Expect the unexpected at Manchester

Alice, Dum and Dee in the musical ‘wonder.land’, which is showing at this year’s festival

How the city’s biennial festival has become a hothouse for creative partnerships

Doug Aitken at the Barbican Centre, London.
©Anna Huix

Doug Aitken: in search of perpetual fluidity

The Californian multimedia artist talks about artistic experimentation, happenings and being born in 1968

John Lennon signing a copy of ‘In His Own Write’

John Lennon’s ‘In His Own Write’ on stage

Peter Aspden meets the man behind the new adaptation of the Beatle’s word play-obsessed nonsense rhymes

Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins in the 1949 film ‘The Third Man’

Sewers, zithers and cuckoo clocks

As ‘The Third Man’ is re-released, assistant director Guy Hamilton discusses working with Orson Welles

'American Sniper' DVD cover

American Sniper — DVD review

Clint Eastwood’s finely crafted movie about Chris Kyle

'Misirlou' vinyl record

The Life of a Song: ‘Misirlou’

Dick Dale’s version started the ‘surfers’ stomp’ movement

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 move by museum chief McGregor 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

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 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


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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