Power Hour

We in the cultural sector enjoy a good diatribe about soft power. That is, patrimony’s uncanny ability to attract rather than coerce affections and followings. It’s become a sort of catchphrase employed when attempting to justify the sway of the arts to more skeptical others; just how massively music, imagery, literature, cinema, sports, cuisine et al. have shaped, and continue…

Cheers to the Past

Visual Culture has friends in high and low places. The upper echelons are powerful and necessary, the forces that be and the fonts of learning that command the eyes and mindsets of those “in the arts.” University systems, smash art fairs, the bidding floor at bluechip auctions, the politics of biennials. Though there’s no ignoring…

New Love for Old Duds

Cherishing the significance of clothing and accessories sewn and worn in another time is a very personal way of preserving our global history. Personally, I find fashion to be one of the most detail-oriented and honest accounts of the doings of mankind. Out of every other species on the planet, we are the only animals that choose daily to clothe our bodies. Some…

Right or Wrong?

In 1983, Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee created his first award-winning student film Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, in which he developed a unique style of introducing films. Viewers are first taken on a ride in the black car in which Joe is being held to be killed. Music, humour, and media combine to place onlookers in the middle of a black, serio-comedic…

Behind the Comedic Mask

Top Five (2014), a film by director and funny guy Chris Rock, hones in on the many themes and kinds of visual imagery that flood the life of a comedian who “doesn’t feel funny anymore.” Top Five follows the goings on of Andre Allen, a comedian whose career is in decline; the reasons why are…

Dressing Britannia

As the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland knows well, crowning a queen regnant is a rather big deal. Sixty-three years ago yesterday, all the pomp of the nation was gathered up for just such an occasion, the coronation of the Diamond Queen, Elizabeth II. On that second day of June in the…