship between art and politics in the framework of a certain aesthetic-political discourse based on the concept of regimes of visibility. The exposition goes through the idea of definite prescriptive principles lying in the basis of an axiomatically accepted idea of art's transformative function regarding the political status quo. In this context, the notions of the aesthetic and the political undergo a process of re-conceptualization, following key ideas such as Rancière's distribution of the sensible and Roland Bleiker's aesthetic representation.
Keywords: aesthetics; politics; art; representation; distribution of the sensible; regime of visibility; invisible.

Mitko Markov (Philosophy teacher at 138th Language School “Prof. Vasil Zlatarski”)
Ideologies of Body and Gender in 20th-century Aesthetic Philosophy and Culture
: The aim of this paper is to show the continuation of the problem related to male nudity (in the form that Western civilization inherits the topic from the Ancient Greeks) during the development of the political and philosophical thought and the aesthetic perception of the same in the 20th century. The modern 'canon' concerning the male body is the result of many factors that precede and succeed the rise and fall of the totalitarian fascist regimes, the foundation of modern sports and the rise of gay liberation movement.
Keywords: Body; Genger; Ideology; Pop culture; Fascism; Gay-culture; Sports; Bodybuilding; History; Photography; Muscle beach; Avant-garde; Politics; Film; Masculinity; Athletic Model Guild; Otto Weininger; Hendrik Christian Andersen; Leni Riefenstahl; Arno Breker; Bob Mizer; Steve Reeves; Eugen Sandow; Robert Mapplethorpe; Jared French; Paul Cadmus; Calvin Klein; Adolf Hitler; Bruce Weber; Camille Paglia.
Krasimir Delchev (DSc., Professor at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Philosophical Faculty)
The Non-Mimetic Principle in the Hybrid Art Ontology of French 'New Realists'
: The article analyzes the art of French 'new realists'.
Keywords: : ontology; beauty; mimesis.

Liana Galabova (Theologian and historian. Freelance researcher)
Between Third and Fourth Dimensions: Sculptural Forms in Eastern Orthodox Christian Church Art
: Sculptural art is one of the least explored traditional expressions of Eastern Orthodox Christian spirituality. Artistic creativity in the field of carving and sculpting is an aesthetic response to particular confessional needs, and a creativity developing along discussions on church canonical and liturgical propriety of three-dimensional forms having in mind their fourth dimension as well. Sculptural church art relies on specific approaches to reflect on reality, express ideas, face religious needs, and therefore depict divine personages and sacred plots. Church blesses many forms of creation of beautiful forms representing piety, portraying saints by imagination from oral or textual descriptions, paintings or photographs, and depicting holiness even by anthropological restoration from relics. Eastern Orthodox Christian church does not fully appreciate the whole aesthetical value and meditational role of sculptured artworks to represent sacred notions as a history and invisible supernatural reality by means of decorations of high semantic quality. Therefore sculpture nowadays is incomparable with practices of other Christian religious traditions that promote artistic beauty and secular stylistics, or abolish visual material images at all. The very architectural design as church art transforms space by visual hierotopy, and the whole liturgical life in its performative scenic aspects implies mysticism represented as well in third and fourth dimensions really and not only symbolically, as cannons require from church art. Sculptural form is traditional part of appropriate temple decoration since Old-Testament times and visual antithesis to creation of idols that had been destroyed by Church through centuries. Nevertheless sculpture would not attain central or dominating role in interior decoration of Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, although its material substance and technology are more sustainable and rich in symbolism. Archaeological excavations and findings prove the aesthetic importance of imported eastern traditions of monumental stone carving and ceramics from early Bulgarian state and ecclesiastical history, and woodcarving is considered a traditional Balkan church art from late medieval period on. Adoption of Western influences in Eastern Orthodox Christian art has contributed to overcoming of aesthetical religious stereotypes by appearance of various local creative practices that reapprove the potential of sculpture as a religious phenomenon.
Keywords: sculpture, aesthetics, visual arts, decorative-monumental art, sacred arts, hierotopy, Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, Byzantine tradition, church iconography, theology of image, fine art, applied art, church objects, creative process, style, art perception, three-dimensional modelling, fourth dimension, installation, kitsch.

Vyara Popova(Assist. Prof., PhD at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology , Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Preliminary Distinctions for Analyzing Land Art
: The work initially focuses on the beneficial distinction between scenery and landscape. It will gradually introduce auxiliary concepts for the presentation of land art, thus allowing it to be conceived not as an essence, which it does not represent, but as a processuality and a pictorial gesture of expression and suggestion.
Keywords: land art; landscapes; geographical landscape; cultural landscape; scenery; landscape painting; geomorphology; sedimentation; entropy; place; non-place; ephemeral art; impossible art; minimalism; conceptualism; anti-art.
Nikolina Deleva(PhD Graduate Student at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology , Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
“Body Arts”: Author, Work, Public
: The work is devoted to different forms of body art, where the author uses his own body as a material for making art. These art practices are related to questions about their ontological nature and the criteria for defining and distinguishing art and reality, object and subject, author and work of art. An Identification of different components of the art process - author, work, public, as well as the relationship biological–mechanical–virtual have also been considered.
Keywords: somaaesthetics; body art; actionism; performance; subject; object; identification; pathology.
Jan Assmann(a German Egyptologist and researcher of the ancient Middle Eastern cultures,(b. 1938).)
Karl Jasper's Theory of Axial Age as a Heuristics in the Analysis of Cultures (transl. Ivan Popov) Abstract: The paper criticizes Karl Jasper's notion of the “axial age” with which the German philosopher dates the emergence of modern man around the middle of the first millennium BC. According to Egyptologist Jan Assmann such historical and mental change has indeed taken place in Antiquity, although not simultaneously, let alone unambiguously and unidirectionally as suggested by the talk of “axiality”. The use of historical and philological data to examine theoretical claims makes visible the central contribution of the text, which lies in the analysis and the further elaboration of the terminology we use in order to extend our understanding of our own and other cultures.
Keywords: axial age; Karl Jaspers; Egypt; ancient cultures; cultural memory.
Nikolay Mihaylov(Professor at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication), Simeon Vasilev (PhD, Lecturer at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication)
Hegel and Journalism
: The article is dedicated to a life period of the great German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel when he actively carried out journalistic and editing activities in Bamberg. In this context, the authors think of the matter of journalism and press as a choice and vocation, as well as of media and its role in the historical shift. To some extent, we could say that Hegel's work as a journalist and publicist traces the image of the journalese profession as a reasoning and standpoint about freedom, history, national identity, communication with personalities of historical importance and active influence in politics. Media is an inseparable part of Modern World, and everyone who are engaged in it as journalists, editors, publicists, and authors, bear the high responsibility to rethink the historical process and free actions of all the active citizens who take part in it as an aspiration for partnership or a stand on a question in a conflict. Hegel's activity as a journalist is connected with his philosophical ideas of freedom, history, evolution, and, as such, it imposes high demands on journalese profession, still valid on this day.
Keywords: journalism; philosophy; communication; G. W. F. Hegel; ethics; press; truth; freedom.
Dani Kotev(PhD, Philosophy teacher at Sofia Vocational High School of Tourism, 24th “Peyo K. Yavorov” School, 117th “Saints Cyril and Methodius” School)
The Aesthetic Worldview. Nietzsche – Dionysis
: The article presents the peculiarities of the aesthetic worldview understood through the Nietzschean opposition between Apollo and Dionysus. Dionysian art is seen in its relationship with the idea of eternal return. The Dyonisian is therefore understood in relation to the concept of matter and the Apollonian in relation to the concept of form. Dionysian art expresses the eternal return and is therefore a fundamental metaphysical principle that drives the world into motion. Through the description of the character of Dionysus we also examine Nietzsche's aesthetical perspectivism in its attitude and relationship with philosophizing and philosophical truth.
Keywords: Nietzsche; Apollonian, Dionysian, Dionysian aesthetics; eternal return; art.
Sylvia Borissova (Assist. Prof., PhD at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology , Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Aesthetics of the Satiric in “Confrontation” by Dilyan Benev