Articles on Aesthetics

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Detail from Emily Kam Kngwarray, Anmatyerr people. Yam awely 1995 synthetic polymer paint on canvas 150 x 491 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of the Delmore Collection, Donald and Janet Holt 1995 © Emily Kam Kngwarray.

Friday essay: in defence of beauty in art

Today, beauty counts for little in the judgement of works of art. But our felt experience of beauty connects us with an object's maker, revealing a pure moment of humanity.
Tommy Wiseau clutches a football in ‘The Room,’ the 2003 film he wrote, produced and starred in. Wiseau Films

What makes some art so bad that it’s good?

Sometimes a work of art is characterized by a string of failures, but nonetheless ends up being a gorgeous freak accident of nature.
‘The Dictator’ (2012) by Sacha Baron-Cohen plays on the fact that kitsch is used by dictators and fundamentalists to redefine our world. Zennie Abraham/Flickr

How kitsch consumed the world

Kitsch has slowly become the main cultural reference for all that surrounds us, and thrives in propaganda.
Great Britain’s Mo Farah celebrates winning the gold in the men’s 5000m at the Rio Olympics. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Watching sport is far more than just pure, dumb entertainment

Watching sport is more than just an entertaining experience. As the 2016 Olympic Games again highlighted, it can enrich and improve our lives in many more complex ways.
The Economic Freedom Fighters recently launched their manifesto in Soweto. Party leader Julius Malema (waving) is the master of political theatre. EPA/Cornell Tukiri

South Africa’s EFF: excellent politics of props and imagination

Red berets, hard hats, overalls and domestic workers’ uniforms have become a prominent part of South African politics. But these are more than just props for the EFF political party.

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