“Art” or “Kitsch” as a Name for Classical Culture? | Jan-Ove Tuv & Martin Romberg | The Cave of Apelles

In the modern age, many are confused by the dull and meaningless direction of Western culture. Can it truly be called “Western” or “culture” at all? A clear set of values are more important than ever before. That is why a painter and a composer decided to sit down to discuss two alternative solutions. The painter, Jan-Ove Tuv, argues Larry Shiner’s point that Art was a deconstructive 18th century invention and that Kitsch is a game changer that can liberate classical culture from the neurosis of modernism. The composer, Martin Romberg, on the other hand, proposes the concept of “Universal Art” as the solution to our current problems, making a bridge back to Aristotle’s Poetics, pointing out that Kitsch is problematic both in terms of connotation and terminology.

The discussion could be boiled down to one dilemma:
Would you rather be associated with Rothko or a garden gnome?

00:00 What is a classical work?
01:30 Original vs new meaning of Art
09:30 Universal, abstract and conservative art
12:59 The power of words
14:11 Kitsch aligns with classical values
16:57 Do people understand what kitsch means?
19:38 Fight for Art or abandon it?
23:55 Kitsch: a change of connotation, not of content
25:30 Emotional reactions are not valid arguments
27:14 The problem of communicating kitsch
29:48 Timelessness
32:13 Classical craft survives when it is not judged as “Art”
40:35 The craftsman is a fisherman
43:57 Immanuel Kant and the garden gnome



This episode featured Jan-Ove Tuv & Martin Romberg and was filmed and edited by Bork Nerdrum
The centerpiece was a 19th century reproduction of G. F. Watts’ Hope.

Fergus Ryan
Shaun Roberts
Matthias Proy
Børge Moe
Eivind Josten
Dean Anthony
Alastair Blain
Anders Berge Christensen
Erik Lasky
Iver Ukkestad
Jack Entz Warner
Jared Fountain
Jon Harald Aspheim
Marion Bu-Pedersen
Maurice Robbins
Misty DeLaine
Richard Barrett
Stacey Evangelista
Trym Jordahl
Yngve Hellan


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  • Apelles was asked why he touched and retouched his pictures with so much care, to which he replied:
    "I paint for eternity"