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date: 27 September 2021

p. 403. Cultural crossingslocked

p. 403. Cultural crossingslocked

  • Cynthia Freeland


‘Cultural crossings’ asks: Can art break down barriers among cultures? John Dewey's belief that ‘the esthetic quality is the same for Greeks, Chinese, and Americans’ suggests that he is mystifying our experience of art as direct, wordless appreciation. This smacks of modernist searches for a universal formal quality of ‘Beauty’. In an era of political turmoil and complex negotiations of personal identity, even artists from within a nation, people, or culture may face difficulties in assessing meaning and value in art. However, while recognizing that communities are internally diverse and evolving, we can still say that John Dewey's idea makes sense, that art ‘expresses the life of a community’.

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