The Death and Life of Pagan America: On Dave Hickey, with Daniel Oppenheimer


July 16th, 2021

1 hr 42 mins 15 secs

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About this Episode

Writer Daniel Oppenheimer joins me to discuss his new book on the legendary art critic Dave Hickey, "Far From Respectable." We explore Hickey's case for the continued vitality of beauty as a criterion for thinking about art and culture, his defense of controversial artist Robert Mapplethorpe and simultaneous critique of Mapplethorpe's other defenders, his aesthetic populism, his abandoned project "Pagan America," and the relevance of all of these to the current cultural panorama. We also explore Hickey's critique of institutions alongside the ironic fact that institutions sustained his best work – and what that might mean for current institutional outsiders in the Substack economy and elsewhere.

Daniel's website:

Far From Respectable: