Please no outside materials for this discussion.


Please watch this youtube video  for this discussion, watch Olivier de Sagazan’s Transfiguration(2010; first iteration 1998) in its entirety, about 10 minutes. Fullscreen and earphones are recommended.  


WARNING: This Video contains emotionally intense content, which may be disturbing to some. 


Now contemplate and answer the following  questions:


1. What emotion(s) do you experience when watching this contemporary work of Art? Be specific and explain why.


2. Where are the emotions found in this performance… 

    1. a) Do they arise from the “story” de Sagazan tells? (This question is asking you to test out Tolstoy’s theory of expressivism for your emotional response. Explain accordingly, by using the theory.)
    3. b) Are they elicited from your own memories of similar times? (This question is asking you to test out Collingwood’s theory of cognitive expressivism for your emotional response. Explain accordingly, by using the theory.)
    5. c)  Are the emotions to be found in the materials and composition of the work—its formal properties? (This question is asking you to test out expressive properties theory for your emotional response. Explain accordingly, by using the theory.)

3. Given your “tests” above, what’s your conclusion: whose emotions are you experiencing? Does the performance “infect” you with the artist’s emotions (as Tolstoy would suggest)? Does it trigger your own feelings in collaboration with the artist? Or is something else happening that may be either intersectional or universally felt?


4. What might this performance/work of Art have to say about beauty? Again, be sure to explain your answer and reference course theory/readings in order to ground it, as applicable.


In total, your post should be ~500 words for responses 1-4. Number your answers in order.



Please use these references as a guide, they are the course material for this paper.




Abromovic, M. (2012). The Artist is present. Music Box Films.


Barrett, T. (2012). Why is that Art? Aesthetics and criticism of contemporary Art. Oxford University Press.


Collingwood, R. G. (2008). The principles of Art. In S. M. Cahn & A. Meskin (Eds.), Aesthetics: A comprehensive anthology (pp. 282-295). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. (original work published in 1945).


Davies, S. (2016). The Philosophy of Art. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Gompertz, W. (2012). What are you looking at?: The surprising, shocking, and sometimes strange story of 150 years of modern Art. Plume, the Penguin Group.


Goodman, N. (1976). Languages of Art (2nd ed.). Hackett, Indianapolis.


Gracyk, T. (2012). The philosophy of Art: An introduction. Polity Press.


Graham, G. (2013). Definitions of Art. In G. Berys & D. McIver Lopes (Eds.), Routledge Companion to Aesthetics (3rd ed.). Routledge, New York.


Graham, G. (2000). Philosophy of the arts: An introduction to aesthetics. Routledge.


Matravers, D. (2013). Art, expression and emotion. In G. Berys & D. McIver Lopes (Eds.), Routledge companion to aesthetics (3rd ed.). Routledge, New York.


MOMA. (2021, February 12). How Art Speaks to Anxiety: Joan Mitchell’s Ladybug. [Video]. Retrieved from


Munch, E. (1999). We are flames which pour out of the earth: The private journals of Edvard Munch. (J. Gill Holland, trans.). The University of Wisconsin Press. (original work undated.)


Pollock, J. (1947-48). My painting. Possibilities, 1(1), 78-83.


Solomon, R. C. (2006). True to our feelings: What our emotions are really telling us. Oxford University Press.


The Van Gogh Museum. (n.d.). Van Gogh’s Self Portraits. Retrieved from


Tolstoy, L. (1900). What is Art? (A. Maude, trans.). Denis (original work published 1896). Retrieved from

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