Contra o Juízo: Benjamin e a tarefa da crítica de arte como tradução

Translated title of the contribution: Against Judgment: Benjamin and the task of art criticism as translation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The tension between positive and negative notions of critique - typically associated with art criticism and the critique of ideology - marks the work of Benjamin throughout his career. Also, its clarification is crucial to understand the way in which the German philosopher and critic approaches the relationship between art and politics with regard to the debate about the avant-garde. At one with such a clarification, the present article attempts to bring closer the ideas of "art criticism" and "translation" - drawing on Benjamin's "The task of the translator" - with the aim of shedding light on the irreducibility of the art critic's task to its judgemental and hermeneutic dimensions. The sense and relevance of such a focus becomes clearer in the light of the paradox of translatability. According to Benjamin, a work is all the more translatable, the more it proves to be hard to translate (i.e., the more it forces the translator to expand the target language in order to render the "the way of meaning" of the original). In this light, to claim that the task of the translator enlightens that of the critic is tantamount to stressing two points: firstly, that it is up to the critic to unfold, in a positive way, the object criticized, without relying on any knowledge that would entitle her/him to rectify the artist or guide the spectator; secondly, that he/she should focus on the negative elements of the work, those whose irreducibility to interpretation make it at once capable and worthy of criticism.
Translated title of the contributionAgainst Judgment: Benjamin and the task of art criticism as translation
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalCadernos Benjaminianos
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Against Judgment: Benjamin and the task of art criticism as translation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this