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A sambista from the Samba School Vai Vai using Hélio Oiticica's Parangolés.

Dear Readers,

I am particularly interested in The Art Section as a vehicle for personal reflection. Ten years ago, I would bring my students regularly to artists' studios and gallery shows. Since I no longer teach, it is now through my role as Editor-in-Chief of The Art Section that I can continue to share my passion for the personal in the reading of the visual world.


This month, we have three very engaged articles by three writers who are also artists. I am not going to come to any conclusion about this fact, but I think it may be something on which the reader could reflect.


Christina Roiter from Rio de Janeiro brings us significant news of the art world in Brazil. She writes about the destruction of works by the deceased Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica (1937–80) in a recent fire, the terrible loss and the way the artist and his work are being mourned by his countrymen.


Ken Lum, an artist living in Vancouver, reveals in his essay “To Say or Not to Say” an epiphany he experienced concerning the way museums influence one's perception of art and a very personal reading of artworks and how they have been subjugated by cultural politics.


Anna Leung from London writes here about the Pop Life exhibition at the Tate Modern. Anna offers a finely chiseled reading of recent art history and the shifting of values with the coming of the 1980s.


All three essays raise questions concerning the fundamental value of art--whether that is understood as political, social, economic, or aesthetic-- and the values art can or does represent. At the end of the day, this sort of reflection on what really matters is the best kind of reflection and consideration one can undertake.


The Art Section wishes you Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year. Our next issue will be launched on January 15, 2010.


All my best,



Deanna Sirlin is an artist and Editor-in-Chief of The Art Section.

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