Arts & Culture

Mythos review – the Greek myths get the Stephen Fry treatment

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Fry’s retellings have stiff competition, are limited in selection and sometimes appear to be set in North London Edith Hall But they have real charm The Guardian Ever since William Godwin persuaded Charles Lamb to retell The Odyssey as a novel for younger readers in The Adventures of Ulysses (1808), the myths of ancient Greece have been retold in contemporary prose by every generation. Most of these retellings were originally poetry – the epics of Hesiod, Homer and the philhellene Latin poet Ovid, the ... Read More »

New York Gallerists Counter Art-World Elitism by Showing Every Work They’re Sent

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The premise of the open call was simple: Any person, regardless of age, training, or reputation could submit an artwork and every submission received would be included in the show. Ariela Gittlen Artsy The only restriction specified was that the work must fit into a 16-by-20-inch envelope. Curator Jamie Sterns and gallery founder Andrew Edlin dubbed the experiment “Et Tu, Art Brute?” They announced that submissions were open, and waited, not really knowing what to expect. “We were saying if ... Read More »

RIP Edward Herman, Who Co-Wrote a Book That’s Now More Important Than Ever

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Edward Herman, the co-author (with Noam Chomsky) of Manufacturing Consent, has died. By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone He was 92. rsn His work has never been more relevant. Manufacturing Consent was a kind of bible of media criticism for a generation of dissident thinkers. The book described with great clarity how the system of private commercial media in America cooperates with state power to generate propaganda. Herman’s work was difficult for many to understand because the nature of the American media, then ... Read More »

Leonardo da Vinci Painting Sells for $450.3 Million, Shattering Auction Highs

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After 19 minutes of dueling, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold on Wednesday night for $450.3 million with fees, shattering the high for any work of art sold at auction. By ROBIN POGREBIN and SCOTT REYBURN The New York Times It far surpassed Picasso’s “Women of Algiers,” which fetched $179.4 million at Christie’s in May 2015. The buyer was not immediately disclosed. There were gasps throughout the sale, as the bids climbed ... Read More »

Message to the gods: the space poetry that transcends human rivalries

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Sputnik 1 started it all. The beachball-sized satellite was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957 and, despite a relatively short mission of only 21 days in orbit around Earth, quickly became regarded as a device that changed the world. Phil Leonard The Conversation It represented the beginning of the Space Age – and immediately heightened tensions between the US and the USSR, prompting fears about the weaponising of space. But Sputnik, and the missions that were to ... Read More »

‘A way of healing’: Art and memory in Latin America

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More than 20 years have passed since the civil war ended in Guatemala and Chile returned to democracy, but the impact of extreme state violence is still keenly felt. BBC As part of a BBC radio series on protest art in Latin America, Louise Morris travelled to both countries and asked if there was a role for art both to demand justice and collectively memorialise those lost. A woman sits centre stage reading aloud. At regular intervals a dentist enters ... Read More »

Photos of the New Futuristic Library in China with 1.2 Million Books

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China recently opened a new futuristic library that contains a staggering 1.2 million books Michael Zhang If you enjoy architectural photography, Dutch photographer Ossip van Duivenbode‘s images of the library will be a feast for your eyes. PetaPilexThe new Tianjin Binhai Library in Tianjin, China, was designed by the Dutch architectural firm MVRDV to look like a giant eye. The five-story, 360,000-square-foot library features shelves spanning from the floor to ceiling — many of the shelves double as stairs and seats in the ... Read More »

The Cyprus problem, Turkey and Socrates on justice

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In Book 1, of Plato’s famous dialogue The Republic, Thrasymachus, one of Socrates’ interlocutors, states that justice is that which serves the interests of the strongest so that what is right is always determined by might. <style type=”text/css”> .wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }</style> Dr Edward H Spence * Cyprus Mail Socrates refutes Thrasymachus’ notion of justice by simply arguing that justice as a virtue cannot be what serves the interests of the strongest as those interests might result in vice ... Read More »

A Grasshopper Has Been Stuck in This van Gogh Painting for 128 Years

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More than a century ago, a grasshopper found its way to art immortality. Sopan Deb The insect was discovered embedded in Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 painting “Olive Trees” by an official at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., the museum announced Monday. The New York Times As part of a research project to examine 104 paintings, Mary Schafer, the museum’s paintings conservator, noticed under magnification that there was an insect in the “lower foreground of the landscape” of “Olive ... Read More »

Plan D: Is Metamodernism the Answer to Postmodernism?

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Can Metamodernism, based in the exchange and continual revision of ideas, offer an alternative to the cultural problems of postmodernism and relativism? Dan Fisher ConatusNews Previous articles have discussed the negative tendencies exhibited by the modern left and some of the reasons why we need a new left. Now it’s time to reflect on more positive elements, a viable alternative to the problematic postmodernism. Many see such a solution in the philosophy of Metamodernism. In recent years there has been a small but ... Read More »

Why we need a better philosophy of trees

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On November 6 1217, Henry III’s Charter of the Forest gave ordinary English people back their traditional rights to use royal hunting grounds for livestock grazing and collecting firewood. Tristan Moyle The Conversation The freedoms that were restored in the use of ancient woodland reshaped the community’s legal and political relationship with nature. But, today, this relationship has broken down. Only 2% of the UK’s ancient woodland survives; over half has been destroyed since the 1930s. Only 13% of the ... Read More »

Aboriginal Women Artists and Their Visions of Infinity

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These paintings, filled with traditional abstract Aboriginal iconography denoting nature, spirits, and a way of life that has been passed down for generations, are a wonder. Bansie Vasvani  Hyperallergic NEW ORLEANS — Despite the million-dollar auction price for works by Aboriginal Australian artists in 2007, the controversy about whether or not Australian Aboriginal art should be included in the Western canon hasn’t been entirely resolved. From the initial furor in the 1990s about its merit beyond the status as folk ... Read More »

Fremantle’s High Tide festival: wonder and illusion as artists turn streets into stages

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Fremantle proudly proclaims itself a “city for artists”, and while that has been a somewhat hollow boast in recent years, there is evidence of its former cultural vibrancy returning. Ted Snell The Conversation The Fremantle Arts Centre, ArtSource and Spare Parts Puppet Theatre have held the fort while other venues and organisations have collapsed into the back hole of Australia Council funding cuts, but the opening of the High Tide festival of site-responsive art raises hopes for a return to ... Read More »

What Chinese philosophers can teach us about dealing with our own grief

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November 2 is All Souls’ Day, when many Christians honor the dead. As much as we all know about the inevitability of death, we are often unable to deal with the loss of a loved one. Alexus McLeod Our modern-day worldview could also make us believe that loss is something we should be able to quickly get over, to move on with our lives. The Conversation Many of us see grieving as a kind of impediment to our ability to ... Read More »

Western philosophy is racist

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Academic philosophy in ‘the West’ ignores and disdains the thought traditions of China, India and Africa. This must change Bryan W Van Norden  Aeon Essays Mainstream philosophy in the so-called West is narrow-minded, unimaginative, and even xenophobic. I know I am levelling a serious charge. But how else can we explain the fact that the rich philosophical traditions of China, India, Africa, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are completely ignored by almost all philosophy departments in both Europe ... Read More »

Oxfam urges Australian fashion brands to end worker exploitation

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The Bangladeshi factory worker who may well have made your t-shirt could be earning as little as 39 cents an hour Sarah Farnsworth  That is the sobering message coming from non-for-profit organisation Oxfam Australia’s “What She Makes” report released today. ABC Deloitte Access Economics was engaged by Oxfam to analyse Australia’s garment supply chain and work out what proportion of the cost of a garment ends up in the pocket of the person who made it. It found in the ... Read More »