Co-sponsored by Berkeley Arts & Letters and BAM/PFA:
Wednesday, October 24
7:30 PM at BAM/PFA
A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars
with guest host Lawrence Rinder, director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
In her groundbreaking Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia turned her incisive eye on beauty and decadence in literature, art, and popular culture. Now, America's premier intellectual provocateur returns to the subject that brought her fame, tackling the great themes of Western art in an enthralling tour through more than two dozen seminal images, some famous and others obscure or unknown.
With energy, erudition, and wit, Paglia leads us chronologically through the paintings, sculptures, architectural styles, performance pieces, and digital art that have defined and transformed our visual world. She combines close analysis with background that situates each artist and image within its historical context—from an Egyptian tomb to Titian's "Venus With a Mirror;" from an elegant French Rococo interior to Jackson Pollock's abstract "Green Silver;" from Renee Cox's daring performance piece "Chillin' with Liberty" to Eleanor Antin's amusing conceptual art project "100 Boots." In a stunning ending, Paglia declares that the avant-garde tradition is dead and that director George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, is the world's greatest living artist. Brilliantly concise and lucidly designed, this continually surprising book deciphers the messages of the cultural code over the past 3000 years, and once again confirms Camille Paglia's inimitable talent for overturning the received wisdom of her predecessors. Beautifully written, passionately argued, and filled with Paglia's trademark audacity, Glittering Images is destined to change the way we think about our visual environment in this high-tech age.
Camille Paglia is University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is the author of Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World's Best Poems; Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson; Sex, Art, and American Culture; and Vamps & Tramps: New Essays. She has also written The Birds, a study of Alfred Hitchcock. She lives in Philadelphia.
Lawrence Rinder is director of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA). He has held positions at the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, where he was chief curator of the 2002 Biennial. Among the other exhibitions he has organized are In a Different Light (curated with Nayland Blake), The American Effect: Global Perspectives on the United States, 1990–2003, Tim Hawkinson, Galaxy: A Hundred or So Stars Visible to the Naked Eye, Create (curated with Matthew Higgs), and Barry McGee (curated with Dena Beard). He was the founding director of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at California College of the Arts, San Francisco, where he also served as dean. His writing on art has appeared in nest, Artforum, The Village Voice, Fillip, Atlantica, and Flash Art, among others. Art Life, a collection of his essays, was published by Gregory R. Miller in 2005. He has also published poetry, fiction, and a play, co-authored with Kevin Killian.
BAM/PFA (2621 Durant Avenue, Berkeley); access theater via sculpture garden)
Tickets $14 ($11.50 BAM/PFA members; $7 students, OLLI, and Hillside members) in advance only at Brown Paper Tickets online or 800-838-3006;
$17 at the door (all)