The article examines the fact that from the 1960s onwards, artistic production left behind the paradigm of critique. If prior to this, an artwork was still able to establish an “appropriate distance” (Walter Benjamin) to the socio-political context of its production and the ideology within it, then in the 1960s a transformation occurs in the functioning of ideology: it becomes reflexive and self-ironic. This means that the potential of the form of critique and the power of generating critical effects through the artistic form reach their point of exhaustion. Safatle presents this development and the problems it produces by addressing the musical works and compositional techniques of Schoenberg, Boulez, Stravinsky, Adas, and Adés. He demonstrates why a new understanding of critique can only lie in a new understanding of the form that implies a flirtation of the form with the shapeless.