FKA Twigs
Society

Pop culture, 22 January 2020

FKA Twigs

Dialectic of Pop Agnès Gayraud by Julien Bécourt

by Julien Bécourt

Summary

Agnès Gayraud has a PhD in philosophy, discipline she teaches at the Villa Arson, a national art school in Nice. She practises as a musician under the name La Féline. Her latest album, Vie Future, came out in October 2019. Her impressive new book, entitled Dialectique de la Pop, was published a year ago by La Découverte, recently translated in English under the title Dialectic of Pop by Urbanomic. This book is a philosophical attempt to think popular music as an art form, thus disputing Theodor W. Adorno’s dogma of musical modernity, which reserves the privilege of authenticity for highbrow music. Agnès Gayraud argues that recorded popular music, deemed light-weight, inauthentic and inconsequential, is actually a major musical art of the last century, an art form that reaches far beyond the simple status of the consumer object.

[ 1 ]

The “hater” or “troll” is a well known figure on the social network: a hostile commentator, who generally disputes all issues, with a certain dose of bad faith and assumed viciousness, in order to demonstrate the invalidity of what others extol. Adorno’s hostile attacks on light popular music come close to this model of a despiser. But, to the extent that, as he declared in 1968 on television, “all light popular music is bad, bad with no exception,” his position becomes hyperbolic, totalitarian.

[ 2 ]

Critical Theory is a school of thought that appeared in the 30s in Germany, founded in Frankfurt by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, with the project of constructing a global critique of industrialized society, using Marxist, Freudian and Nietzschian tools. It was pioneer in critical and philosophical research on the effects of industrialization of culture in the 20th century: see the works of Walter Benjamin on the political effects of photography and cinema or those of Adorno on radio and television, and, with Horkheimer, on cultural industry in general.

[ 3 ]

Hegelian dialectics are reconciliating: the process is negative, but they always suppose exceeding this in speculative reconciliation. Negative or critical dialectics retain the Hegelian requirement of the negative, but remain in this form of contradiction. Pop musical art deeply harbours this inclination towards reconciliation, even though its entire history is a permanent confrontation with the negative (inauthenticity, rootlessness, impersonality, false universality, appropriation, etc.)

Agnès Gayraud has a PhD in philosophy, discipline she teaches at the Villa Arson, a national art school in Nice. She practises as a musician under the name La Féline. Her latest album, Vie Future, came out in October 2019. Her impressive new book, entitled Dialectique de la Pop, was published a year ago by La Découverte, recently translated in English under the title Dialectic of Pop by Urbanomic. This book is a philosophical attempt to think popular music as an art form, thus disputing Theodor W. Adorno’s dogma of musical modernity, which reserves the privilege of authenticity for highbrow music. Agnès Gayraud argues that recorded popular music, deemed light-weight, inauthentic and inconsequential, is actually a major musical art of the last century, an art form that reaches far beyond the simple status of the consumer object.

Do you want to react?

Read also...

Jean Dupuy par Renaud Monfourny pour la galerie Loevenbruck
04
04

Hommage à Jean Dupuy

Discover the edition
Beaucoup plus de moins
03
03

Beaucoup plus de moins

Discover the edition
Encyclopédie des guerres
02
02

L’Encyclopédie des guerres (Aluminium-Tigre)

Discover the edition
O. Loys, bal des Incohérents
001
001

Décembre 2021

Discover the edition
Younes Baba Ali, art et activisme en Belgique
01
01

Art et engagement Enquête en Belgique

Discover the edition

Parcourir nos collections