All 5 entries tagged Cultural Theory Forum

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April 13, 2005

Modernism? Marcel Duchamp's Fountain

"Try not to understand and to show that you haven't understood"

Regarded as one of the most avant-garde modernists, often associated with the Dada movement, Duchamp is considered a forerunner of the postmodern aesthetic. This particular ready-made challenged the understanding of the role of the artists and the institution of galleries.

February 26, 2005

Modernism: Rimbaud, "Ville" in Illuminations

*Ville *

Je suis un éphémère et point trop mécontent citoyen d'une métropole crue moderne parce que tout goût connu a été éludé dans les ameublements et l'extérieur des maisons aussi bien que dans le plan de la ville. Ici vous ne signaleriez les traces d'aucun monument de superstition. La morale et la langue sont réduites à leur plus simple expression, enfin ! Ces millions de gens qui n'ont pas besoin de se connaître amènent si pareillement l'éducation, le métier et la vieillesse, que ce cours de vie doit être plusieurs fois moins long que ce qu'une statistique folle trouve pour les peuples du continent. Aussi comme, de ma fenêtre, je vois des spectres nouveaux roulant à travers l'épaisse et éternelle fumée de charbon, – notre ombre des bois, notre nuit d'été ! – des Erinnyes nouvelles, devant mon cottage qui est ma patrie et tout mon cœur puisque tout ici ressemble à ceci, – la Mort sans pleurs, notre active fille et servante, et un Amour désespéré, et un joli Crime piaulant dans la boue de la rue.

Illuminations, 1875


I am an ephemeral and by no means over-discontented citizen of a metropolis considered to be modern because all recognised sense of taste has been avoided in the furnishings and the exteriors of its houses as well as in the city planning. You will find no trace here of any monument to superstitious belief. In short, morals and language have been reduced to their simplest form of expression! The millions of people who have no need to know one another conduct their education, their work and their old age in such a uniform manner that their life-span must be several times shorter than the one that an insane set of statistics attributes to people on the continent. And so it is that, from my window, I can see new spectres rolling through the dense and endless coal smoke, – our woodland shade, our summer night – modern Erinnyes, in front of this cottage which is my homeland and my whole heart since everything looks like this, – dry-eyed Death, our diligent daughter and servant, a hopeless Love, and a nice little Crime whimpering away in the filth of the street.

January 11, 2005


Writing about web page

The seminar will examine the claims of the Romantic artists, with particular reference to the English context. Close attention will be paid to seminal essays by Wordsworth and Shelley, and key themes explored. These include: the artist as autonomous genius; the moral power of the imagination; the opposition to industrialism; the critique of popular culture; and hostility towards the public.


Writing about web page

The course will begin with an exploration of Schiller's idea of art as an agent of cultural restoration, with particular reference to the Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man. Specific attention will be paid to the two central themes of the treatise – the relationship of art to politics, and of insight to action. Schiller's debt to Rousseau will be acknowledged, and his intellectual legacy examined.

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