Art as Obscenity

powerful and thought provoking stuff Peter, as we all hurtle towards whatever crises are next for the human race, mostly blithely unaware…


Kiefer, Man under a pyramid 1996

[Image: Anselm Kiefer, Man under a Pyramid, 1996]

Art as Obscenity

Frankfurt School philosopher T.W. Adorno’s notorious dictum about poetry no longer being possible after Auschwitz has been much puzzled over and/or misunderstood, especially within the Anglo-American cultural context.

This context is of course historically explicable. Anglo-Americans won the war. The losers tend to have a different perspective. For them, the victors, drunk with victory, tend to take longer to grow up. They lack seriousness. Even as they say how terrible war is, they continue to think that wars can solve issues. Even as they say they are peaceniks who hate war, they continue to encourage their children to wave flags, march, believe in war mythologies (e.g. Gallipoli) and idolize the military. Their war museums are hallowed shrines rather than democratic institutions of education about the masters that declare wars and the economic and imperial interests they usually serve.


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