Art and Culture
Lazy Trout ,Meerbrook 14 Dec 2009 at 19-30 for 19-45 start.
Based in part on notes ‘Culture is Ordinary’ by Derek Tatton used at
the Blue Mugge.
Also in part on a paper by Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe, Professor
of Art History in at Sweet Briar College in
1. What do we mean by Culture?
2.Terry Eagleton spoke about the ‘creatureliness’ of human beings
(our bodies determine quite a lot) but
“Because we have language … we can become truly universal beings
doing all sorts of astonishing things which aren’t possible for moles
and badgers. They can’t get outside their own bodies as linguistic
animals can… let’s face it, because they lack culture they’re
extraordinarily limited. I mean, they can’t even construct a nuclear
weapon…. That…is the point, the very powers that enable us to
create also enable us to destroy… it is hard to have Tennyson
3.TE goes on to argue that since Williams death (20 years ago)
there have been several key developments: ‘culturalism’ (what
does that mean?) and 'movements like revolutionary nationalism
and various ethnic conflicts where culture becomes the very idiom
in which political demands are framed…. You could define culture
in this sense as that which people are prepared to kill for. Or, if you
prefer, to die for…' Discuss
4. What is Art?
5. When did art start?
Both the notion of "art" and the idea of the "artist" are relatively
The idea of an object being a "work of art" emerges, together with
the concept of the Artist, in the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy.
6.How did Art become distinguished from the decorative arts and
crafts? How and why is an artist different from a craftsperson? ‘Fine
7.Art in the latter half of the 20th century has deliberatley placed
itself beyond the limits of control. Today, art historians and critics --
we might call them the art police -- throw up their hands in dismay
in the face of contemporary art.
Anything is art now?
8. Why do we have art? What purpose does it serve?
9. Is art too commercial?