Aesthetic Ineffability and the Rebirth of the Reader

Guest post by Venkat Ramanan The adjective “ineffable” appears to be used mostly in relation to either (a) a spiritual/mystical experience or (b) when we appreciate a work of visual or plastic art.  Here are some examples of (a) -  The British writer Karen Armstrong described Laozi (the Chinese philosopher from the 6th century BCE) … Continue reading Aesthetic Ineffability and the Rebirth of the Reader

Attention to Beauty

In his book, Aesthetics: A Very Short Introduction, Bence Nanay writes, "What all things aesthetic have in common is something very simple: the way you're exercising your attention" (p.22). To illustrate what he means, Nanay uses as an example the painting The Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Landscape with the Fall of … Continue reading Attention to Beauty

Collective Individuals: A Review of Sand

Because you celebrate Black culture does not mean that you don't like white culture; or that you putting it down.It's just taking pride- Solange Knowles, “Interlude: Tina Taught Me” Victoria Lynn Awkward, “Sand (Group),” 2019. Photo courtesy of Victoria Lynn Awkward. What does it mean to be inclusive and diverse? We have committees, departments, policies, … Continue reading Collective Individuals: A Review of Sand

Lebanon’s Sursock Museum

In 1961, the Sursock Museum opened, according to the will of Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock. He wanted to leave his estate as a museum to help define the public taste in Lebanon. Maru Pabón reviews a recent exhibition titled Ten Stories from the Sursock Museum Collection 1923 – 2016. It is set up as ten stories (or … Continue reading Lebanon’s Sursock Museum

Review of Wandering in the Land of Oblivion

The Urbano Project in Jamaica Plain (Boston) has a wonderful show by artist Constanza Aguirre, on view from November 9, 2018 through January 11, 2019. Her art explores the relationship that people have with work. What happens when displaced people are thereby prevented from working? Do they become less human?  In my art review (see … Continue reading Review of Wandering in the Land of Oblivion

Review of Temple of Mnemon

Here is my review of Temple of Mnemon, a sculpture by Anne Lilly that was installed on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston from the summer to October of 2018. This review was published in Big Red & Shiny, Boston's contemporary art journal online. The opening paragraph of the review: Part of what makes us … Continue reading Review of Temple of Mnemon

Aesthetics Versus Philosophy of Art

It has become increasingly common to use the word 'aesthetics' when really talking about art. While it is true that many works of art are beautiful or have other aesthetic properties, most people claim to deny that aesthetics is a necessary component of art. One just has to think about Marcel Duchamp's Fountain (1917); he claimed … Continue reading Aesthetics Versus Philosophy of Art

Review of Scientific Purposes

Here is my review of Anna Schuleit Haber's exhibit Scientific Purposes (In which a murderous hairdresser donates his head to science, with one restriction) in Boston (March 2 - April 15, 2018). This is part one of a series for Big, Red & Shiny. For these essays, I review a show through the lens of a particular … Continue reading Review of Scientific Purposes

Beauty and Art

Robert Wellington has written a brief defense of the value of beauty in art. He explains: "Let me be clear. I am not saying that works of art ought to be beautiful. What I want to defend is our felt experience of beauty as way of knowing and navigating the world around us."   He takes … Continue reading Beauty and Art

Review of Evocations

Here is my review of Greg Lookerse's exhibit Evocations at AREA Gallery in Boston (January 26 - March 9, 2018). This is part one of a series for Big, Red & Shiny. For these essays, I will review a show through the lens of a particular philosopher's theory of art. I look at this show through … Continue reading Review of Evocations