In the Show – 9th June 2009

Last week’s commemoration of the June 4th 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square gave rise to a number of art exhibitions and activities in Hong Kong. It also reignited discussion of the relationship between art and politics.

From the French Revolution, to Goya’s “Third of May”, to the propaganda art of Communist China, the relationship of art and politics has been sometimes complementary, sometimes antagonistic.

In his Nobel speech, “Art, Truth and Politics” the 2005 Nobel Laureate in Literature, British playwright Harold Pinter spoke of the need to “distinguish between the search for truth in art and the avoidance of truth in politics.” We talk to veteran members of the arts scene on how they see that relationship, particularly with respect to dealing with such incidents as the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Is art even relevant in the face of political atrocity?

In the mid-1960s cowboy series dominated American television screens. A producer called Gene Roddenberry came up with an idea that he billed to network chiefs as “Wagon Train” in outer space. Well, “Star Trek” was not exactly “Wagon Train” but it was a highly successful science fiction series about the lives of those aboard the Starship Enterprise who each week would “boldly go where no man had gone before”. Now filmmaker JJ Abrams has boldly gone back to the beginning of the “Star Trek” story. Reviewer Gary Pollard tells us more.

Performing in our studio tonight is the young French guitarist Thibault Cauvin. He’s trying to interpret the classical guitar in a way that will excite the interest of younger audiences. In tonight”s show he plays “Rocktypicovin” a piece written by his father Philippe Cauvin.

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To see a streaming video of the whole show, please click here.

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