A long time ago we were fascinated by the series “The Shock of the New” by Robert Hughes (1938-2012) broadcast on PBS. It was both captivating and enlightening, one of the few programs I remember vividly. I had been thinking about it lately and looked for it on Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, but without results. Oddly, I ran across the series on YouTube.com apparently captured from VHS. Since our streaming is poor, I downloaded the series for later viewing.
The wonderful impact of art is that it makes us more aware, it teaches us to look and hear, it makes us see! Art is the mirror of a culture and must be seen as deeply important to the culture’s participants. If you lose art, you lose the mental and emotional commons.
While I waited, youtube led me to John Berger (1926-2017) and his equally fascinating series “Ways of Seeing,” which I had not been previously aware of. He was interviewed interviewed as part of the 2012 Serpentine Memory Marathon. This interview is rich with perspective, but one that really struck me with a memory from my youth was the following observation.
After the fall of the Russian system clearly displaying all of communisms fault, how could anybody have believed or still believe. The answer is that today nobody would know the hope it embodied, the hope for a more just system.
I remember feeling that before my disillusionment.