Max Liljefors



I have recently begun a project with the title Art and Transformation.

Its purpose is to deepen the understanding of an existential side of our relation to art: how art creates inner transformation in the beholder and/or the artist. It can be aesthetic experiences that radically alter one’s relation to the world, or the ”transfiguration of the commonplace” (Arthur Danto), which is central to the institutional theory of art, or yet other ways in which the ego-world relation is transformed through art or the aesthetic. The concept ”unselfing”, when ”the walls of the ego fall”, coined by the philosopher and author Iris Murdoch, is important to the project.

My other research covers foremost three areas. 

The first is ”visual historiography”, how historical consciousness is shaped by and expressed in art and visual culture. 

The second is how images of the bodily interior, from anatomy to biomedicine, express and influence ideas about the human as biological organism, existential being and societal creature.

The third area is performativity and creativity, particularly in the intersection between art and the law.

My research is driven by a fascination for how humans create meaning by beholding and depicting the world in various ways. But also how the material world partly resists man’s attempt to understand it – the gap between meaning and matter, name and body. I have had several transdisciplinary collaborations with historians, ethnologists, legal scholars, and bioscientists. 

Recent research outputs

Max Liljefors 2016 Historiens hemvist: Vol. 3. Minne, medier och materialitet. Hegardt, J. & Lundemo, T. (eds.). Stockholm: Makadam förlag, p. 299-327 29 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Max Liljefors 2016 Global Bodies in Gray Zones: Health, Hope, Biotechnology. Lundin, S., Petersen, M. N., Kroløkke, C. & Muller, E. (eds.). Stellenbosch: Sun Media Stellenbosch, p. 139-163 25 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Max Liljefors & Lila Lee-Morrison 2015 Socioaesthetics. Ambience – Imaginary. Anders, M. & Frederik, T. (eds.). Brill Academic Publishers, Vol. 19, p. 53-72

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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