Art Pope is the name of a local conservative businessman who gives lots of money to the Republican Party. It’s also a great image, isn’t it? What a crazy job Art Pope would be. I invite your imaginings.
Meanwhile, Newsweek has a little snippet on the Venice Biennale, with remarks from the curator, Bice Curiger. She would be an Art Bishop or perhaps even Art Cardinal, I suppose. Anyhoo, she says something that struck me for its thoughtful, pragmatic balance, unusual in my experience of the arts:
I don’t think art is a very powerful instrument to change the world. But it can make you rethink certain things. It can break your conventions.
Yup. I think it’s good for people to have their conventions challenged; even as I think the efficient automations afforded by conventions are essential for day to day living. I think resilience is an essential trait in a complex world, and resilience is largely a function of ability to imagine and live otherwise. A background project for me of late is thinking about general education; Bice’s account of art also works nicely as an account of what a general education can and maybe should offer.
I don’t suppose Art Pope would approve, however. And speaking of aggressive narrow-mindedness, no matter how bad Newsweek was before, how much worse is it now that it’s gotten sucked into the Daily Beast? It’s an object lesson in the downside of the new media: superficial, cliché-ridden reporting and commentary by people who seem to have been selected on purpose for their obtuseness and fundamental ignorance about the topics at hand. But I get it for free due to the NPR donation, and even the blind squirrels find nuts sometimes, so into the bathroom it goes!
In conclusion, an amusing depiction of the cliché form courtesy of Wikipedia: