"The text itself places us into various situations where the God we
read about is one whom we must question, not out of our weakness and
selfishness but rather from out of the very depths of our faith."
This quote is from Pete Rollins' fab new book, The Fidelity of Betrayal,
which follows in the footsteps of a number of people I greatly admire
who are attempting to get at religionless Christianity from one
direction or another. Pete uses the lens of betrayal, and starts with
Judas, but then digs deeper into the biblical text and goes all the way
back to the Garden of Eden stories to lay a foundation for an entirely
other way of looking at God, Bible, Church, Faith etc. I mention this
only because we experienced Pete's quote in class this week. A talk
about technology in general, turned into a talk about technology and
music and then suddenly turned into a talk about technology and God,
and led us into some pretty rocky terrain, that proved quite difficult
for some, if not all of us, in class. Messing with perceptions of God
can be very difficult for some people
Jake and Dinos strike again. White Cube Gallery has opened an exhibit of some new works by the ever-provocative Chapman brothers entitled, If Hitler Had Been A Hippy How Happy Would We Be? The brothers anonymously collected a number of watercolours made by Hitler and, in their words, 'annihilted' them by painting rainbows, butterflies and lovehearts, over Hitler's originals, which were largely landscapes. The work is an attempt to explore the ways in which we look at art, trying to make connections between what we see on canvas and the artist him/herself. Hitler's water-colours are not good, and they don't give much away about the artist. Jake Chapman says,"It's endemic to the way people read art, to look for something in a work that's an indicator of some kind of symptomatic trauma or a revelation of the artist's inner self, rather than trying to identify how the work works. When you look at the Hitler paintings you try to work out if this person was ill or mad or whether this is in some way axiomatic of someone who will go on to kill seven million people. [But] the drawings themselves aren't offensive.” I am sure the brothers will draw some ire for even attempting to deal with Hitler, but it's not the first time for them. The exhibit is open until July 12th, if I lived in London I think I would make it a point to go and check it out.
I first came across photographer Gregory Crewdson at a friend's house. A huge colour image of woman floating in a flooded suburban living room was my introduction to Crewdson's work. He was in a punk band before he was a photographer--the punk days are far behind him now as he has carved a pretty significant career for himself as both a photograhper and college professor, teaching the art. He creates large composites of small town life that are characterized by a disquieting feel. Twilight features heavily in much of his work--the half-light only adding to the strange, unsettling nature of the photos. They are large and feel flat, but somehow you are drawn into them--it's probably the nuanced details of life that most of us overlook--waiting at traffic lights, cars tracks in the snow, small tract homes, non-descript people-all of them put together in familiar scenarios of everyday life, but with a twist--shafts of light, like beams from alien craft, shoot down into unmown grass while a pregnant woman stands caught in some thought. A couple in the throws of naked sex, are found, not in the confines of a bedroom, but under a broken-down bridge--life in its ordinariness warped and twisted into a sort of fetishized realism. The photos are composites-Crewdson takes very calculated shots in specfic time slots--and that allows for the surrealist feel of the pieces. The Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills has a great show of Crewdson's latest works, which gave a nice twist to my afternoon, when I droped in to take a look.
Sigur Ros have released a 'surprise' single from their forthcoming
release. You can download it for free from their website (which I won't
try and link to because everytime I try lately the new system seems to
screw up my posts), and also watch a really cool music video for the
song. Apparently the album art and video was done in partnership with
Ryan McGinley. The single seems to offer some new musical directions
from, what I think, is one of the most compelling bands around--I won't
say much about the song, the video, or the very cool album title, some
things are best left to discover for oneself--so track down the band's
site if you don't know it, and enjoy!!
This new typepad posting process is driving me nuts!! I am sure it
because I am a moron but I am finding it very frustrating to make
things happen--when they do, it definfitely seems cooler, but I am
losing a bit of my posting love mainly because the means to the end
are beginning to irritate--hopefully I'll get the hang of it soon!!!
In 1866, Khalil Bey, a former ambassador for the Ottoman Empire,
commissioned painter Gustave Courbet to produce a work based on two
sleeping female lovers. Courbet delivered, Sleep, and gave his patron another work as well. That piece, The Origin of the World, was considered so shocking, so erotic, that Khalil-Bey kept it hidden behind a green veil in his home. The Origin of the World
is one of the most unseen, given that it has been largely in private
collections, and yet often the subject of great debate. Jacques Lacan,
the French philosopher, owned it for a time and had his own 'veil,'
another painting stood in front of Courbet's, adding to the drama,
before the viewer's eyes had gazed upon the painting itself.
don't know why it is that Mr. Spielberg always feels the need to put
some unnecessary cuteness in his movies, but he always does, and it
drives me nuts. This time it is gophers, I can't imagine how much of
the reported $185 million budget went towards making those little
creatures so cute, but it must have cost a pretty penny. I think we all
know by now that I am not the biggest fan of summer blockbuster movies,
but I keep going, what's my problem? Maybe I'm hoping for a revelation.
We shouldn't expect too much of Indiana Jones, it is meant as a homage to Saturday morning adventure movies of the 40s and 50s, and as such it is not rocket science. The latest installment,
a resurrection of the franchise (and it is first and foremost a branded
product with multi-level marketing capabilities), is set in the 50s--partially
to account for Harrison Ford's natural aging. This film swings from one
big, over-the-top special effects piece to another for what seems like
an eternity, but it is an interesting film in terms of story content,
which, much like Japanese superflat art, collapses about 40 years worth of pop culture into 120 minutes.
Something about these Myers electric cars strike me as quite cartoon-like. It is perhaps the best approach for an urban anti-car. They are all electric, and have a range of about 30 miles, and a bit of a strange shape, but kind of cool.
There is an interesting exhibit at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) called,
Art and Anarchism in the time of James Ensor.
It is an examination of political art, or art that is loaded with
political content in one form or another--revolutionary politics,
revolutionary art. The influences of Dada, German Expressionism, symbolism
and even surrealism came together in the work of James Ensor in profound ways. His most popular
work, and one worth seeing if you get the chance (at the Getty), is Christ's Entry Into Brussels,
a majestic portrayal of Christ, as socialist revolutionary, entering
the city, surrounded by a massive crowd of colourful figures. Ensor mastered a new technique, using colour
symbolically and infusing his works with immense style and commentary.
This exhibition is full of political and religious commentary--true
revolutionary art; challenging institutions, and, more importantly, the