March 2013

The Serpent Spent

Earlier ages were better at pictorial depictions of evil because they believed in its existence. Our own therapeutic society prefers to think of evil as an outmoded concept that gives way to material and psychological explanations. A strain of received wisdom has it that the concept of sin is as outmoded as phrenology. Wickedness, properly understood, is an antique construction, a bit of by-gone make-believe. Or so our psychologized, adjustment-crazed culture would have us think. Were he alive today, Albrecht Durer would be hard put to imagine the 7-headed Beast of the Apocalypse. Continue Reading
"Performativity of Gender" on Show

We tend to think that the drive to abolish distinctions between the sexes is a relatively recent phenomenon. Asked to date its beginnngs, most of us would likely pick the 1970s, coinciding with the first undergraduate gay and lesbian studies classes at UC Berkeley. But no. The impulse goes back further. It was championed by the British Marxist Christopher St. John Sprigg, writing under the pseudonym Christopher Caudwell. In the 1930s, he defended a vision of advanced society’s ultimate freedom from biological necessity. Continue Reading
CAPC Museé (Cont'd)

Guide books recommend the cafe at Bordeaux’s CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art. That is as it should be. Every asparagus soup radical expects a good lunch. Gathered for Think . . . And See , they will want more to eat than attitude . Monika Droste and Guy Rombouts. Language as Border (1992). Permanent collection of CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain Of the nine participants in this series of speakers, eight out of nine are listed as philosophers. When an art museum sponsors a program that looks like a plenary session of the International Society for Philosophers, you know that ideology, not art making, is the purpose at hand. Continue Reading