I seem to be on a bit of an art kick at the moment. Jacques Ranciere's The Politics of Aesthetics (Continuum) arrived a few months back but, despite being such a slim volume, I've not yet got around to reading it. This review, from ArtNet by Ben Davis (via continental-philosophy.org), makes me think I should bother sooner rather than later:
The 66-year-old French philosopher Jacques Rancière is clearly the new go-to guy for hip art theorists ... Rancière has the undeniable virtue, for the esoterica-obsessed art world at least, of being something of an odd duck. A one-time fellow traveler of Marxist mandarin Louis Althusser, Rancière split with him after the May ’68 worker-student rebellion against the de Gaulle government, feeling that Althusser, a partisan of the Stalinized French Communist Party, left too little space in his theoretical edifice for spontaneous popular revolt. Against this background of disenchantment, Rancière set out to explore the relationships between philosophy and the worker, rethink ideas of history and try to construct a progressive theory of art.