what is authoritarianism?

Living in a winter nation I get to see a lot of Russia these days, that is; Russia as it likes to present itself through the Olympics. Living in a society praising equality, there are several things about  Russian leadership (as presented through media) which strikes me as rather odd… The Philosophers Mail claims that authoritarianism…

how to be alone

Some years ago I read Sara Maitland’s book A Book of Silence. It’s a beautiful book based on Maitland’s own experiences of living alone in the Scottish highland. Now she is out with a new book, in a way it’s a continuation of the first, but How to Be Alone is also an attempt to…

art as propaganda –

– on behalf of the good: Art is a living resource for our heart.   Mark Rothko: You’ve got sadness in you, I’ve got sadness in me – and my works of art are places where the two sadnesses can meet, and therefore both of us need to feel less sad. Richard Long: highly irregular…

having a vision

apropos the didactic – once again … I have read a short piece by Frank Furedi today. Not necessarily an antidote to de Botton’s art-therapy-project. But definitively a problematization of governmental utility thinking. Here are some thoughts to share from one of Furedi’s texts: There was a time when, as the Oxford English Dictionary stated, vision meant…

apropos the didactic

There should be no doubt, De Botton has a totally instrumentalist view of art, which many of us – especially artist I would believe, oppose. But it might first be necessary to amplify, it is not art, but the art world, that should be didactic: DE BOTTON: There are lots of attacks on the art world, from…

– to muddy pure and sacred waters

Last week I wrote 4 art reviews. Which meant little or no time for reading. Hopefully this week will give me some time to catch up. As stated before, I am as a critic (by the definition Alain de Botton and many others operates with) a part of the art establishment. I agree with this…

Art should be didactic –

Some may call this approach naïve, but I believe that art is more valuable to us than we are lead to believe. So a new approach should be given consideration: – and I must admit, do really love de Botton’s enthusiasm!

if art is to matter …

Continuing yesterday’s post – here is Alain De Botton, arguing for an instrumental use of art:  The idea that one might use art for a purpose, for “instrumental” reasons, tends to set off alarm bells. Art is not an instrument, comes the almost automatic reply. It shouldn’t be thought of as some kind of tool. It’s…

… art as therapy?!

What is art for? It’s a difficult question, a question we tend to ignore in the sphere of contemporary art and theory. We, the establishment, find it rather naïve to ask such a blunt question. We are sometimes very unsure of ourselves as artist (why am I doing this? Am I good enough?? etc.), but…

‘The question of what art is for has for too long been needlessly treated as obscure: it is to help us live and die.’   – Alain de Botton …