2023-2024 / PHIL0036-1

Art and the frontiers of art*


30h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in ancient and modern languages and literatures5 crédits 
 Bachelor in ancient languages and literatures : classics5 crédits 
 Bachelor in information and communication5 crédits 
 Bachelor in modern languages and literatures : German, Dutch and English5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history of art and archaeology : general5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history5 crédits 
 Bachelor in modern languages and literatures : general5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history of art and archaeology : musicology5 crédits 
 Bachelor in ancient languages and literatures : Oriental studies (Registrations are closed)5 crédits 
 Bachelor in philosophy5 crédits 
 Bachelor in French and Romance languages and literatures : general5 crédits 
 Master in history of art and archaeology : general (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Maud Hagelstein

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

How is the highly coveted (prized) and disputed territory of Art delimited? What finally defines an artistic work? What elements condition, promote and sustain the intensity of a so-called "artistic" experience? Is there an exceptionality (and an autonomy) of the artistic experience? To address these issues, philosopher Jacques Rancière has identified different "regimes of art" - that is, different paradigms (or sets of devices and discourses) by which we identify certain objects, practices, and experiences as "artistic". Following Rancière, the current paradigm - "aesthetic regime of art" - has blurred the distinction between things that belong to art and things that belong to ordinary life (see the singular case of performance art). This regime accompanied consequently the progressive widening of the field of art to subjects and objects that were not officially associated until then to the Fine Arts: common experiences, practices of the profane life, cultural objects in the wider sense, and all that compromises the presumed purity of the artistic sphere. How then not to sink in the biggest relativism and to continue to make the distinction between art and non-art? According to Rancière, what distinguishes art is a certain quality/intensity of sensible experience, "in excess" over ordinary sensible experience. But how to describe this particular intensity? To these theoretical (ontological) questions are articulated more practical problems, which result from the porosity or the heterogeneity of the artistic sphere. Can everyone be an artist? What makes the artist? Training, intention, invention? Is there contiguity or rupture between artistic and domestic uses of certain techniques (we will be able to think for example of photography)? We will consider some of these practical problems.


Learning outcomes of the learning unit

This course should familiarize students with the philosophical thought of art and with the ontological questions surrounding it. It will provide a first overview of the contemporary work of the philosopher Jacques Rancière. Theoretical lessons will alternate with critical exercises in applied aesthetics and practical cases. At the end of the course, the student should be able to reproduce the theoretical propositions of the authors considered, and to produce a short analysis of a work using the theoretical tools privileged during the course.


Prerequisite knowledge and skills


Planned learning activities and teaching methods


Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Length and time period: 30 hours, 2nd quadrimester.
Location and schedule : Place du XX août, Friday from 11h to 13h.

Recommended or required readings

Texts available online.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam

Additional information:

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course



Official instructor Maud Hagelstein, Associate researcher FNRS Department of Philosophy 7, Place du 20 Août, 2nd floor, office number 2/36A, 4000 Liège Tel. : 04/366.55.64. E-mail : Maud.Hagelstein@ulg.ac.be

Association of one or more MOOCs