Is Art itself a Criticism? Linking Wilde to Derrida, Rancière and Badiou

  • Tomaž Toporišič Academy for Theatere and Faculty of Arts at University of Ljubljana
Keywords: criticism, art, inaesthetics, deconstructive criticism, emancipated critic


Our essay starts with the famous quotation from Oscar Wilde’s dialogue The Critic as Artist: “Criticism is itself an art.” We will link this seductive idea with two contemporary philosophers: Jacques Derrida and Alain Badiou. Derrida asserts that there is not one single intrinsic meaning to be found in a work, but rather many, and often these can be conflicting. In La Vérité en peinture he uses the example of Vincent van Gogh’s painting Old Shoes with Laces, arguing that we can never be sure whose shoes are depicted in the work, making a concrete analysis of the painting difficult. In Inaesthetics Badiou claims that art produces its own truth and thus he redefines a relation of truth over beauty within the contested field of aesthetics. He thus describes the strictly intraphilosophical effects produced by the independent existence of some works of art. Aesthetics has historically brought philosophy to art; Badiou reverses the situation. Can therefore Art itself produce its own criticism?


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Toporišič T. Is Art itself a Criticism? Linking Wilde to Derrida, Rancière and Badiou. FV [Internet]. 2019Dec.31 [cited 2021Oct.27];40(3). Available from: