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Insights: Erich Fromm

"The capacity to be puzzled is the premise of all creation, be it in art or in science"

Erich Fromm

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Stay curious and creative in the face of the unsolvable mysteries of the Universe. Enjoy your weekend!

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Quotes to reflect on

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Jean-Paul Sartre's "Hell is other people"

One of the characters in Jean-Paul Sartre's theatrical play "No exit" claims: "Hell is – other people!". The meaning of this line has proven to be widely misinterpreted over the years. Of course, it doesn't mean that one should avoid other people, or all our problems are connected somehow with the presence of others. It doesn't also say that all social interactions or relations with others are wrong and corrupted.


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What is contemporary art?

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The difference between contemporary art and modern art

There is a widely spread misunderstanding between the terms "Modern", "Modernist" and "Contemporary", especially when they refer to Art. This confusion is not so unexpected if we consider the fact that all of these words mean "something that is happening or referring to nowadays". Well, if we are in the world of Art they have got a completely different meaning. "Modern art" is generally used for the art production made between the huge epoch from 1860 to 1970, whereas the notion "Modernism" or "Modernist" is connected with the intellectual and artistic movements from the early decades of the 20th century. Their art sought new and revolutionary techniques, which could better represent the realities and believes of the modern or future societies. When it comes to "Contemporary art", it just means "art of today or recently made art". Although it sounds self-explanatory, contemporary art has its own historical and philosophical grounds, which could be found in the Avant-garde or the above-mentioned Modernist forms from the beginning of the 20th century. Yet, why it's so hard to define what contemporary art is?

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Uffizi Gallery in Florence unveils barely known illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy

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Why is Dante Alighieri so famous and highly regarded?

In 2021, we mark seven hundred years since the loss of one of the symbols of literature and Humanism, and arguably the greatest and most influential poet of the Western world - Dante Alighieri (c. 1265 – 1321). It would be a difficult task for one to find an educated person that hasn't heard of that name and that's not a result made by an elaborated marketing strategy. In fact, Dante wasn't so popular among his contemporaries and the following epoch. His best-known work – Divine comedy – was considered too "medieval", tragical, and rough for the standards demanded by the rigorous and Classical Greece oriented criteria of the Renaissance. It was during the Romantic era, centuries later, that Dante was re-discovered and awed as one of the most important foundations for establishing the universe of Literature as we know it today. Along with Geoffrey Chaucer and Giovanni Boccaccio, Dante was one of the first poets who published in vernacular language instead of Latin, which was the common one among the scholars and intellectuals at that time. In 13th-14th century Europe that was regarded as a revolution and indeed, it was. For, it made it possible for ordinary people to read and learn in their mother tongue, and not long after that, it gave confidence to them to create and express themselves in their natural verbal patterns.


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The Sistine Chapel of the ancients

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Amazonian ancient rock art

A stunning discovery of prehistoric rock drawings depicting humans, animals, and various ancient people's activities was made in the forest labyrinths of the Amazon jungle. The unbelievable number and quality of the pictures spread across miles of cliff faces provoked the researchers to call the site "The Sistine Chapel of the ancients". The archeologists reckon that it would take decades for the scientists to explore and study thoroughly all the figures and ornaments. The leader of the expedition Jose Iriarte says "When you're there, your emotions flow … We're talking about several tens of thousands of paintings. It's going to take generations to record them … Every turn you do, it's a new wall of paintings." These explorations could lead us to yet unknown facts about the life of prehistoric humans and critical knowledge of early human civilizations.

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