Tag Archives: art

Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and American gun culture

A recent article on Yahoo addresses an interview with Miley Cyrus in which she expressed the view that she is often labelled a bad role model while, by contrast, the pop star with the squeaky clean image, Taylor Swift, is seen as the good role model. This divergence, she argued, hides double standards, more particularly…

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Time for a truce between Art and the Public

Is a truce needed between art and the public? Art is often criticised for being elitist, a “luxury” enjoyed by collectors, art aficionados and the bourgeoisie. Art is perceived to have some quality, some distinction that prevents it from pleasing mass palates. There is some truth to this view when one thinks of commercial art…

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Florence, Siena and the ‘space of flows’

We are in Florence for a conference, in what is to my mind the most enchanting part of Italy, namely Tuscany. Because I have always been interested in art and architecture, and in principle we don’t take taxis, but walk everywhere we go, we have already seen the most beautiful buildings and urban landscapes, framed…

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‘Art is for everyone, because art is in everyone’

One of the beautiful things about a big city is its simple ability to give audience to the things that are happening in the wider world of the rest of the country. And so it was that I attended a book launch about an art gallery in the Northern Cape that was doing unusual and…

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The charm of Vienna cannot obliterate the abjection of SA

The conference that my partner and I are attending was supposed to be a welcome opportunity to visit the city of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Strauss, to mention only some of the greatest composers in the western musical canon. And then I haven’t even scratched the surface of Viennese artists and architects of various…

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Education, class differences and equality: Bourdieu and Rancière

Does the fact that children go to different schools, and that some go to college, while others attend university, have anything to do with the ostensibly irremediable class structure of societies? One’s intuitive response is likely to be in the affirmative, and it has been “scientifically” confirmed by none other than the famous French sociologist…

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Nietzsche, Heidegger and creativity

In the course of preparing for a doctoral seminar on Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger, I was struck, once again, by the creative thinking on the part of these epoch-making figures, as well as its implications for creativity. Freud’s creativity is evident, to mention only one thing, in the fact that, as far…

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Ray-Ban, Sea Point, you didn’t make nice, man

By Charlotte Johnson I work in public art. I take public art personally. I also believe in its relevance and importance in shaping our cities. And so, I cannot muffle the offence that Perceived Freedom has caused me. And many others, for a number of different reasons. Firstly, public art costs money. A fair amount…

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Brett Bailey’s human zoo and discourse bunfight

Brett Bailey, an award-winning South African theatre director and artist, thought it would be a brilliant idea to recreate a painful period of colonial history by reconstructing what turns out to be a human zoo as a traveling art installation. In his mind this was going to be a smart aesthetic reminder to the world…

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Tanya Poole and the paradox of ‘being-human’

The psychologist William James, brother of Henry James, the well-known novelist, once exhorted people to “Begin to be now what you will be hereafter”. In similar vein, Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed that one should “Become who you are” — a formulation that drives the paradox of being-human home even more clearly than James’s words. At least,…

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