“What art does is provide material with which to think: new registers; new spaces. After that, friend, it’s up to you.” -Olivia Laing, Funny Weather
This week on NPR, Annalisa Quinn reviewed Olivia Laing’s new collection of essays, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency. Funny Weather brings together a career’s worth of Laing’s writing about art and culture, and its role in our political and emotional lives. In this inspiring collection of essays, Olivia Laing, who Quinn calls an “imaginative and empathetic critic of the arts,” makes a case for why art matters, especially in the turbulent weather of the twenty-first century. She profiles Jean-Michel Basquiat and Georgia O’Keeffe, interviews Hilary Mantel and Ali Smith, writes love letters to David Bowie and Wolfgang Tillmans, and explores loneliness and technology, women and alcohol, and sex and the body.
Quinn commends the book for its modest power, writing, “it’s a pleasure to follow Laing as she pokes around companionably, examining the things that interest her and discarding the things that don’t.”
We’re often told that art can’t change anything. Laing argues that it can. Art changes how we see the world. With characteristic originality and compassion, Funny Weather celebrates art as an antidote.
As we continue to face this moment of great change, Funny Weather is the perfect book if you need some artistic inspiration for you soul!