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Posts tagged with the category Art and Existentialism

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...
Johann Peter Hasenclever's Die Sentimentale
This past week I was looking for a definition of perception for some academic work and sat down to read through my notes on Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception (1954). The vivid accounts of magnanimous shifts of consciousness were enticing. I thought about the fantastic accounts of folds in trousers and bamboo chairs: how items in a drug...
Mark Rothko
In The Courage to Create (1975), May stated: In human beings courage is necessary to make being and becoming possible. An assertion of the self, a commitment, is essential if the self is to have any reality.… Courage is not a virtue or value among other personal values.… It is the foundation that underlies and gives reality to all...
I am willing to admit that I live in a “bubble”—a liberal bubble. I live in an East Coast city and agree with most progressive political and social positions. Most of the people I associate with share similar views and opinions. It takes concentrated effort, therefore, to understand views diametrically opposed to my own. One...
Jello Biafra. Photo by Catherine Andersen.
“Last call for alcohol; last call for free speech; drink up; happy hour is now enforced by law.” --"We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now" On a drive home from a recent family reunion, my daughter and I popped in the Dead Kennedys' (1980) Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. It’s an album that for me marks an...
“The eyes are the window to your soul.” Variations of this quote have been attributed to Shakespeare, Cicero, and Matthew in the New Testament. But no matter who said it first, this quote has found its way into common parlance, and has almost become a cliché, at least as far as barroom pick-up lines are concerned. But we...
Photo by Jennifer Rensel.
I was an art major in college. I studied painting. I was immersed in the New York art scene, as my school was just two hours north of the city. The small, liberal arts school I attended encouraged this involvement. We were to go down and see the shows, go to openings, see what was out there. It was the New York art world of the 80’s, before...