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Which clippings match 'Purification' keyword pg.1 of 1
16 JANUARY 2013

Call to Order: the pretentious sterility of culture

"In a masterstroke of design, the curator of Chaos and Classicism, Kenneth Silver, chose a work of art to illustrate the Nazi annexation of neoclassicism that at first glance is anything but threatening. The Four Elements by Adolf Ziegler decorated the walls of Hitler's Munich apartment. A member of the Nazi Party, Ziegler was charged by Hitler in 1937 to stage–manage the purge of modern art in the notorious Exhibition of Degenerate Art. Ziegler's depiction of four nude women who symbolize fire, earth, air and water, the four elements of nature recognized in antiquity, personifies little but the pretentious sterility of culture under the Third Reich. Yet, it is the perfect embodiment of the banality of evil."

(Ed Voves, 4 October 2010)

Fig.1 Adolf Ziegler, The Four Elements: Fire, Water and Earth, Air, (Die vier Elemente. Feuer, Wasser und Erde, Luft), before 1937, Oil on canvas, three panels, left to right: 170.3 x 85.2 cm, 171 x 190.8 cm, and 161.3 x 76.7 cm, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Sammlung Moderner Kunst in der Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich.



1937Adolf Hitler • Adolf Ziegler • air • antiquitybanalitycall to orderchaos and classicismclassical beautyclassical formcorrectioncultural productionEarth • elements • emasculation • essential elements of artessentialismExhibition of Degenerate Artfascismfire • Kenneth Silver • masterstroke of design • modern artmodernismMunichnatureNazi • Nazi Party • neoclassical revivalneoclassicismnude women • pretentious sterility of culture • purificationpurity • racial purity • return to ordersterility • The Four Elements • Third Reichwaterwork of art


Simon Perkins
06 FEBRUARY 2006

The intervention of the art of tragedy

"Nature tends towards certain ends; when it fails to achieve those objectives, art and science intervene. Man, as part of nature, also has certain ends in view: health, gregarious life in the State, happiness, virtue, justice, etc. When he fails in the achievement of those objectives, the art of tragedy intervenes. This correction of man's actions is what Aristotle calls catharsis.
Tragedy, in all its qualitative and quantitative aspects, exists as a function of the effect it seeks, catharsis. All the unities of tragedy are structured around this concept. It is the centre, the essence, the purpose of the tragic system. Unfortunately, it is also the most controversial concept. Catharsis is correction: what does it correct? Catharsis is purification: what does it purify?"
(Augusto Boal 1993, p.27)

Boal, Augusto. 1993 Theatre of the Oppressed, London, UK: Pluto Press.


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