To make an aesthetic judgment

Further musings on Fear & Anxiety  The other day, while stumbling around in my research on anxiety & fear, I came across Sianne Ngai. Her studies of (& writings on) minor feelings is absolutely great! Her thoughts are very provocative to me as an art critic (that is to me as a person trying to make…

Sophistication?!

The mellifluous, impenetrable language of theory is often thought of as a sign of sophistication. But it can just as well serve as a way of covering over underlying inconsistency or lack of substance. It all depends on how it is being used … And I must admit, I’m not very happy with the way…

Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life

Being sceptical to psychoanalysis as a therapeutic method in cases of severe mental illness, I still believe that psychoanalytical theory has a lot to offer the fields of arts and humanities. One of the most interesting contemporary writers in this field is the British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips. Here is from his book “Missing Out: In…

Notes on the craft of poetry

Further notes on The best american poetics Mark Strand says: I believe that all poetry is formal in that it exists within limits, limits that are either inherited by tradition or limits that language itself imposes. Form it should be remembered is a word that has several meanings, some which are near opposites. form has to…

Ugly???

What is ugly? Who is ugly? Is ugliness at all a word, a description, a kind of characterization one can use? Copyright© Iiu Susiraja I am working on a short text about the Finnish artist Iiu Susiraja. Susiraja is a photographer using her own body as subject and motif. What is most striking about Susiraja’s appearance, is…

in Bergen

– spending my morning mulling over: Musée des Beaux Arts by W.H. Auden About suffering they were never wrong, The Old Masters: how well they understood Its human position; how it takes place While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along; How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting…

ART as EXPERIENCE

Me, tangled up in art Last weekend I went to see Tomás Saraceno: 14 Billions (Working Title), on show in SKMU. Saraceno’s use of science, and his way of combining science and art, in all his projects, is very impressive. He works together with biologists, engineers, mathematicians etc. to develop his ideas and put them into aesthetic forms, forms which…

Existence itself is nothing if not an amazement

I’m reading Ten Windows by Jane Hirshfield. It’s a great book, a book to read slowly, to partake in. And it is a text very relevant to my ongoing investigation in the uses of art – listen to this: Poïesis as making A work of art is not a piece of fruit lifted from a branch:…

enchantment

This post made me want to take a closer look at Rita Felski’s book Uses of Literature (2008). Felski’s intention is to bridge the gap between literary theory and common-sense beliefs about why we read literature. Uses of Literature deals with four key elements of the reading experience: recognition, enchantment, knowledge, and shock. These four recall, as she…