Todd Cronan is associate professor of Art History at Emory University.
Introduction: An Exact Picture of the World
Chapter 1: The Great Production:
Rodchenko/Brecht/Eisenstein with and against Adorno and Barthes
Chapter 2: Rodchenko’s Photographic Communism
Chapter 3: Art and Political Consequence: Brecht’s Critique of Affect
Chapter 4: Seeing Differently and Seeing Correctly: Brecht on Artistic and Political Abstraction
Chapter 5: Class into Race: Brecht, Adorno, and the Problem of State Capitalism
Chapter 6: Relentlessness: Eisenstein’s Automatic Writing
Red Aesthetics brilliantly understands the relation between art and politics in terms of the relation between meaning and intention, thus offering both a powerful new account of its artists and a subtle and clarifying model for how to think about the ambitions of political art. Extended to a stunning reading of Adorno’s anti-fascist pivot “from class to race,” this analysis will be a landmark for future work.
Rodchenko, Brecht, Eisenstein: three giants from a world that no longer exists. Avoiding the temptation to smooth their philosophical, political, and aesthetic commitments to conform to contemporary sensibilities, Todd Cronan’s brilliant and gripping account reaches into the inner logic of their work, giving it, paradoxically, at the same time renewed vitality and renewed strangeness.