Aesthetic performativity and natural beauty. Theoretical observations on Adorno’s landscapes

Elettra Villani


After the so-called Hegelian verdict, Adorno is the first philosopher who devotes such an intense attention to natural beauty within his aesthetic speculations. This central – although unfairly bypassed – moment could be fruitfully analysed through the figure of landscapes, thematized throughout Adorno’s constellation of texts. In this framework, the landscape represents more than a mere backdrop, but rather a significant theoretical spot to concretize the connection between the aesthetic performativity and the beauty of nature. Therefore, by means of a careful reading of Adorno’s various formulations on the topic, this paper aims to show how the philosopher overcomes the traditional and immediate antithesis between nature and culture or even technique. More importantly, it will be investigated how a genuine aesthetic experience of nature – also in the image of a landscape – should be configurated, in order to hopefully feel its now mutilated silence again.


Landscape; Natural beauty; Adorno

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