Chapter 7: Distant Relations: Art Practice in a Global Culture
Morten Søndergaard The passion to know everything, to read everything, to give no quarter, no pretext, to the European, but also to know well what the European does not know and what he considers his own, the Popol Vuh and Descartes. And, above all, to demonstrate to the European that there is no excuse not to know other cultures . . . (Carlos Fuentes, 1980) The role of art in globalized culture is not so much a question of the market entering the art world as one might think. The market and the commercial strategies are, after all, only a very small part of Western Culture – for better and for worse, it is really Western humanism, not the market that is being globalized. This is the true meaning of a Global Culture: Western European Culture has reached its end station. On the approaching horizon completely new ways of looking at the world, construing reality, and understanding the way we think are emerging. . . distant relations are approaching each other. And they are not, as one might think, of the North American variety. If you explore the cultural history of both Europe and America, you will soon discover that distant relations are a leitmotif in the development of the so-called ‘Western’ humanistic culture. You only have to scrape off a few layers of the Greek and Roman cultures to realize that what we call the Middle East and North Africa today were once predominant in the creation of that which we call Europe. Greek...
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