Permanent Revolution

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Permanent Revolution

From Iian Neill

Published before 2005


Sasha wrote:
This is a art history TV show on PBS. They go up to the time of Jacques-Louis David, then they skip to the impressionists, then talk about the modernists. They don't mention 19th century academic art at all.

It's surreal, isn't it? Opening up one of those old art history texts, or switching to PBS apparently, is like finding oneself in a fantasy land where the Impressionists are continuing rebelling against some orthodoxy we never get to see or hear about. It reminds me of a newspaper quote from the 1890s (sorry, can't remember the source) describing the modern worldview: "We're all Impressionists!" At a certain point Impressionism seemed released from its historical bonds and became a catchword for any rebellious or free sentiment. Just this permanent revolution going on in a dreamworld where the oppressors are never seen, always nameless, but by God if you reject the Impressionists you'll find yourself among them.

ARC is the antidote to the fairytale.

-- Iian