Friday, October 16, 2009

A Lengthy Intermission (Things To Do, Places To See)

I will be here for the next couple of months:

Le Comte de Lulli

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Because Some Rise By Sin, And Some By Virtue Fall*

Fig. 1. José de Madrazo - La muerte de Viriato, 1807

Justice without might is helpless; might without justice is tyrannical.

Blaise Pascal

* Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall. (William Shakespeare - Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene i)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Untitled (When No Means Saying Yes To Narration)*

Fig. 1. Lenin (Vilnius, Lithuania), 1991

Photography implies that we know about the world if we accept it as the camera records it. But this is the opposite of understanding, which starts from not accepting the world as it looks. All possibility of understanding is rooted in the ability to say no.

Susan Sontag

* Only that which narrates can make us understand. (Susan Sontag)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Relatively Recent: Leo And His Sky Of Many Colours

Fig. 1. Leo Villareal - Sky, 2009

The sacred has no face, only masks.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It Is Happening A Day At A Time ... And Not At All ...

Fig. 1. Damien Hirst - For The Love Of God, 2007

Every death is a miniature extinction.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

To Those Few Friendships That Should Have Lasted

Fig. 1. Caspar David Friedrich - Evening Landscape With Two Men, c. 1830-35

To be unexpectedly (and suddenly) abandoned by a long-standing friend is not only the pinnacle of cruelty, it is also the ultimate act of kindness: one for which so few of us, in our abject, self-pitying grief, are capable of giving thanks - as we should.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Voltaire's Monkey Learns To Plant His Own Garden

Fig. 1. Georges Seurat - Casseur de pierres à la brouette, Le Raincy, 1882

We are always happier when cultivating a life of our own choosing.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Irreplaceable Charm Of Homemade Menageries

Fig. 1. Alexander Calder - Calder's Circus (Lion and Cage), 1926-31

She told me the best of stories about the worst of things. Not from a book, but from memory. Sometimes I would ask to hear a story again, simply to see of she could tell it exactly the same way twice. Well, she could - and not just twice! ... Now that she is gone, just once would do. I wouldn't be listening to catch her out, but, rather, to catch myself in the act of listening to a tale only my grandmother could tell.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Once Upon A Time There Was An Artist Who Wasn't

Fig. 1. Marina Abramović - Performing Joseph BeuysHow to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare (1965) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on Nov. 13, 2005

All great impersonators strive for a degree of imperfection. This is how they sign their work.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Places & Spaces That Exist Because We Think Them

Fig. 1. Etienne-Louis Boullée - Perspective View of the Interior of a Metropolitan Church, 1780-81

Space is as much a figment of the imagination as it is a verity of sensory perception.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nostalgia Can Sometimes Make The Familiar Invisible

Fig. 1. Roy Lichtenstein - Bedroom at Arles, 1992

Occasionally it is necessary to reinvent an image in order to see it for the first time.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Within Reach, But Only If You Let Her Be Your Venus

Fig. 1. Pompeo Batoni - Diana and Cupid, 1761

Touching - be it verbally or bodily - is a dangerous business. Done in the right manner, and at the right time, it is a caressing, seductive zephyr: done in the wrong way, and at the wrong time, it is a barbarous, bond-shattering gust. … Intimacy is correspondence by other means. It challenges us to know more than simply how to conjure closeness. It also requires us (as Julia Kristeva has wisely observed) to '[know] how to handle distances'.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Sunday Six: Things Animal, Vegetable, & Mineral

Fig. 1. Charles Ray - Family Romance, 1993

Fig. 2. Axel Hütte - Audubon Swamp, 2005

Fig. 3. Goshka Macuga - Madame Blavatsky, 2007

Fig. 4. Jill Magid - Vetting Box, 2008

Fig. 5. Israel Hershberg - Todi from Afar, 2009

Fig. 6. Louise Hearman - Untitled #1298, 2009

We stalk the infinite by means of its finite becomings - the very same means it uses to evade us.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Not Very Grand Tour ... A Not Very Grand Traveller

When travelling, one is always arriving or departing - even when stationary.

Friday, October 2, 2009

For Times When There Is No Such Thing As Normal

Fig. 1. Nicolai Abildgaard - The Archangel Michael and Satan Disputing about the Body of Moses, c. 1782

I have lost more arguments to myself than to just about anyone.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Untitled (Ooooooh! ... Dat Waskily Wabbit Twikt Me!)

Fig. 1. Jeff Koons - Rabbit, 1986

You can't copyright a self-image.