Posts in Art
What can we recover from medieval contemplative culture?

Earlier this week, my girlfriend and I toured around Yorkshire and Northumberland, once the stronghold of English medieval monasticism. We visited the beautiful ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, which once boasted the biggest church in England. As we wandered around the ruins, I wondered what we lost, when Henry VIII dissolved more than 1000 monasteries in five years.

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David Lynch and the art of trance

I was obsessed with Twin Peaks when it was first shown in 1990. We all were. Every Sunday after lunch at boarding school, we piled in to the TV room, pushed in the VHS cassette of that week’s episode, waited for the first note of Angelo Badalamenti’s tremolo guitar to sound next to the opening shot of the wren, and that was it, we were in heaven.

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What Act of Killing tells us about our powers of self-denial

Imagine if the Nazi regime was still in power - perhaps with the leadership changed, perhaps slightly less murderous and more pragmatic - but with no reconciliation or recognition of former crimes. Imagine if the Holocaust was celebrated, with aging veterans of Auschwitz wheeled out for public adulation, to show their medals and tell stories of the killings.

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Art as transporter / transformer

Jeanette Winterson was walking through Amsterdam ‘one snowy Christmas, when the weather had turned the canals into oblongs of ice’. She says: ‘I was wandering happily, alone, playing the flaneur, when I passed a little gallery and in the moment passing saw a painting that had more power to stop me than I had power to walk on...What was I to do, standing hesitant, my heart flooded away?...I fled down the road and into a bookshop.’

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Art, EcstasyJules Evans Comments