Saturday, October 22, 2016

British Perceptions...

...often vastly differ from American realities...
...especially once "de-contextualized" and "re-framed" :p

9 comments:

FreeThinke said...

WOW! I got a whole new perspective on Donna Brazile and what she's REALLY all about from seeing' her step out on that platform strumming' her GIT-tar and strutting her stuff! Now THAT is Donna's true milieu –– a place where we might even be able to LOVE her.

Incidentally, that graceful antique Windsor chair to the left of the picnic table stole the show. Now THAT is TRUE beauty!

FreeThinke said...

Enjoyed the Bluesman too, but for the life of me I can't begin to make a connection with "British perceptions are often vastly different from America realities –– especially when 'decontextualized' and 'reframed...'

Nearly every day, dear FL, you find new ways to remind me why I have earnestly prayed nearly every day since I first attended graduate school:

"Dear, Lord, please deliver us from those who deliberately choose to speak down to us in PEDAGUESE!"

-FJ said...

The two performances were in a British trainstation... and the performers used "electric" guitars. The "set" was obviously meant to represent a southern "American" town. To a Brit, these performances represent the "legacy" of American slavery, sans any "negativity", all "house" negro.

FreeThinke said...

If you say so, the "set" looked more like a typical Saturday morning Sidewalk Sale on Portobello Road to me. I've attended several such, and even have a small, chip-carved gate leg table I bought there for next-to-nothing, and then had shipped home at great expense. ;-). Besides I know furniture, and that Windsor Chair, I noted, is a typically English version of the genre.

At any rate the whole thing was pretty jolly, though hardly profound,

I liked Donna Brazile best. First time i could honestly say that about that bitch. };-D>

Thersites said...

I have often wondered from whence the "inspiration" for British artists like Clapton originated... and now, I think, I've "found" it. An "idealized" Amaerican "blues" culture.

convergentsum said...

American blues must have sounded exotic to a British teenager in the late '50s, but I think it would have resonated on its own terms without particularly needing to be placed in its home context. I've certainly never particularly associated it with any particular period of American history, although to me it was part of my childhood, so never felt exotic.
But neither do I bother to place eg. Vivaldi into some 18th century Venetian context -- I don't know anything about the period -- in order to sing his Gloria. Possibly it would improve my understanding of the work, or at least change it, but it isn't necessary.

-FJ said...

The "modern" era, beginning in the 1900s saw the emergence of "low culture" art forms, like the blues, and the sunset of "high culture" art forms, like Vivaldi. So "yes" context explains a LOT. The admixture of "Windsor chairs" with "wanted posters" and weathered shipping barrels points to this "confusion" of high and low cultures... and no "low cultures" has ever been as successful as the Greek, Roman and afterward British "inspired" American versions. The Irish variant was probably much too political for Tory tastes.

-FJ said...

from the WSJ...

In today’s art scene, the word “beauty” isn’t even part of the lexicon. Sincerity, formal rigor and cohesion, the quest for truth, the sacred and the transcendent—all of these ideals, once thought timeless, have been thrust aside to make room for the art world’s one totem, its alpha and omega: identity politics.

Now, identity has always been at the heart of culture. Who are we? What is our nature? How are we—as individuals and as groups—distinct from each other, from the animals, from the gods or God? But identity politics cares little for such open-ended questions. Its adherents think they already have all the answers, a set of all-purpose formulas that tell you who’s right and who’s wrong at a particular intersection of identity, power and privilege.

Contemporary art is obsessed with articulating those formulas in novel ways. If you ever find yourself wondering why nothing stirs inside you when you encounter contemporary art, chances are you’re suffering the effects of the relentless politicization of the arts. Every form and genre—whether high or low, or whether in the visual, literary or performing arts—is now obsessed with the politics of race, gender and sexuality.

This summer I spent a few weeks attending as many plays, exhibit openings, gallery talks and screenings as I could find in London. Every single one had something to do with identity politics.

Start with theater. At the Globe, built near the site of the original theater cofounded by Shakespeare, new artistic director Emma Rice is rewriting the Bard to fit her trendy politics. Among her rules: All productions must feature 50-50 sex parity among actors, regardless of the ramifications for narrative and meaning. “It’s the next stage for feminism and it’s the next stage for society to smash down the pillars that are against us,” Ms. Rice said in a recent interview.


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This state of affairs should alarm anyone who cares about the future of liberal civilization. Free societies need art that aspires to timeless ideals like truth and beauty, and that grapples with the transcendent things about what it means to be human. Such art allows us to relate to each other across identitarian differences and share a cultural commonwealth. When all culture is reduced to group identity and grievance, tyranny is around the corner.

-FJ said...

The struggle (Battle of the Books) is eternal...