The artist Ai Weiwei has become internationally known for his protests against Chinese authorities. Thanks to globalization and the Internet, it is possible for him to communicate with Chinese citizens and the world, and to launch actions, in which people participate. This article examines how Ai Weiwei uses the Western institution of art to get his message across. Also, the paper suggests how it is possible to conceive of his art as political.
Initially, Italian fascism embraced the development of modernism, but subsequently made a turn towards ancient Roman architecture models around 1934. What was the reason for this change, and what was fascism looking for in earlier periods? Focus on the center, malong with its reaction against modernism, aligns perfectly with the ideas of the conservative art historian Hans Sedlmayr, wherefore this paper argues that symmetry and central axis was emphasized over columns, arches, and ornaments. According to Sedlmayr, the center (Mitte) – the point where the divine becomes manifest – is precisely what modern art lacks. In response to the Modernist ‘absence’, fascist cultural politics attempted to install an ‘aesthetics of presence’.
This article investigates political hopes expressed in relation to Norwegian, naturalistic art in the 1880s. There were two positions regarding the political potential of naturalism: the first is attached to Christian Krohg’s socially engaged art, where the conflicts of class society are articulated; the second, which is less discussed, concerns the art of Erik Werenskiold. Here, the political issue is not about unveiling social ills, but establishing a feeling of community that is prior to any separation.
This article discusses a pallium altaris or altar frontal (c.1300), depicting King Olav, patron saint of Norway. It argues that the employed iconography is highly unusual in that it does not present any miracles, but rather emphasizes the death of the main character. A new provenance and context is suggested, which connects the frontal to St Olav’s parish church. This church was a bone of contention in a struggle for power between the canons of the Cathedral and the Archbishop.