Sunday, 30 August 2015

Double Bind

Double Bind, o/p, 24" x 24", Steven Rhude, Gallery78

"I think in Atlantic Canada, because of what happened in the decades following Confederation, there is a culture of defeat that we have to overcome... Atlantic Canada's culture of defeat will be hard to overcome as long as Atlantic Canada is actually physically trailing the rest of the country." (New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, May 29, 2002) - Stephen Harper

Atlantic Canadians may never know just what exactly Harper meant by a "culture of defeat", other than the apparent reference to overcoming a defeatist attitude is essential for economic prosperity - something obvious to most people involved in even the smallest community initiative. We may also never know whether Harper has any views on what culture is in this age of mass communication, since he is indeed a product of mass communications media. He is as we now know standing on the other side of what can only be called a huge chasm of political inertia and indifference, where the bottom is filled with messianic promises of royalties and surpluses linked to the culture industry we currently experience. He is part of a larger political culture that has employed mass communication to lull society into a state of passivity - a double bind. It leaves one wondering what exactly a culture of success is or would be?

The term culture industry (German: Kulturindustrie) was coined by the critical theorists Theodor Adorno (1903–1969) and Max Horkheimer (1895–1973), and was presented as critical vocabulary in the chapter "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", of the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), wherein they proposed that popular culture is akin to a factory producing standardized cultural goods — films, radio programmes, magazines, etc. — that are used to manipulate mass society into passivity. Consumption of the easy pleasures of popular culture, made available by the mass communications media, renders people docile and content, no matter how difficult their economic circumstances.[citation needed] The inherent danger of the culture industry is the cultivation of false psychological needs that can only be met and satisfied by the products of capitalism; thus Adorno and Horkheimer especially perceived mass-produced culture as dangerous to the more technically and intellectually difficult high arts. In contrast, true psychological needs are freedom, creativity, and genuine happiness, which refer to an earlier demarcation of human needs, established by Herbert Marcuse. (See Eros and Civilization, 1955).


Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS


Friday, 28 August 2015

Food in Art Painting Workshop

Bread Line, o/p, 20" x 24", Gallery 78

Food and Art
Oil Painting Class with Steven Rhude
September 22nd  to November 10th  (Tuesdays, 7- 9pm)
This eight week workshop examines the role of “Food” in art using “Wolfville’s local market” as an information source. Working through the lens of psychology and techniques inherent in the tradition of representational painting, students will explore why food is so important a subject today for contemporary expression.
Using photographic sources, our purpose is to develop the ability to see, perceive, inscribe, and translate experience as it relates to food and a composition of the student’s choice. The student will learn to build a stretcher frame from scratch, stretch and prime canvas, and enhance their knowledge of the representational legacy of food in art.
The workshop will be taught by Steven Rhude
Note: Open to all skill levels. Materials not included. Participants will be provided with a materials list for the workshop.
For more information and to register contact:
Acadia University Art Gallery 902. 585.1373
Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Monday, 24 August 2015

Ship of Theseus

Ship of Theseus from Grates Cove, o/p, 24" x 48", Steven Rhude, Gallery78

The ship of Theseus, also known as Theseus' paradox, is a thought experiment that raises the question of whether an object which has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object. The paradox is most notably recorded by Plutarch in Life of Theseus from the late first century. Plutarch asked whether a ship which was restored by replacing each and every one of its wooden parts remained the same ship.
The paradox had been discussed by more ancient philosophers such as Heraclitus, Socrates, and Plato prior to Plutarch's writings; and more recently by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Several variants are known, including the "grandfather's axe", which has had both its head and handle replaced.


Steven Rhude

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Three Recent Paintings

Blue Moon, 0/p, 24" x 24", Steven Rhude

Post Landscape Near Caning, o/p, 24" x 48", Steven Rhude

Far from the Sea, o/p, 24" x 24", Steven Rhude

It's true on the one hand they are just bales of hay bound up in a field near a small place called Caning. But on the other hand, it may also be true they are linked with the moon and the sun, rolling across the fields as the moon and sun roll across the sky.

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS