On Misapplications of Discourse: Response to Jon Sakata (Taney Roniger)

In an earlier post, Jon Sakata asks: "Is there an analog in the visual arts to what I feel is a fundamental misapplication in musical discourse (particularly around Euro-American "classical" music) in which the very musics that are valorized, beloved as representations of "humanity" -- such distinctly different composers as Hildegard, J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms come to mind -- are precisely those that de-centered the 'human' and/or fundamentally situated the 'human' within other registers of cosmic/planetary existence?" 

In considering how humanism has inflected our inherited assumptions about art, this strikes me as a particularly generative question. Have there been similar misreadings or misprisions in the visual arts that would suggest such a discrepancy between actual art and the discourse surrounding it? And perhaps Jon could say more about the influence of humanist assumptions on the field of music as a whole?

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