The Dangerous Pleasure of Art

Death and Life - Gustav Klimt

Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene is an 800-page British allegorical poem from the late 1500s about Christian knights or whatever that nobody reads anymore but we don’t care about that. What we care about this 14 page section, which I am going to give you and go over in detail so you don’t need to know anything about it when you walk in the door, where one of the knights enters into the Big Bad’s pleasure garden and nearly gets ensnared. 

That part of the poem, called the Bower of Bliss, is more than an adventure story (it’s a terrible adventure story) and more than a great bit of poetry (it is an insanely powerful and influential bit of poetry). It is a tour-de-force intellectual analysis of the relationship between art and morality, illusion and reality, sex and masculinity and violence and pornography and women — one that outshines 100 philosophers and 1000 think-pieces about Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Louis CK, Jeffrey Tambor and Woody Allen. Hot takes are for babies; let’s get a context hundreds of years old for the things that concern us now.




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Other upcoming Olios


Mar 27

Urban Development: From Reconstruction to Gentrification

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

Sign Up - $15

Mar 28

Catfishing: The Artist as Trickster in Factual Fictions

Taught by Ted Barrow
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

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Mar 29

Self-Love or Narcissism?

Taught by Skye Cleary
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

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Mar 30

Scenius Summit 2019: Apiary Book Launch

Taught by No Professor Weekend
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

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Apr 5

OlioMuse | Beethoven's Minor Mood

Taught by Gil Harel
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

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Apr 7

Olio Breakfast Club | Death & Bagels on a Sunday Morning

Taught by Jeanne Proust
10:30 a.m. at North 3rd St. Market - Williamsburg

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Apr 9

Madame(s) X: Muses, Makers, & Shifting Identities

Taught by Ted Barrow
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

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Apr 13

OlioHouse | Music & The Feast for Senses

Taught by Whitney George
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Apr 23

The Death of Art, The Rise of the Image

Taught by Vishwa Adluri
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

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Apr 27

OlioHouse | Found Poetry: Composting Words

Taught by Heather O'Neill
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $20


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