The Aesthetics of Taste: Eating within the Realm of Art


When does eating become art? The Aesthetics of Taste answers this question by exploring the position of taste in contemporary culture and the manner in which taste meanders its way into the realm of art. The argument identifies aesthetic values not only in artistic practices, where they are naturally expected, but also in the spaces of everydayness that seem far removed from the domain of fine arts. As such, it seeks to grasp what artists – who offer aesthetic as well as culinary experiences – actually try to communicate, while also pondering whether a cook can be an artist.
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Dorota Koczanowicz is Professor and Head of Cultural Studies at the University of Wroclaw. She has published widely on aesthetics, gender, contemporary art, and culinary culture, including books and articles in Performance Research, Pragmatism Today, and The Monist.
List of Figures


1The Antinomies of Taste
 1 The Judgments of Taste: David Hume

 2 Beauty: between the Subjective and the Universally Accepted

 3 Eat/Know: Kant and Brillat-Savarin

 4 Aesthetic Taste and Physiological Taste

 5 The Nature of Physiological Taste

 6 Eating as a Social Activity

 7 Appetite, Reason, and Health

 8 Sociability

2Taste and Its Value: Cultural Hierarchies
 1 Foods and Cooking Techniques

 2 Popular and Erudite Cuisines

 3 The Senses

 4 The Senses and Gender

 5 Towards Integration

 6 Art and Life

3Culinary Experience: a Pragmatist Perspective
 1 Teaching by Cooking

 2 The Rhythms of Life and Art

 3 The Experience of Art

 4 Educating Taste

 5 An Experience

 6 A Culinary Experience

 7 Characteristics of Experience

 8 Food as Art

4Somaesthetics and the Art of Eating
 1 Ambitions and Temptations

 2 Somaesthetics as an Art of Living

 3 The Art of Eating

 4 Body Memory

5The Kitchen: a World Next Door
 1 The Female Cook

 2 Martha Rosler: the Kitchen as the Prison of the Soul

 3 Elżbieta Jabłońska: the Impossible Kitchen

 4 Mierle Laderman Ukeles: the Art of Everyday Maintenance

 5 Marina Abramović: the Holy Cook

 6 The Women’s Place

 7 The Laboratory

 8 From Oppression to Terror: the Gastronomical Mother

 9 Coda

6Community around the Table
 1 Conversations at the Table

 2 Taste and Difference

 3 Community in the Making

 4 Impossible Community

 5 Designing Community

 6 Bridging the Gaps

7The Taste of Authenticity
 1 Out of the Comfort Zone

 2 Food Tourism

 3 Authenticity as a Commodity

 4 Immersion

 5 Returning Home

 6 Appropriation

 7 Avoiding Authenticity

 1 Débris of the Meal

 2 Tensions

 3 Zoe en Stasei

 4 Commentary on Life

 5 The Restaurant

 6 Consummation

 1 The Diffusion of Beauty

 2 The New Sensorium



The book is an interdisciplinary study that will be of interest to researchers and students in philosophy, food studies, art, sociology, anthropology, culinary art, and cultural studies. While meeting all the rigorous standards of research writing, the book’s narrative is framed in a popular style, so this volume will appeal to anyone interested in the intersection of food, art, and culture, including food writers, bloggers and foodies.
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