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Category Archive for 'Art and Politics'

Pilgrim Art

ShareMortals that would follow me,
Love Virtue, she alone is free;
She can teach ye how to clime
Higher than the Spheary chime.
John Milton, “Lydidas”
What do you mean, “Pilgrim art”? There wasn’t any.
Precisely. There was none as we moderns understand it: a product of leisure and affluence enjoyed largely by spectators. The concept had no hold on their [...]

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ShareThe trouble is that modern art in various ways abandoned imitation, representation, naturalism, and it now has to make out a case for its products’ still being truth. This is where science certain aspects of science are seized upon, assimilated, or sometimes simply plagiarized in decorative words, so as to bolster up art’s claim to [...]

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ShareBeauty will save the world—a mantra among contemporary Christians issuing from the mouth of a character in nineteenth century Russian fiction.

Augustine’s Beauty has already saved the world. Our ransom has been paid. What matters now is whether the world cooperates with its redemption or flouts it. History will tell in the end. The arts of [...]

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ShareIdentity politics, a cancer on the body politic, is corrosive in the arts as well. All the more disconcerting, then, to find Christian artists recycling a self-indulgent pose similar to that used earlier by gay, black and women artists. Last week’s On the Square
column about Fuller Seminary’s Art Immersion project laments “the difficulty of being [...]

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ShareGlancing quickly, I misinterpreted the opening lines of a recent bulletin from Sandro Magister’s Chiesa . My eye fell on a reference to the Venice Biennale and, at the same time, on a thumbnail image of a contemporary chapel. At once devotional and festive, it looked to be a lovely ensemble. My immediate impression was that [...]

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ShareFor connoisseurs of civilizational decline, the delights keep accumulating. Contemporary art is especially generous in building the case that Spengler had it right. If only he had been an art critic. The ignorance and terminal vulgarity of what passes—still—for feminist art disqualifies most of its practitioners from any claim on civilized attention.

Newly arrived is a [...]

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SharePolitical mythology is a more significant player than art itself in shaping a culture’s mentality. Commemorating 9/ll by means of children’s artwork sentimentalizes the event and allows us to avoid calling the events of that day acts of war. 9/11: Through Young Eyes severs its subject from the only thing by which it can be [...]

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ShareJUDGING FROM EMAIL RESPONSES, the accidental cross-shaped form left standing at Ground Zero rouses great ire. All my mail has been sympathetic to the lawsuit against it on the grounds that the cross is not a secular symbol. (I never said it was. I said it resonated beyond sectarian distinctions. Quite a different thought.) It [...]

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ShareATHEISTS ADMIT THAT ATHEISM IS A BELIEF SYSTEM. It is about time. Atheism is as much a faith-based system as any God-centered religion. The existence of God can neither be proven nor unproven, no matter all the effort expended on debate. Unbelievers assert their own beliefs as ardently as any church-goer.
That is the single, dominant [...]

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ShareRandy Pausch gave good advice to his computer science students at Carnegie Mellon: When you know you are in pissing contest it, get out of it as fast as you can. So in the Pauschian spirit, I offer this delicious cartoon, sent by Mr. Eyeballs as both a free gift and a chastisement.

The previous [...]

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