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July 02, 2003

New Traditionalist Art

Friedrich --

You -- and anyone else who's interested in the phenomenon of tradition re-asserting itself in the arts -- might be interested in this transcript from a Think Tank show (here), hosted by Ben Wattenberg. It's a one-time-over-lightly treatment, a little odd in the way it mixes up the kind of art a critic like Jed Perl champions with flat-out traditionalist stuff, and you do have to kick your reading brain into that state it needs to be in when you're reading a transcript instead of really-written prose. But, that said, it's a good intro to some of the movement's big names and bright lights.

The academic/avant-garde/mediaworld crowd spits on these people, by the way. No surprise there. Given their bile, it's satisfying to read these artists' reasons for working the way they do. It isn't out of ignorance or stupidity. They just like it better than doing avant-garde art. Here's the composer Stefania de Kenessy, for example:

As a child I grew up knowing so-called avant-garde or so-called 20th century music as much as I did 18th, 19th or 16th century musics. So for me the idea of having dissonant music at my fingertips was nothing new. And I always loved beautiful music more than I loved the dissonant, harsh stuff.

Direct, intelligent, and why not?



posted by Michael at July 2, 2003


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