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Posts tagged with the category Art and Existentialism

The legendary movie about the conflict between rote learning and passionate engagement with the humanities at a boys prep school in the 1950s recently celebrated its 20th anniversary—and came in for a resounding barrage of criticism. Kevin Dettmar, an English professor at Pomona College, penned a piece for The Atlantic entitled “Dead...
Kazimir Malevich was punished by Stalin’s regime for creating bourgeois art. Stalin expected that all art reflect Communist beliefs: it was expected to be realist and populist. Malevich’s cubist works attempted to reduce scenes to their most basic visual elements, culminating in the infamous “black square.” His works were...
Photo by United Press International.
Whether you remember or anticipate, you do it now. The past is no more. The future is not yet. --Fritz Perls Watching the remaining living Beatles reunite a few weeks ago to celebrate and remember the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964—the moment that marked the beginning of the...
Painting by By Maria Raquel Cochez.
Long ago in my practice, I worked with a woman who was struggling with bulimia. She would binge and purge daily, a struggle that she didn’t want, but couldn’t see how she could stop. She was ashamed and demoralized. One day, I put some clay in front of her and asked her to show me what her bulimia looked like. She began to model the...
I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. My most romantic dream about writing is being like Ernest Hemingway living in the Florida Keys, sitting at a typewriter (okay, a computer), writing in the morning, and spending my afternoon and evenings at the pub down the street sharing drinks with locals and tourists. But in the process...
Photo by Nickolai Kashirin.
80 times a day, or a hundred, or more. Seemed like a million, by the end of a shift. The man with Korsakoff's syndrome repeats the same question over and over, each time forgetting whatever answer he has obtained usually within a few seconds. Can anybody tell me where I'm at and why I'm here? We try to be patient with him. Those of...
Georgia O'Keeffe. Photo by Alfred Stieglitz.
That is what I woke up to: that thought, “I feel scared.” It came like a clear flash. In that moment, it was true—that was what I felt. There was no point in any denial. It was a moment of seeing that there was this field, or ground, or cloud of fear that has accompanied me in this life, and in certain moments, starkly reveals...
As we pick up the story of Maria in The Sound of Music from where we left off in Part One, The Reverend Mother sends Maria against her wishes to the estate of the widower Captain Von Trapp. She is to be Governess of his seven children. Maria is hesitant. Here, she must come up against her own idea of what she thought her life was supposed to be...
When lay people think of existentialism, they often make associations to death and atheism. Nietzsche’s phrase “God is Dead” is interpreted to target the existence of God versus our belief. Sartre’s “Hell is Other People” suggests that we are here, in hell, on Earth. Camus’ The Plague illustrates in...
Photo by Oscilloscope Laboratores.
“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.” (Sartre, 1957, p. 27) Or… is he? And what about his mother? A few nights ago, I watched the 2011 movie “We Need To Talk About Kevin.” Since then I’ve been saying, “Oh yes, we do.” (Warning...
Ebenezer Scrooge in a 19th woodcut by John Leech.
The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. Every year I look forward to it with great excitement, eagerly anticipate it, and can’t wait for it to arrive. Most especially, I love Christmas. While I know it may sound corny and cliché to some, I do believe that it is truly magical and profoundly special, a phenomenon of...
Within Existential conversations, there is a lot of talk about Being. And why not? Existentialism has been called the “Science of Being” and, as such, how “Being” is defined and understood tends to be the basic premise against which all our movement’s themes and concerns are evaluated. “Being” has been...