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Stuart Gillespie | 19 Nov 13 | 0 comments
It can be traced back to an Australian web forum in 2002; its usage has increased 17,000% since this time last year; and it has been popularised by celebrities including Beyonce, Rihanna, Cheryl Cole and Justin Bieber.
The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013 is: selfie
- selfie noun, informal (also selfy; plural selfies)
a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website
It may strike some as nothing more than vanity, but the practice of taking selfies has skyrocketed over the past 12 months – particularly among young people with smartphones and social media accounts.
The word has been gaining momentum throughout the English-speaking world in 2013 [scroll down for infographic] and has evolved from a social media buzzword to mainstream shorthand for a self-portrait photograph. Its linguistic productivity is already evident in the creation of numerous related spin-off terms including those showcasing particular parts of the body (such as 'helfie' – a picture of one's hair) or a particular activity (such as 'welfie' – a workout selfie).
Judy Pearsall, editorial director for Oxford Dictionaries, said: 'Using the Oxford Dictionaries language research programme, which collects around 150 million words of current English in use each month, we can see a phenomenal upward trend in the use of selfie in 2013, and this helped to cement its selection as Word of the Year.
'Social media sites helped to popularize the term, with the hashtag #selfie appearing on the photo-sharing website Flickr as early as 2004, but usage wasn’t widespread until around 2012, when selfie was being used commonly in mainstream media sources.'
Research shows the word was in use by 2002, when it was employed by a poster on an Australian online forum:
ABC Online (forum posting), 13 Sepember 2002
'Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.'
Ms Pearsall added: 'In early examples, the word was often spelled with a -y, but the -ie form is more common today and has become the accepted spelling. The use of the diminutive -ie suffix is notable, as it helps to turn an essentially narcissistic enterprise into something rather more endearing. Australian English has something of a penchant for -ie words – barbie for barbecue, firie for firefighter, tinnie for a can of beer – so this helps to support the evidence for selfie having originated in Australia.'
Selfie was added to OxfordDictionaries.com in August and is currently being considered for future inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Also on the shortlist for Word of the Year 2013 but missing out on the accolade were:
bedroom tax, noun, informal: (in the UK) a reduction in the amount of housing benefit paid to a claimant if the property they are renting is judged to have more bedrooms than is necessary for the number of the people in the household, according to criteria set down by the government.
binge-watch, verb: to watch multiple episodes of a television programme in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming.
bitcoin, noun: a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank. Also, a unit of bitcoin.
olinguito, noun: a small furry mammal found in mountain forests in Colombia and Ecuador, the smallest member of the raccoon family.
schmeat, noun, informal: a form of meat produced synthetically from biological tissue.
showrooming, noun: the practice of visiting a shop or shops in order to examine a product before buying it online at a lower price.
twerk, verb: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.
'Selfie' image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Stuart Gillespie | 07 Nov 13 | 0 comments
As the first choreographer to be appointed as an artist in residence at Oxford University, Rosie Kay has brought a new perspective to the academic life of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography.
Since taking up her post in January, Rosie – an experienced performer whose choreography credits include the hit film Sunshine on Leith – has been hard at work on a host of research projects, workshops and original productions in collaboration with University anthropologists and other artists.
Rosie, whose year-long residency is funded by the Leverhulme Trust, first came to the attention of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography when she spoke at the Dance and Academia conference in Oxford in 2011.
She said: 'Professor Stanley Ulijaszek, director of the Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, approached me afterwards, and we started a long conversation about potential ways my work and the Unit's work could combine in some way to further their research with a "body-focused" approach.
'It grew quite organically, and over a period of about a year we settled on a few areas of research. Then the department applied to the Leverhulme Trust for me to become an artist in residence – the first choreographer in the history of Oxford to be an artist in residence.'
Rosie added: 'The thing that really drew us together was the question of conveying ideas about embodiment and deepening research methodologies that can draw on dance's rich experience and help illuminate areas that are often misunderstood or misinterpreted.
'I also like to think that until I worked in the department I had invented my own version of amateur fieldwork – doing long, intense, embedded participation research projects in preparation for creating artistic works, and using an array of interviews and research methods to understand more about the subject matter of my work. Now I understand this is termed "participant observation" in anthropology, but my work has always had quite a serious research aspect to it prior to creation.'
It was Rosie's development of this choreographic fieldwork that made her affiliation with the Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity both natural and intuitive. Among her previous work is the touring production 5 Soldiers, for which she carried out extensive participatory research with The 4th Battalion, The Rifles. She formed her own dance company in 2004 and has since won numerous awards for her work.
When she began her residency at Oxford, Rosie's goals were threefold: to see her research projects through to fruition alongside medical anthropologist Dr Karin Eli; to explore her own methodology as a dance practitioner; and to develop personally, making the most of her time at the University.
Rosie said: 'My first goal was to gain a wider understanding of the new area I was working in – anthropology. I collected books, read up in libraries, and attended as many lectures as I could to build as wide a picture as possible about the way anthropologists approach subjects and how they present their findings. Anthropology is so rich and diverse, and cultural anthropology is closely linked to the world of arts, so there were a lot of areas to explore and some assumptions to unpack.
'Artistically, I was really keen to see if dance can be used as an instrument for the study of embodiment and embodied conditions within the realm of anthropology. This is really about working out exactly what my methodology is. My second artistic goal was to find new terms of exploration – I love to be inspired and Oxford is rich with inspiring people and access to incredible materials, as well as great knowledge and understanding. I was keen to find new material to explore and feed into my own work and the work with my dance company.
'The third area of my goals was personal – it was such a new experience coming to Oxford and I’ve been determined to make the most of it.'
Highlights of Rosie's residency so far include being involved in the delivery of a participatory seminar at this year's Dance and Academia conference, and holding a series of seminars titled 'Dance in Anthropology? Anthropology in Dance?' which explored the relationship between the two disciplines in a practical, physical way.
In April, Rosie was asked by a group of material anthropology students to choreograph a piece for the Twilight Takeover event at the Pitt Rivers Museum. She has also developed the dance work Sluts of Possession in collaboration with Brazilian choreographer/performer Guilherme Miotto and video artist Louis Price (see trailer above). For this, Rosie was granted access to the Pitt Rivers film and music archive. The work premiered in Edinburgh in August and is due to go on tour next year.
Rosie said: 'I hope that my residency has been of benefit both to the School and the University. I think there is something refreshing for an academic department when an artist enters their world. We have different perspectives – we can ask questions with our own knowledge, background and training, but perhaps without some of the inhibitions. An artist is continually interested and probing, trying to find the deep issues underlying a subject or object of interest and trying to find commonalities with which to communicate to an audience. This helps to translate complex ideas into works that can speak to many people. In a small way, I think a short work such as Sluts of Possession might make a lot of people think through what anthropology is, what it does, and how historic archive on culture can still have relevance to an individual today.
'For me, there is no doubt that my spell at Oxford has sharpened my mind – the rigour, the questioning and the speed of thought is wonderful, and I have weirdly felt very much at home. It's given me a lot of confidence in articulating myself in the arts world and applying a vigour to my teaching and choreographic practice that has benefited from the ethnographer's gaze upon my work practices. I feel stronger now about what I do know, and very excited about what I don't. That sense of unlimited inspiration has really refreshed my work, and my company has benefited. My relationship with the School and the University will continue past the end of the Leverhulme position, so I can honestly say that it has been mutually beneficial.'
Sluts of Possession images and video courtesy of Louis Price. Rosie Kay headshot copyright Petrov Ahner.(Full story)
Stuart Gillespie | 25 Oct 13 | 0 comments
A recent graduate of Oxford University's Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art has been awarded one of the UK's most prestigious prizes for young artists.
Jack Stanton was named as the winner of this year's New Sensations competition, run by the Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4 and dubbed the 'baby Turner Prize'.
Jack, who graduated from the Ruskin this year, was shortlisted and then picked as the winner for his audio and video work exploring narratives of adolescence.
As well as receiving a cash prize, Jack worked with Channel 4 to make a short film about his art and saw his work exhibited in London this month as part of Frieze Week.
The video and samples of Jack's work are available to view on the New Sensations website.
In his supporting statement for the contest, Jack said: 'My work often involves narratives of adolescence; my personal interpretations of formative archetypes set against commonly received ideas as presented by mass media.
'I use a combination of found and self-generated imagery in my video work. This methodology of employing elements from broadcast media and the internet continues in my audio. I typically compose original audio for my pieces around morsels of sampled material.
'Performance plays a large part in my practice. I use my body and voice as means to directly inhabit the work.'
The prize is open to students who have graduated from art schools in the UK and Ireland in the same year.
Of this year's 20 shortlisted candidates, four were from the Ruskin.
Another Ruskin graduate, Oliver Beer, won the New Sensations competition in 2009 and has since gone on to have a successful artistic career.
Meanwhile, Ruskin graduate Dom Callaghan has been shortlisted for the Platform 2013 award, which aims to support new artistic talent in the south-east of England.
Dom's body of work, You are necessary here 2013, has been exhibited at Modern Art Oxford.
Images (courtesy of Jack Stanton)
Top: Jack Stanton during a performance of Seems Like Old Times
Bottom: Still from Jack's prize-winning video The Sad Truth(Full story)
Stuart Gillespie | 23 Oct 13 | 0 comments
A colourful and creative design showcasing a project that links the work of Dante and Proust has won this year's Humanities Division postgraduate research poster competition.
Julia Hartley, a DPhil candidate in the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, receives a prize of £150 worth of vouchers for her efforts.
Jonna Vuoskoski and Sophie Bocksberger were named as the runner-up and third-placed entrant, winning prizes of £100 and £50 worth of vouchers respectively.
The competition, run by the Humanities Division's training and research teams with the support of the Higher Education Innovation Fund, attracted highly original entries from a broad range of humanities disciplines and gave postgraduates the chance to communicate their research to a wider audience.
Julia's poster reflected her research into literary vocation in Dante and Proust and was presented in an eye-catching cartoon style.
Julia said: 'I have been drawing Dante and Proust for some years now. It started as a way to release pressure during my final undergraduate year, and they have since become two characters whom I enjoy picturing in any everyday situation.
'My research considers broad questions – what it means to be a writer, how it can change one's identity, what literature brings to our lives – by focusing on two titans of the Western canon.
'I've always had a passion for communicating, but it was only when I attended the research communication and poster writing advice workshop at the Humanities Centre last year that I realised one can be creative in the ways one shares research.
'Drawing my poster has shown me that there is scope for creativity in academia and has convinced me that now is an exciting time to be working in the humanities.'
Jonna, whose research lies in the interdisciplinary field of music psychology, submitted a striking design that clearly outlined her project examining how visual and auditory cues interact in the perception of musical performance.
Sophie, a DPhil student in classics, submitted another arresting design to illustrate her research into modern interpretations of ancient dance.
The entries were displayed in the Radcliffe Humanities building on Tuesday, when the prize-winners were announced.(Full story)
Stuart Gillespie | 22 Oct 13 | 0 comments
World-renowned violinist Midori is among this term's Humanitas Visiting Professors at Oxford University.
Soprano Renée Fleming and economist Roger Myerson complete the line-up, with each guest delivering a series of special events over the next three weeks.
Midori's Classical Music and Music Education programme begins on Friday 25 October with a symposium on the subject 'Teaching, learning and developing highly specialised skills in the creative arts'.
Since making her debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 11, Midori has gone on to establish a record of achievement which sets her apart as a master musician and innovator.
She is also a champion of the developmental potential of children, having founded a number of organisations which bring music closer to the lives of those who may not otherwise have involvement with the arts.
Other events in Midori's programme include an open rehearsal on Sunday 27 October and a solo recital the following day at St John's College.
Renée Fleming, Humanitas Visiting Professor in Opera Studies, begins her series on Saturday November 2 with an 'In conversation' event at Merton College, before hosting a number of open rehearsals and masterclasses.
As a musical statesman, Ms Fleming has performed at such distinguished occasions as the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
Concluding this term's programme will be Roger Myerson, Humanitas Visiting Professor in Economic Thought.
The Glen A. Lloyd Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, Professor Myerson has made seminal contributions to the fields of economics and political science.
His visiting professorship will comprise a lecture and series of workshops on 11 and 12 November. The symposium will see Professor Myerson joined by other world-leading economists to discuss decentralization in economic development.
Further details can be found here. All events are free and open to all, although registration is required on the website.
Humanitas is a series of Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge intended to bring leading practitioners and scholars to both universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences and humanities.
Created by Lord Weidenfeld, the programme is managed and funded by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue with the support of a series of generous benefactors and administered by the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).
Stuart Gillespie | 16 Oct 13 | 0 comments
Featuring everything from a classic Jane Austen opener to 21st-century barbs from the likes of Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr, the new edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations is guaranteed to raise a smile.
Today (16 October) marks the publication of the fifth edition of the book, this time under the editorship of broadcaster and former MP Gyles Brandreth. Working with the quotations team at Oxford University Press, Brandreth has assessed the most quoted and most quotable people of the past and present to pick 5,000 of the sharpest, wittiest, and funniest lines ever written or recorded.
Brandreth said: 'These are the people whose lines, written or spoken, have stood the test of time. They are the all-time greats. Some are notable for their original humour, some for their pertinent wit and wry observation.
'What makes them eligible for the Dictionary is that what they say raises a smile or a laugh and is memorable – and they manage to do it again and again. These are the most quotable and, in our book, the most quoted.'
Fittingly, the publication date coincides with the birthday of the book's most quoted figure – the Irish wit, novelist, poet and playwright Oscar Wilde. Wilde contributes 92 entries to the Dictionary, ahead of the likes of George Bernard Shaw, Noel Coward, Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker.
Brandreth added: 'It is fitting to see that today, on Oscar Wilde's birthday, Wilde is leagues ahead of the rest of the pack. He is without doubt the most quoted and quotable of them all.
'Bernard Shaw's plays may not be performed as often as once they were, but his lines remain memorable. Woody Allen is the only living person to make the top ten and he has pushed the great 18th-century lexicographer and wit, Dr Johnson, into eighth place.'
The top five most quoted women in the Dictionary are Parker, Mae West, Fran Lebowitz, Joan Rivers and Margaret Thatcher. Established favourites, they stand alongside 21st-century newcomers such as Jo Brand and Miranda Hart.
Thatcher also features on the list of most quoted politicians, coming behind London mayor Boris Johnson, Benjamin Disraeli and Winston Churchill.
Brandreth said: 'Margaret Thatcher was not noted for her sense of humour, but she is in the top five because she said some memorable things, such as this oft-quoted line: "If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman."'
Editor's pick: Brandreth's top 10 humorous quotations of all time
1. 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.' – Jane Austen (1775–1817)
2. Nancy Astor: 'If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee!' Winston Churchill: 'And if I were your husband I would drink it.'
3. 'I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.' – Groucho Marx (1890–1977)
4. 'Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.' – Mae West (1892–1980)
5. 'To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.' – Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)
6. 'If not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.' – P. G. Wodehouse (1881–1975)
7. 'If God had wanted us to bend over, He would have put diamonds on the floor.' – Joan Rivers (1933–)
8. 'Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.' – Miles Kington (1941–2008)
9. 'If you lived in Sheffield and were called Sebastian, you had to learn to run fast at a very early stage.' – Sebastian Coe (1956–)
10. 'The email of the species is deadlier than the mail.' – Stephen Fry (1957–)(Full story)
Stuart Gillespie | 08 Oct 13 | 0 comments
Dr Belinda Jack, Fellow and Tutor in French at Christ Church, Oxford, has given her first public lecture as the new Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College, London. It is a three-year appointment.
Tuesday evening's lecture opened a six-part series titled 'The Mysteries of Reading and Writing' that Dr Jack will deliver over the next seven months.
Gresham professors and other visiting speakers give more than 100 free public lectures each year at various venues.
Speaking about her series, Dr Jack said: 'Reading is a subject which has long fascinated me, not least because of my role in teaching undergraduate students to read "difficult" literature with the greatest attention to detail, structure and internal connections.
'My most recent book, The Woman Reader, is a history of women's reading from ancient times to the present day, and the writing of it deepened my interest in the subject of reading more generally.
'My Gresham lectures will draw on some of the material on which I based my book, including material that I didn't have space to treat, and on the research I am currently undertaking.
'My primary aim will be to encourage informed reading of a wide range of material, which will make us reconsider literature, ourselves, and the society in which we live.'
Dr Jack's first lecture as Gresham Professor of Rhetoric – past post-holders include Stephen Spender, Cecil Day-Lewis and Jan Kott – tackled the question, 'What Is Reading?'
She began her talk with a story about two Greek boys who come across an old letter while playing in an attic in a house in rural Greece. One boy, Dimitris, is literate but cannot understand the dialect the letter is written in, while the other, Gregoris, cannot read but is well versed in the dialect.
'Dimitris gazes frustratedly at the words on the page while Gregoris asks impatiently what the letter says,' Dr Jack told her audience. 'Dimitris starts to "sound out" the words and Gregoris encourages him, occasionally correcting a slight mispronunciation. When Dimitris reaches the end of the letter, Gregoris is able to translate its contents into modern Greek and they are then both aware of what the letter says.
'Now, who has "read" the letter? It can't be Gregoris, as he is illiterate. Nor can it be Dimitris, as he doesn't know the local dialect. So we have to conclude that the reading process has been shared and collaborative.'
Dr Jack went on to talk about the 'tragedy' that roughly 20% of the global adult population is illiterate – a tragedy because 'reading greatly extends our understanding of the world and of ourselves'.
Describing reading as 'complex' and language as a 'tricky and slippery business', Dr Jack spoke about how rich and storied idiomatic phrases, such as 'bold as brass', have become clichés.
She added: 'A good many poets, rather than shunning clichés, seek to strip them of their familiarity and re-present them to their readers in all their freshness and, often, curiousness.
'Dylan Thomas’s poem "Fern Hill" (1945) seduced me as a child. As a teenager I was given tape recordings of Thomas reading his own work and the hoarse yet melodious voice further added to my wonder at his language. I enjoyed the mysterious magic of the language – and the world it conjured up.
'Two of the lines of "Fern Hill", which is a poem that celebrates childhood experience in all its immediacy and rawness, are: "And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves / Trail with daisies and barley".
'What Thomas has done is to take one of the most powerful clichés of childhood, the phrase "Once upon a time", and substituted the preposition "upon" with something akin to its inverse, "below".
'A whole lot of things are happening at once. We sense the comfort of the familiar, childish opening of the children's story, at the same time as recognising that the experience that is being described belonged to a different dimension of time, a privileged space enjoyed only by children. Reflecting on the prepositions, the cliché comes alive again.'
Dr Jack concluded her lecture by reading an extract from Alan Bennett’s 2007 novella, The Uncommon Reader, in which Queen Elizabeth II becomes an avid reader after a chance encounter with a mobile library at Buckingham Palace.
Questioned by her Private Secretary as to why 'briefings' are no longer sufficient for her, the Queen responds: 'Briefing is not reading. In fact it is the antithesis of reading. Briefing is terse, factual and to the point. Reading is untidy, discursive and perpetually inviting. Briefing closes down a subject, reading opens it up.'
The lecture was followed by a lively discussion, with questions drawn from an audience of some 200 people. A transcript of the lecture is now available on the Gresham College website, with a podcast to follow.
Dr Jack's next lecture, 'Reading for Pleasure', will take place on Tuesday 26 November 2013 at the Museum of London.(Full story)
Stuart Gillespie | 19 Sep 13 | 0 comments
The clocks will be turned back 430 years at Christ Church on Saturday.
A little-known but fascinating Elizabethan play, rustled up to entertain the Polish ambassador Albert Łaski on his visit to Oxford in 1583, was the inspiration for this weekend's special event.
The evening of drama, served up alongside a banquet in Christ Church hall, is being organised by the University's Early Drama at Oxford (EDOX) project, run by a team of scholars and specialist film-makers.
Central to the sold-out event will be the performance of William Gager's Dido, translated from its original Latin by classicist and English scholar Elizabeth Sandis. The play will be staged in its original venue – once again in front of a representative of the Polish embassy, the Deputy Head of Mission, Dariusz Łaska.
Gager, who was a law student at Christ Church at the time, will be competing for top billing with Christopher Marlowe, whose Dido, Queen of Carthage will also be staged on the night.
And the 16th-century feel will be completed by an authentic Elizabethan banquet, featuring such contemporary delicacies as vegetable and herb soup, roast pork belly with cinnamon gravy, spiced orange and wine jelly, and frumenty, a wheat-based 'porridge' traditionally served with venison or porpoise.
Elizabeth, a DPhil candidate at Merton College specialising in the academic drama of Christ Church and St John’s College in 17th-century Oxford, said: 'At EDOX we're trying to give people a chance to get to know dramatic material, some of it in Latin, that they may be unfamiliar with or find intimidating. The Christ Church event is the second in our series, after Magdalen last year, and next year we are thinking about a similar event at Merton.
'William Gager got really involved in the drama scene at Christ Church in the 1580s, so when the Polish ambassador was visiting at short notice and they needed to entertain and impress him, Gager was the person they turned to.'
The result was Dido, an adaptation of Virgil's epic Aeneid in the original Latin.
Elizabeth said: 'I've injected a few of the Latin verses back into my translation to give people the chance to hear how it would have sounded in 1583 – iambic senarii and lyric metres, and the Virgilian vocabulary.
'Gager was able to take entire sections of Virgil and incorporate them into his work. It was Elizabethan-style plagiarism but of a wholly acceptable kind because he was able to show off his skills as a Latinist and transpose Virgil's canonical lexicon into something new.
'At the time, everyone would have been familiar with the story of Dido and the fall of Troy, so it was a challenge for the playwright to dramatise that and do something clever with it.'
One example of Gager's playfulness involves a scene in which Aeneas's son, Ascanius, is brooding on the collapse of his home at Troy, having heard his father’s tale of the city’s fall the previous evening at dinner.
Elizabeth said: 'Dido asks him what the matter is, and he replies that he is thinking about his father's story from the night before and is beginning to imagine Troy in the features of a giant pudding on the banquet table – for example, the river Simoeis and the place where the wooden horse was brought in.
'It would have been a large marzipan dessert, and we’ll be recreating it on the night.'
The authentic Elizabethan menu to be enjoyed by the 240 guests was created by Christ Church head chef Chris Simms.
Gager's Dido will form part of a double bill on Saturday, sharing the stage with Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage. Both will be performed by all-male casts, just as they would have been in the late 16th century. Attendees will be able to compare and contrast the two adaptations ahead of a conference, titled 'Performing Dido', to be held by EDOX the following day.
EDOX was formed around 18 months ago by Elizabeth, Dr James McBain and Professor Elisabeth Dutton, who is directing Dido. The project, partly funded by the British Academy, is undertaking a systematic study of plays written and/or performed in the Oxford colleges between 1480 and 1650.(Full story)
Stuart Gillespie | 12 Sep 13 | 0 comments
Francis Bacon Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone begins at the Ashmolean today (12 September). But the exhibition's origins lie more than 40 years ago in the Oxford of the early 1970s.
Co-curator Richard Calvocoressi had recently begun studying English at Oxford when he attended a lecture held by the Critical Society that made a huge impression on him.
Mr Calvocoressi, director of the Henry Moore Foundation, said: 'The lecture which made the deepest impression on me was given to members of the society on 13 February 1970 by Francis Warner. A fellow and tutor in English literature at St Peter's College, Francis was energetic and inspiring.
'The subject of Francis's slide talk that evening was "Francis Bacon and Henry Moore". What I recall most clearly about it was Francis's conviction that both artists, having lived through two world wars (in Moore's case seeing active service in the first) and having experienced the Blitz (during which Bacon served in Air Raid Precautions), were engaged in a similar enterprise: restoring the human body, not to a state of perfection or even wholeness, but to a kind of dignified, animal resignation in the face of isolation and suffering.
'Conscious of mortality, each manages to convey an irrepressible sense of life. Their perspectives, of course, were different: Moore still clinging to a belief in humanism, Bacon closer to a bleaker, posthumanist world view.
'In expressing their complementary visions of humanity, Bacon worked from the outside in, Moore from the inside out: flesh and bone.
'Since Francis Warner's lecture, it has always seemed to me perfectly natural that anyone would choose to think and talk about the work of Moore and Bacon together – a view enthusiastically shared by my collaborator, Martin Harrison.'
Fifty years after their first joint exhibition at Marlborough Fine Art, Francis Bacon Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone places the work of these two great artists in close relation once again.
The exhibition features 20 paintings by Bacon and 20 sculptures and 20 drawings by Moore. The pieces have been borrowed from public and private collections, selected by Mr Harrison, editor of the Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonée, and Mr Calvocoressi.
Supported by Pictet & Cie, Sotheby's, and the Friends of the Ashmolean, the exhibition explores themes such as the treatment of the human figure and the artists' responses to the violence of the 20th century.
Professor Christopher Brown, director of the Ashmolean, said: 'This is one of the most ambitious and exciting exhibitions we have mounted since we reopened in 2009. It compares the two greatest British artists of the 20th century and promises to be both visually thrilling and immensely thought-provoking.'
Francis Bacon Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone runs from 12 September 2013 until 19 January 2014 at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
1: Second Version of Triptych 1944 (c) The Estate of Francis Bacon
2: Oxford University Critical Society poster
3: Reclining Figure (c) The Henry Moore Foundation
4: Study for Portrait of Pope Innocent X (c) The Estate of Francis Bacon(Full story)
Stuart Gillespie | 28 Aug 13 | 0 comments
If you've sat in the sun this summer and enjoyed some street food washed down with a pear cider, perhaps even taking a selfie of the occasion to post on a social networking site, then you've unwittingly been contributing to the latest quarterly update to Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO).
Apols for the laboured intro – the examples above are just a few of the most recent words to make it into common usage. They've been added to ODO, Oxford University Press's free online dictionary of current English.
Anyone who has seen the now-infamous clips from this year's MTV Video Music Awards will know how to twerk, while fans of political satire The Thick of It may be pleased to learn that omnishambles has made the cut.
Technology and fashion are well represented, from bitcoins and unlike to geek chic and double denims, while higher education gets a mention in the form of MOOCs (massive open online courses).
The recent rise in popularity of home baking sees new entries for blondies and cake pops – two things that are guaranteed to make anyone with a sweet tooth squee. But don’t eat too many, or you risk ending up with a food baby.
Angus Stevenson of ODO said: 'New words, senses, and phrases are added to ODO when we have gathered enough independent evidence from a range of sources to be confident that they have widespread currency in English. Publishing online allows us to make the results of our research available more quickly than ever before. Each month, we add about 150 million words to our corpus database of English usage examples collected from sources around the world. We use this database to track and verify new and emerging words and senses on a daily basis.
'On average, we add approximately 1,000 new entries to ODO every year, and this quarter's update highlights some fascinating developments in the English language. Portmanteau words, or blends of words, such as phablet and jorts, remain popular, as do abbreviations, seen in new entries such as srsly and apols.'
If you have a FOMO (fear of missing out) on the latest updates from Oxford Dictionaries, follow the team on Twitter @OxfordWords
Ten new words added to Oxford Dictionaries Online:
apols, pl. n. (informal): apologies.(Full story)
blondie, n.: a small square of dense, pale-coloured cake, typically of a butterscotch or vanilla flavour.
cake pop, n.: a small round piece of cake coated with icing or chocolate and fixed on the end of a stick so as to resemble a lollipop.
food baby, n.: a protruding stomach caused by eating a large quantity of food and supposedly resembling that of a woman in the early stages of pregnancy.
omnishambles, n. (informal): a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterised by a string of blunders and miscalculations.
phablet, n.: a smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer.
selfie, n. (informal): a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.
squee, exclam. & v. & n. (informal): (used to express) great delight or excitement.
twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.
vom, v. & n. (informal): (be) sick; vomit.