The Easel


26th November 2019

Troy: Will Gompertz reviews the British Museum’s new blockbuster show

Why do stories about Troy have such enduring resonance? The ancient city of Troy probably existed. Fictional Paris abducted possibly fictional Helen (antiquity’s hottest babe), leading to the (unlikely) 10 year Trojan War. All this is recorded by the mysterious Homer in The Iliad. What gives the tale its enduring appeal are its powerful personalities, epic emotions and, above all, the futility of war.

Shirin Neshat: a stare that challenges us to look away

The art of Iranian-born Neshat looks like it might be a critique of religious Iran. Not exactly. Stranded in the US by the 1979 Iranian revolution, her art comes from the experience of being an outsider – in Iran and elsewhere. She expresses the immigrant experience as “foreigners inside a country we call home”. An interview with Neshat, more accessible than the above review, is here.