Thursday, May 22, 2008

One of Those Moods


Brian Hitselberger, Come On

Hitselberger's website, with more pictures and a recommended reading list.

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I just started reading John Berger's Ways of Seeing and the first volume of Clement Greenberg's Collected Essays and Criticism. Ways of Seeing was published in 1973; it's based on a BBC TV series and contains 7 essays, 3 of which are composed entirely of pictures. Greenberg's essays were written between 1939 and 1944; in a 1939 essay on avant-garde and kitsch, he writes:

Kitsch, using for raw material the debased and academicized simulacra of genuine culture, welcomes and cultivates this insensibility. It is the source of its profits. Kitsch is mechanical and operates by formulas. Kitsch is vicarious experience and faked sensations. Kitsch changes according to style, but remains always the same. Kitsch is the epitome of all that is spurious in the life of our times. Kitsch pretends to demand nothing of its customers except their money - not even their time.

I'm going to put the two books together in my nightstand before I go to sleep and see which comes out alive tomorrow morning.

4 comments:

Jonathan said...

"Ways of Seeing" has been collecting dust on my nightstand for the last six months.

Lemme know how transforming it is to read, I need motivation.

Miss Darrow said...

Ways of Seeing is one of the best books I read over the course of my art history degree. It is also one of the most important. So many references you never coudl place you will realize are all from this book. Also, it's just good. JOHN BERGER = <3

Ben Grad said...

I'm liking it so far - the author's voice is occasionally annoying, but I think it's more because I'm used to reading authors discuss writing theory (and semiotics, which I think of as something between speech and visual).

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