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FREN100/1 LECTURE 2: What is culture?. European Historical Context Evolving Status of Artistic/cultural sphere Changing social position of artist: no.

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Presentation on theme: "FREN100/1 LECTURE 2: What is culture?. European Historical Context Evolving Status of Artistic/cultural sphere Changing social position of artist: no."— Presentation transcript:

1 FREN100/1 LECTURE 2: What is culture?

2 European Historical Context Evolving Status of Artistic/cultural sphere Changing social position of artist: no longer royal patronage, commercial enterprise. The artist as romantic hero. Diego Velazquez ( ), Las Meninas (1656) Henry Wallis ( ), The Death of Chatterton (1856) Enlightenment philosophy and perfectibility of man Enlightenment is man's release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is man's inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. Self-incurred is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack of reason but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude! "Have courage to use your own reason!"- that is the motto of enlightenment. Immanuel Kant ( ), What is Enlightenment? (1784)

3 European Historical Context Breakdown in religious belief, search for meaning 'I am almost convinced, (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable'. Charles Darwin ( ), Letter to J. D. Hooker (14 January 1844) Concerns about new cultures brought about by industrialization the working class…raw and half-developed…long lain half-hidden amidst its poverty and squalor…now issuing from its hiding place to assert an Englishmans heaven-born privilege of doing as he likes, and beginning to perplex us by marching where it likes, meeting where it likes, bawling at what it likes, breaking what it likes. Matthew Arnold ( ), Culture and Anarchy (1869)

4 FRANCE Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1867) Differentiates French society after 1848 between bourgeois modernity (greed and inertia) on the one hand, and aesthetic modernity, on the other. Baudelaire argued that painters should paint figures in contemporary dress, rather than in archaic costumes from the past, and that the contemporary, in all its diverse and fleeting guises, had a heroic or epic dimension. Baudelaire's idea of modernity (…) claimed that the modern in art related to the experience of modernity, that is, to an experience which is always changing, which does not remain static and which is most clearly felt in the metropolitan centre of the city (Fer in Modernity and Modernism, Yale UP, 1993). Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable. Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne (The Painter of Modern Life), (1863) There can be no progress (real, that is, moral) except in the individual and by the individual himself. Mon Coeur Mis à Nu (My Heart Laid Bare), (1897)

5 What is Culture? Raymond Williams ( ), The Long Revolution (1961) There are three general categories in the definition of culture. There is, first, the 'ideal', in which culture is a state or process of human perfection, in terms of certain absolute or universal values. The analysis of culture, if such a definition is accepted, is essentially the discovery and description, in lives and works, of those values which can be seen to compose a timeless order, or to have permanent reference to the universal human condition. Then, second, there is the 'documentary', in which culture is the body of intellectual and imaginative work, in which, in a detailed way; human thought and experience are variously recorded. The analysis of culture, from such a definition, is the activity of criticism, by which the nature of the thought and experience, the details of the language, form and convention in which these are active, are described and valued. (…) Finally, third, there is the 'social' definition of culture, in which culture is a description of a particular way of life, which expresses certain meanings and values not only in art and learning but also in institutions and ordinary behaviour.

6 Roland Barthes ( ) His work Mythologies (1957) is a work on (popular) culture that is concerned with the process of signification; how meanings are produced and circulated. La France tout entière baigne dans cette idéologie anonyme: notre presse, notre cinéma, notre théâtre, notre littérature de grand usage, nos cérémoniaux, notre Justice, notre diplomatie, nos conversations, le temps qu'il fait, le crime que l'on juge, le mariage auquel on s'émeut, la cuisine que l'on rêve, le vêtement que l'on porte, tout, dans notre vie quotidienne, est tributaire de la représentation que la bourgeoisie se fait et nous fait des rapports de l'homme et du monde.

7 Pierre Bourdieu ( ) Class is defined as differences in capital. This can be economic or cultural. The term cultural capital represents non-economic forces such as family background, social class, varying investments in and commitments to education, different resources, etc. which influence academic success. Three forms of cultural capital. The embodied state is represents what an individual knows and can do. Embodied capital can be increased by learning. The objectified state of cultural capital is represented by cultural goods and material objects such as books, paintings, instruments, or machines. They can be bought with economic capital and or accessed symbolically via embodied capital. Cultural capital in its institutionalized state provides academic credentials and qualifications.

8 Yasmina Reza ( ), Art (1994) What is art and what is its value of in our lives? The scandal of modern art The Art establishment and the cost of art Art: a way of securing meaning and identity? BUT we are watching /reading something artistic - about human (masculine?) relationships and conflicts and how we live in the world.

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