Twentieth Century Week 5: Modernism and Contemporary Art, NSW Art Gallery.

Thank you all for making our visit purposeful and entertaining. It always amazes me how many connection we can find together between the literature and the art of any particular period. Most amazing was that work by the Indian artist Jitish Kallat “Public Notice 2” (2007) that filled both sides of the main entrance hall to the gallery.


Here were Ghandi’s extraordinary, powerful words generating a revolution against British exploitation and imperialism. Here were the words of one man that had the power to turn a nation back to its authentic cultural traditions.  Most tellingly for our purposes, here was a work of art that was also a work of literature, a work constructed out of words that were also represented as bones.

The complex layers of metaphor behind this idea is very close to the way literature communicates its meaning. These are the words, buried, now unearthed, of a human genius who attempted through non-violence to challenge one of the most violent and powerful nations on Earth. Here is a message that this artist is wanting us to restore to our own times. How can non-violence be an agent for cultural change, rather than further decisions to “bomb Syria”.

For this week’s Blog Topics Please take any single work of art that inspired you from our Art Gallery tour this week and write a short piece about the work, especially about how you see the work connecting to or amplifying your understanding of what was happening in Twentieth Century Literature. I look forward to seeing the results.

Here is the audio for the last and longest tour:


  1 comment for “Twentieth Century Week 5: Modernism and Contemporary Art, NSW Art Gallery.

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