This is an interesting question.
I'm uncomfortable with the equation (which I'm not
saying you're making, but which I think is prevalent)
between pastoral/arcadia & conservatism.
For me, as someone who has spent half a life being
relatively politically active it represents
(1) a utopian aspiration..not directly..I'm *not*
saying "back to nature" or anything so crude...( crude
& *dangerous* too, of course, see Heidegger)
(2) a glimpse of those parts of our lives that are not
determined or colonised by the market..often tied up
with childhood memories..when anything seemed possible
(as indeed it *should* be, for *everyone*)
(3) A defence of nature - of its beauties of how there
does seem to be a fairly universal ease, joy,
enriching that human beings find in it, & also of how
our lives depend still upon a truce with it- against
the depredations of capital.. war, pollution,
unplanned market-led development..global warming...
Ironically, I often find work that is praised for its
brutal realism, its address of the political, to be
the most likely to engender passivity.."if things are
this terrible what can we, who are so small, possibly
do?" but to have my recollection of how the world can
be a wonderful place for human beings jogged makes me
want to fight tooth & nail to defend & extend that...
But I'm not calling, manifesto like, for an engaged
art that places the pastoral/arcadian/utopian at its
centre- I think that would probably be monstrous...
just to say -again- art worth its salt is rich and
complex and does lots of things....
--- Eric Dymond <firstname.lastname@example.org
> Arcadia has become an important thread in recent
> painting and photography.
> Even the old guardists Donald Kuspitt and Thomas
> McEvilley seem to yearn for an idyl based upon
> How is it that when we reach the point of no return,
> we end up turning back to the ideal existence?
> Is new media realism? Are the conservative arts
> Are there any idyllic new media projects out there?
> Is the painful use of nostalgia too hard to handle?
> Well, not that it matters, but the other plastic
> arts are embracing Virgils daughters as if there
> were a shortage of virgins out there.
> Something to think about on a very cold night in
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