Browsing Category: Uncategorized

  • Book: Mimesis: culture – art – society by Gunter Gebauer and Christoph Wulf

    Whereas the word has its ancient Greek roots in ‘mime’ and is related to ‘mimicry’, mimesis is not mere imitation. As this book shows, there is enough meaning in the term to have kept philosophers chewing it over for the last two millennia. But the discussion remains vital because the stakes are high. Facts, Gebauer …

    March 29, 2021
  • Who are we to judge?

    I always wanted to be a reviewer, but I don’t really like to sit in judgement. Just consider Gregg Wallace, about whom more later. Why do people read reviews? The answer, via Pierre Bourdieu, may be this: so they can gain cultural capital, a form of currency by which the dominant classes manage to confirm …

    October 2, 2020
  • Be a rambler

    In the late 90s, Diesel ran an ad campaign promoting tourism. It was the age of cultural missions in advertising, and the fashion brand encouraged you to “Be a tourist”. Diesel’s target audience were taking gap years and backpacking in the Far East with a dog eared copy of Alex Garland’s 1996 novel The Beach. …

    July 31, 2020
  • Why is the Indian government locking up students?

    For the last two and a half years I’ve been pursuing a PhD in Art History at the University of Sussex. In the last month, the fate of another Sussex alumni, Devangana Kalita, and several other students in India, has come to my notice, hence this blog post. Student protest: it’s a welcome phenomena. Students …

    June 22, 2020
  • Back to the future in Liverpool

    Liverpool doesn’t have a prehistoric cave, but it does have a historic Cavern. So it might prove not too much of a distraction from writing on paleolithic art. Beyond the Beatles heritage trail and the football, it had become a centre for visual arts in the UK. It is also, one might argue, a marker for …

    September 11, 2019
  • Visiting Lascaux II

    [author’s photo] In my last post I promised to note the lighting arrangements in Lascaux II. Well, I went to inspect them today, and, as it happens, I was not disappointed. The tour began with a couple of gloomy exhibition spaces. But already it was clear that the cave’s original replica (indeed, ‘original replica’) was …

    July 24, 2019
  • How authentic is cave painting?

    I have been reading a correspondence between Spanish academic José Díaz Cuyás and Dean MacCannell. MacCannell is a former soixante-huitard who lost faith in a 1960s style Revolution. But as he observes, some fifty years later: “‘The revolution’ and especially the romantic figure of the revolutionary is a myth that effectively disables the left today.” …

    July 11, 2019
  • How French is Lascaux?

    In a hypothetical word association game, I predict that food, the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa would all get a mention long before Lascaux. The cave at Montignac seems French only insofar as a specimen of moon rock appears to be American. Today I was reading about the heritage industry and wondering just who …

    June 27, 2019
  • General Data Protection Regulation: GDPR

    Just a note to prompt you to unsubscribe if you no longer want to get updates from my site. I cannot ask you to opt in because my subscriber list is lost in the ether somewhere. I genuinely can’t find it. Apologies…

    May 22, 2018