All posts tagged: Modern Art

In Defense of ‘Conspiracy Theories’

Max Parry To remain innocent may also be to remain ignorant.” John Berger, Ways of Seeing This November 22nd marked fifty-five years since the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Perhaps no other major incident in U.S. history has generated more uncertainty and skepticism towards its official account than his Dallas killing in 1963. A 2013 Gallup poll showed that a clear majority of Americans still doubt the Warren Commission’s determination that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone as the accused sniper, with many suspecting that others in government and organized crime were involved in a secret plot to kill the president. Although its etymological origins can be traced back further, as a cultural phenomenon the notion of belief in so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ is widely attributed to a surge in distrust of government and media institutions that followed JFK’s murder. Perhaps its only rival would be September 11th, which surveys have similarly indicated a trend of doubt towards the 9/11 Commission Report’s version of events leading up to the attacks in 2001. In other words, most people …

“Modern art was CIA ‘weapon'”

by BlackCatte The article below was first published in the Independent, in 1995. It makes the surprising and rather curious claim that US intelligence agencies manipulated the creation and dissemination of Modern Art as “weapons” in the “propaganda war with the Soviet Union.” I’m not sure such an article would appear in the Independent – or any other mainstream outlet – today, but I think most of us would agree the discussion of the CIA’s ‘Propaganda Assets Inventory’, which “at its peak could influence more than 800 newspapers, magazines and public information organisations” can still be viewed as relevant. It would probably be insanely naive to imagine such initiatives are a thing of the past The narrative is spun – inevitably – as being about the west “promoting freedom”, but of course you don’t “promote freedom” by covert manipulation, do you? Freedom is promoted by letting people alone to make they own informed choices. If Russian art was “strapped into an ideological straightjacket” at this time, then it’s apparent the CIA wanted the same to …