|"Creative life may be flourishing in widely different ways across Europe, but the most common cultural link across the region now is a devotion to American popular culture in the form of movies, television and music." This is what Alan Riding has to say, I am not sure I agree (or do I fear what if he is right?)
Also, see his list of "leading living artists" per country (top of page 2) Nytimes, April 26.
the leading living list is pretty funny. I found this article very interesting. Canada, as a culture in the shadow of USA, and at the same time full of mother-england worship, has a reactive response that is often unpleasantly and self-consciously nationalistic. In Europe (and there's a nuance, of Britain associating as European, which is slightly fraught) the countries have deep and tested nationalistic cultural agendas already in place (unlike Canada, which is young and silly and constantly flailing around for a point of focus). The EU is a new and weird patina, painted onto a bunch of really historically specified nations. Is it the responsibility of the EU to provide a unified antidote to American culture? No! gawd. This is reminiscent of the all-too familiar Canadian square-peg, round-hole, top-down bullshit. If you allow your art to be determined in opposition to another art, its not really yours anymore. On the other hand, if you are busy trying to establish a group identity, American mass media is a genuine problem/catalyst. Interesting and irritating. No wonder we non-Americans are always so crabby.