"Nature intervenes in strokes": Sensing the End of the Colony and the Origin of the Aesthetic

Patrick D. Flores


The essay attempts to offer an alternative genealogy of aesthetics from the perspective of a post-colonial history. Here a painting from the Philippines, Juan Luna's Spoliarium (1884), is reworked to offer insights into this possible operation that exceeds the typical methods of relativization and the exclusively nationalist anti-colonial critique. It focuses on both art and the discourse about it, including the oration of the National Hero Jose Rizal, and how these intersect with the end of the colony and the compelling emergence of the aesthetic in eccentric grounds.

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