Tag Archives: history

Consensus

Today the avant-garde – which wanted to release all the creative energies bound up in specialized art and let them loose into everyday life – is a huge institution, with prizes for young artists, awards, museum shows everywhere, catalogs, books … Continue reading

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Dissipation

Here’s a photo of the picture essay in The Sunday Times that I mentioned in the last post. It’s not online, that I know, but a number of blogs have commented on it, so it must have been striking to … Continue reading

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Out of Control

Recently I saw a remarkable four page spread of photos in the Sunday Times of the turmoil in Kiev. Part of their effect was owing to their size, somewhat larger than the usual newspaper photo, but they were also intensely … Continue reading

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Technology and Civilization

For a couple of centuries now the rhetoric of technical innovation has been pretty consistent. Apparently technology has revolutionized all of life and transformed evolution itself. The first question is whether any single local improvement in the way we do … Continue reading

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Animals All

Following on from the preceding post, here’s another few words from Adorno that fit well, this time from his unfinished book on Beethoven: “What I find so suspect in Kantian ethics is the ‘dignity’ which they attribute to man in … Continue reading

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Real history

Robert Motherwell, in his Elegy series, alluded to a history that had some meaning to his viewers, even if few had had direct contact with it. They might remember their own experiences of WWII, and reflect that the subversion of … Continue reading

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What We Are

Jennifer McMackon drew my attention to a conversation with Bob Hullot-Kentor in the Brooklyn Rail, from which I take this quote: “…in the Christian view, which includes Hegel’s triune concept, the highest becomes the lowest so that the lowest can … Continue reading

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Perennially New

An article of 1989 by Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, called “The Current State of Nonrepresentation,” proves that certain ideas might seem fresh, but are hardly new: “…the task of nonrepresentation [is], typically, one which involves seeing a thing which is, for once, … Continue reading

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Pessimism About Growth

I’ve been reading a book by Jeff Rubin called The End of Growth. I’m not sure that artists should celebrate the emergence of a steady state economy, and also not sure that predictions about the same are accurate. The merit … Continue reading

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Journalism

To see how the concept of the demonic might be helpful to artists, one might contemplate certain categories that are current in art writing, such as “abstract expressionism” or “minimalism.” Close examination of the work involved is always enough to … Continue reading

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History as backstory

I’m a little out of touch with art in Vancouver since I left, but I know that Mark Soo is one of the more visible younger artists to have emerged in the last few years. Just got a press release … Continue reading

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Title as hook

A criticism of Terry Atkinson’s work, and its titles, would start by observing that the object is devalued by being wrapped in a fog of words. Modernist attention to the object is not an avoidance of history, or at least … Continue reading

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