the anti-aesthetic

It is held by some that photography grounds the anti-aesthetic argument. This argument in postmodernism was directed at the idea of medium specificity as a market of artistic value held was a central assumption of American modernist aesthetics (eg., Clement Greenberg).  The unique specificity of each artistic medium was used to justify the supposed evolution of modern art from figuration to abstraction; an art that was anithetical to the kisch of  of commercial culture. 

The anti-aesthetic argument is held by Pierre Bourdieu in Photography: A Middle -Brow Art (1965), where he stated  that there is no aesthetics in photography. It merely borrows aesthetic notions such as self-expressiveness, originality, singularity etc  from the other arts.

The anti-aesthetic position, aimed to displace a formalist  modernism that reduced aesthetics to questions of the autonomy of art, beauty, essentialism, artistic genius and visual pleasure. As defended by Clement  Greenberg and Michael Fried  this form of modernism held that each art aimed to project and investigate the literal properties of its own support.   

In her essay, A Note on Photography and  the Simulacral, Rosalind Krauss held that all art must accept its transformation by photography, which is to say that art foregoes its traditional aesthetic critieria.

One  assumption of the anti aesthetic position is that photography is a simple representation of reality. However, photography is a multiplicity that has always been contingent on strategies, materialism,  readings, uses and assemblages of multiple and contradictory discourses and powers.