FT Weekend at 30: Culture shocks

It is hard to imagine the extent of the chaos in which Britain’s arts world was operating in 1985

British wartime cartoon: Illustration of a fallen structure and a soldier's helmet

Germany and Greece: a twisted love affair

How an economic stand-off has roots in a cultural misreading

Peter Aspden

Our pick of Peter Aspden’s columns

We celebrate some of Peter Aspden’s most notable Culture Columns

Sounds of the past, ways of the future

The things that historically carried sounds can be as interesting as the content they carried

British Museum tribute draws Merkel’s eye

Chancellor’s visit coincides with talk of McGregor move to Berlin

A sense of purpose puts emerging world in the picture

Art from developing nations has a relevance and energy that have been missing from much of western culture

A figleaf for the Parthenon Marbles

The otherwise worthy journey of Ilissos to Russia would not merit any further comment were the statue not part of the most controversial group of art works of our time

Songs in the key of later life

Great artists find new ways to visit their own past, and make it fresh all over again

Krystana Janda in the second episode of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue’

Moral complexity in the age of Mr Bean

In December 1989, Poland’s television viewing public was treated to the first episode of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s ‘Decalogue’

Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘La Nona Ora’ (1999)
©Zeno Zotti/Maurizio Cattelan’s Archive

Maurizio Cattelan’s interview and new show

‘Every reign needs its jester’, says Italy’s best-known contemporary artist and chief joker

To sell or not to sell

The very idea of a pop star ‘selling out’ has gone the way of Victorian brown furniture. To sell is to sell, period

A Swift end to streaming, a long goodbye to the stage

One is turning into an unstoppable hit factory; the other has to stop, facing the inevitable consequences of physical decline

Richard Ford’s ‘Let Me Be Frank with You’

Frank Bascombe resumes his negotiations with the ageing process in Richard Ford’s fine new story collection

Bob Dylan’s legendary Basement Tapes

Almost 50 years after they were recorded, the songs from the famous Big Pink sessions can now be heard in full for the first time

Premonition: Ukrainian Art Now, Saatchi Gallery, London

An uneven attempt to link contemporary artists with political events

Moves will be bust, bones will be broken

Hip-hop and martial arts are perfect bedfellows because they both channel violent impulses

Germany: Memories of a Nation, British Museum, London

An object-based show that spans 600 years of history and is rich with metaphorical pickings

Memoirs: John Lydon, Vivienne Westwood

The alchemy of punk was shortlived but potent – as ‘Johnny Rotten’ and the fashion designer reveal

Christopher Hampton’s dangerous liaison

The playwright, scriptwriter, librettist and translator talks about his latest Kafkaesque challenge

Flux and the city

Art stimulates brains and economies. Win-win. But take a closer look: these works are not celebrations so much as signs of nervous breakdown


Peter AspdenPeter Aspden is the Financial Times’ arts writer, having previously been its arts editor for five years. He joined the paper in 1994, as deputy books and arts editor and a general feature writer on Weekend FT. He has written on numerous subjects, including travel, religion, politics, history, most art forms and sport: he covered the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, and the World Cup in France in 1998.

He was educated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, before going into journalism. He joined the Times Higher Education Supplement in 1985, where he went on to become deputy editor. He has been writing a weekly column on contemporary culture since January 2004; it appears in the Life & Arts section every Saturday.

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