writings, Michel Foucault submits Enlightenment rationality to critical re-appropriation. Preoccupied with the same urge for historicism and engagement as both Kant and Baudelaire, but working at the same time viruses are alive essay in the context of ancient theories of the aesthetics of the self, he repeats the same question that Kant and Baudelaire both posed in ways. The position of the female subject is thus far more complicated than that of the male. The contemporary success of plastic surgery, personal training programs and extreme dieting could be used as concrete examples of what Foucault means. The feminist movement exponentially expanded what art is, and how we look at art, and who is considered to be included in the discourse of art making. Moreover, with respect to Kant, I propose that, to the degree that Baudelaire and Foucault both attempt to turn the life and body of an individual into a transgressive site of a living artwork, they do not merely continue the tradition of Kant's philosophical Enlightenment. A woman is hungry and she wants to eat, she's thirsty and wants to drink. Like Foucault in his analysis of madmen and homosexuals, Baudelaire sees in these figures examples of modern heroism, which nevertheless does not lead to reconciliation or happiness. It is, first of all, a question of a new attitude or sensuousness, manifested in one's critical relation to the present era.
81 In other words, the subversions of dominant cultural practices happen much more easily on the textual level than in the world of true everyday human interaction, in which the repression is real. 38 These principles of nineteenth-century aestheticism might at first sight appear as a movement towards the narcissistic cultivation of one's bodily appearance. Yet, I contend that, at the same time, there are some significant differences between the two, which are worth taking up here so that we may better understand the specific character of Foucault's own interpretation of the terms 'modernity' and 'Enlightenment'. In Foucault's terms, it can be re-made, given that we know how it was made. In Baudelaire's view, on the other hand, the experience of the present demands both the archive that the past offers to us, and the actual experience of the present, for without this dialectic there is no such thing as an experience of the living present. Paul Rabinow, translated by Robert Hurley and others (New York: The New Press 1997/1984. In the words of Judith Halberstam: "Pleasure might be sex with a woman who looks like a boy; pleasure might be a woman going in disguise as a man to a gay bar in order to pick up a gay man.
Moreover, if we redefine our differences, discover new ways of understanding ourselves and each other, then our differences are less likely to be used against." 65 With similar thoughts in mind, many contemporary feminist analysts have taken up not only the oppression of women. Ausgang, a way out or an exit, which Foucault sees as presenting the birth of the modern subject. The "first wave" of feminism began in the mid-19th century with the women's suffrage movements and continued until women received the right to vote, in 1920. In this sense, as Foucault bears out, Baudelaire's analysis of modernity contains elements that are applicable to various other historical phases of modernity as well, including our own time. Femininity, Feminism and Histories of Art (Routledge: London and New York, 1990/1988.
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45 Walter Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire: ein Lyriker im Zeitalter des Hochkapitalismus, Hrsg. Hurley and others (UK: The Penguine Press. 30 Being part of low rather than high (Kantian, rational) modernity, dandyism was for Baudelaire an example of the specifically modern attitude of making one's body, behavior, passions, and existence a work of art. 64 Jana Sawicki, Disciplining Foucault: Feminism, Power, and the Body (New York: Routledge, 1991.10. The same pain is reflected in the endless ennui of the Baudelairean outsider (a dandy) who identifies himself with Parisian rag-and-bone men, beggar girls and prostitutes. Martha Rosler explored the various facets of female and domestic life. For Foucault, freedom is far more a name that can be ascribed to our possibilities to create ourselves and transgress the limits imposed on us by society and others, not in the sense of overcoming these limits, but as illuminating and critically testing them.
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