Arts + Culture – Articles, Analysis, Comment

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Roxy Jacenko and daughter Pixie (centre) at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in 2016. Pixie’s Instagram account has more than 100,000 followers and she has a signature line of hair bows. Dan Himbrechts

Friday essay: family as ‘brand’ – the rise of the digital mumpreneur

A growing number of parents are making money out of their children by turning them into social media celebrities. But the chimera of corporate branding is no antidote for lives lived in precarious times.
Paul Signac, ‘Leaving the Port of Marseille’ 1906/7 oil on canvas, 46 x 55.2 cm, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Inv GE 6524. Photo: © The State Hermitage Museum 2018, Vladimir Terebenin.

Modern Art from The Hermitage showcases the French gems of two great merchant collectors

In the early 20th century, two families of collectors brought the best of modern French art to Russia. Many of their paintings - including works by Picasso, Matisse and Cezanne - can now be seen in Sydney.
While local content makes up a small proportion of the Australian Netflix catalogue, Netflix has also heavily promoted Australian shows overseas, such as Hannah Gadsby’s standup show Nanette. IMDB

Local film and TV content makes up just 1.6% of Netflix’s Australian catalogue

While the figures may seem alarming, we should remember that, unlike free-to-air TV, subscription video-on-demand services are not regulated for local content.
Amy Adams played an inter-species linguist in the 2016 film Arrival but she was a rarity. Most Hollywood films depict scholars as heroic males. IMDB

Friday essay: where are the female academics on film?

For decades, academics have been portrayed as brilliant, heroic men on our cinema screens. It's time to tell the story of more heroic female scholars. Here are some suggestions.
Tom Hardy in Venom: the intense action sequences are balanced by disarming humour. Avi Arad Productions, Columbia Pictures Corporation,Marvel Entertainment.

Venom: an excellent superhero film, perhaps best not experienced in 4DX

Venom is an engrossing science fiction film, which balances intense action sequences with disarming humour. Viewing it in 4DX, however, did not add to the experience.
Nick Cave performing with The Bad Seeds in Budapest in June. His song lyrics, with those often melancholy, churchy organ chords, are dripping in references to what might be called sacredness. Zoltan Balogh/EPA

Friday essay: popular music’s search for the sacred in a secular world

The enquiry into sacredness is not over, it’s just beginning for the 21st century, and in wildly disparate modes and places. In music, Nick Cave, Hozier and Dr G. Yunupingu have led the way.
I had never encountered the word ‘curry muncher’ until I arrived in Australia 10 years ago. Shutterstock

Essays On Air: the politics of curry

The politics of curry. The Conversation30.4 MB (download)
Whether being called 'curry munchers' or pigeonholed as authorities on a dish largely invented by the British, diasporic South Asians are emulsified in a deep pool of curry.
Coins from the Hoxne Treasure, Hoxne, England, late 4th – early 5th century CE. silver 1994,0401.299.1-20 © Trustees of the British Museum © Trustees of the British Museum, 2018. All rights reserved

Rome: City + Empire contains wonderful objects but elides the bloody cost of imperialism

A major exhibition of treasures from ancient Rome presents a distinctly old-fashioned tale of the empire's rise and expansion, which is out of step with contemporary scholarly thinking.
This 1904 photograph showing the massacre of villagers by Dutch KNIL forces in the Indonesian village of Koetö Réh was used by the Dutch to argue for the paternalistic colonial state as protector. We now see it as evidence of imperial atrocity. Collection Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen.

Ten photos that changed how we see human rights

From depictions of slavery to colonial massacres to contemporary portraits of refugees, photography is a powerful tool in evoking ideas of shared humanity.