Aidan Campbell: Art critic and regular contributor

Art Critic and regular contributor to Culture Wars and Spiked!, Aidan also wrote regularly for LM and the next step. He is a former student of the national question in Ireland, Spain, the former Soviet Union, and Africa between 1977 and 1997. Author of Western Primitivism, African Ethnicity: a Study in Cultural Relations’(Continuum 1997) and the essay ‘Art: Agent or Aesthetic?’, in Dolan Cummings (ed), Art: what is it good for? (Hodder Stoughton, 2000). Aidan is currently writing a book on contemporary art.

November 2008

Reluctant celebrity

In Cosmo’s cosmos, modern life doesn’t bustle: it is staid, boring and amounts to being buried alive. On the other hand, the squalid cash interpretation that many put on ‘being a success’ is diseased too.

June 2008

Uncivilised nation

In the past, whenever people have failed to change society for the better, they have nearly always taken to religion to console themselves. In our more profane times, when similar setbacks occur, we seek solace in culture or sport instead.

March 2008

In search of eco-sin redemption

There is just one small problem for greens who think detesting humanity is laudable: they are members of the human race too. This means that, at some level, they must despise themselves.

A spectacular failure

Guy Debord was an alcoholic French intellectual whose Situationalist group played a modest role in the dramatic events of May 1968 in Paris. In the 1970s he became a radical film-maker and spent the aftermath of those tumultuous times in rural seclusion until committing suicide in 1994.

January 2008

Dandy in the Underworld: an Unauthorised Autobiography

‘Eccentricity is to individuality what ‘a character’ is to a person of real character. It is willed. Even worse it is a mask for nonentity. True individuality, like true character, is earned and involves moral effort’.

Books
November 2006

Rousseau’s Dog

Contrary to the conclusions of Rousseau’s Dog, it was a minor atavistic accord between Hume and Rousseau against the rational current of the Enlightenment which then prompted their petulant bout when Hume refused to emulate Rousseau’s noble savagery.

Books
September 2006

The Architecture of Happiness

The current ‘Happiness’ agenda needs beefing up with substantial intellectual input, and de Botton may be the man for the job. But in serving this function, de Botton is reluctant overtly to mention Modernism’s most mystical category. For him, a true homage to the perfect home must find some way to convey a void.

Books
May 2006

Civilization: a New History of the Western World

Osborne believes art’s role should be to console grief-stricken humanity for relinquishing its primeval paradise. On the contrary, a dynamic humanity would do well to sample from time to time marginal spheres of culture to have its key assumptions negated and transgressed.

February 2004

Imagining the Soul

Like the contemporary self, the mystical mind which believed its soul would last for eternity was not a rational mind, yet that soul also reflected a progressive human trait which has been lost in our contemporary times – the sense that humanity at least shares some common interests.

January 2004

Interview: Rachel Jordan

Whatever I align myself with at the time, I always totally believe in. But I’m not going to stay stuck for ever. I think I’ve had my moment with being with the Stuckists. It’s carried me into a relationship. It’s almost served its purpose, but I don’t think that’s where my future lies.

January 2003

‘Aztecs’ and ‘Jake and Dinos Chapman’

There have been rave reviews for the Aztecs show at the Royal Academy, but this art was produced by one of the most bloodthirsty ‘civilisations’ that has ever existed.

December 2002

The Turner Prize Show

Am I the only person to suspect that culture minister Kim Howells’ Stuckist-style intervention into the Turner Prize this year was another case of government spin?

Culture Wars was included in creativetourists’ Top 25 UK Arts & Culture Blogs 2009.