Research Field “Aesthetics of the Political”


The concept of aesthetics ties in with the very question of the perception of the sensible world. Our approach is based on the premise that the world is an ensemble of aesthetic experiences, which are not static and pre-determined but variable and complex. In this sense, aesthetics is addressed as the quintessence of art on the one hand and, on the other, it is more broadly defined as an expression of the heterogeneous experiences of the world. Experiences do not only affect human beings; they are also actively created and thus matter in political terms. We generally adopt the position that perceptions are variable, contradictory and frequently reflect political conflicts. This research field ushers the theoretical premise into practice by investigating power relationships, hierarchies, mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion, distribution of resources, social inequalities in the creation of lifeworlds as forms of aesthetic relations and practices. A central role is hereby assigned to art.: far more than a mere mirror, it is perceived as granting space to creative expression as well as questioning our self-conception on an interpersonal level.

The research field is sub-divided into three approaches:

  • Political Aesthetics: Body, Space & Communication
  • The Power of Images
  • Caricatures and Pictures


assoz. Prof. Mag. Dr. Andreas Oberprantacher, MA

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