Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Funny Thing About Dynasties

It is political season in the land and one more Bush, and one more Clinton are running for president.  I know a whole lot about this Clinton and very little about this Bush.  I am old and politically tired, or should I say tired of political spectacles, or is it spectacle politics (?).  Marx said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce; but these days history has been repeating itself so frequently that it no longer even has the bite of farce.  Though it was not always the case, now the whole thing just tires me out.

Last week I had two young ladies come to the door handing out Jeb flyers and asking me who I was voting for only to hear me say "undecided”.  It was a warm day, but a rainy one in a whole month of rainy ones, not a fun day to be schlepping cards in the suburbs.   As it turns out, my friend John was coming down the driveway when the girls were leaving and he asked me what they were trying to sell, I said, “Jeb”.   He said, “Aren’t they a little young for that?”  We both answered with “Young Republicans” at about the same time and concluded that they must really care if they were willing to trudge through that kind of crappy weather.  We then started reminiscing about when we were young and cared about issues.  

John and I both had a similar experience in which we spent a whole night putting up flyers about something we cared about only to wake up and find them all gone after they were deemed inappropriate by some unseen and unknown power!   At this point in our lives, the censorship and affront to our first amendment right to free expression no longer surprises us, but knowing how hard it is to make things happen, we now can only marvel at the efficiency with which our expression was squashed and how fast the pamphlets we spent all night putting up were taken down.

My studio has been out of commission for structural reasons and I decided to spend the time it will take to fix it setting up a website for pictures of my work.  I was in the middle of doing that when the girls came by and when I then spent time shooting the shit with John.  I’m still working on the website and, coincidentally, just came upon the slide of the print I was telling John about, and from which I had made the pamphlets I had spent plastering all over Athens Ga that night in the political season of 1988. As it turns out, that was the year the first Bush President, George H, and Michael Dukakis were duking it out about non-issues. 

Heck, history promises to keep repeating itself; and with another of H’s sons running for Office together with the publishing of H's new book criticizing personnel choices made by W when he was in the Office, I figured it was time to dust out ye ol’ angry print and digitize it here in ye ol’ angry blog for electronic eternity.  If I did not have other things to do, I would like to insert Hilary in the background cheering on.  ...hmmmm, maybe I still care.... 

(for those too young to know or too old to remember: Vote for a Gentle America was George Bush's campaign slogan for that season)

Campaign 88


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Weather Patterns: Not Quite the Same

My husband refuses to believe in global warming because he keeps hanging on to the fact that at some point during early days of the discussion some scientists expounding the theory, with politics always playing some role in the background, did something hinky with the statistical models in order to prove it.  There is nothing like a statistician, my husband, to not trust in statistics....  

Whatever the bottom truth to it all is, my deciduous azalea and my rhododendron, spring flowering shrubs that have flowered for me every April-May in the past 25 years, have decided to flower in November this year. Something, whatever it is, is decidedly fucked up.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

2Five Years


if the above can't be seen, click:

lyrics translation here-> Bienal

I am nothing if not repetitive, 
after all I am a printmaker; but I am moving on... 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Irony: situational or cosmic?

+/- 1933-1939:  Until Nazi Germany started World War II in 1939, antisemitic legislation in Germany served to "encourage" and ultimately to force a mass emigration of German Jews. The government did all it could to induce the Jews to leave Germany. In addition to making life miserable, the German authorities reduced bureaucratic hurdles so those who wanted to leave could do so more easily. source   (not that the German Jewry could take their belonging or were easily given asylum in other countries...) By September 1939, approximately 282,000 Jews had left Germany and 117,000 from annexed Austria. source

 2015: The German government had earlier forecast that 450,000 asylum seekers could arrive in 2015, but is now set to increase that to 650,000 or higher. source (not Jews)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dead and Buried

Waking up to NPR's Morning Edition yesterday, I came to find out that Omar Sharif had died and was buried in an out of the way cemetery in Cairo (listen to story by clicking on link in previous sentence).  Although the only film of his I saw was Dr Zhivago (the plot of which I don’t remember, but then I rarely remember movie plots), I felt my heartstrings tightening for reasons that will become self-evident shortly.

Yesterday afternoon I logged onto the Morning Edition site in order to leave a comment and noticed that someone had left a feminist (sounding) one complaining about the reporter’s attention to the attire worn by one of the actresses attending the funeral.  I responded to the comment in defense of the reporter as I don’t think her description of the actress’ “pencil skirt” was in any way demeaning to women...  I copy hereunder the comments, mine included, on NPR’s reporting of the burial of Omar Sharif:

·         What's the journalistic point of mentioning what the Lebanese actress wore to the funeral? If an explicit point isn't made, then the only thing its inclusion does is reinforce that women are constantly being judged for what they're wearing.

I don’t think the reporter was being “anti-feminist” by reporting on the actress’ attire; she was just using it as a device to paint a picture of the cosmopolitan glamour of Cairo represented by the movies of Omar Sharif and, by extension, of Sharif himself...

...To me the story awoke personal history, or more precisely, family lore and nostalgia for a now mythical place I only know through my father’s descriptions of it. A city from a world that has not only changed historically but fundamentally, for what the person commenting on the multi-ethnic nature of Cairo at the time of Omar Sharif's rise in the cinema failed to mention is that the multi-ethnicity of “that great city” included a large population of Jews (from the 70,000 residing in Egypt before 1957). In fact, Omar Sharif lived on the same floor and next door to my Jewish Egyptian parents in the apartment building they resided in the neighborhood of Heliopolis at the time. This before my father was “questioned on a daily basis” by the Egyptian police because his first and last name coincided with the first and last name of a well-known Zionist; and this before all their goods were confiscated by the Nasser regime and they decided it was safer to emigrate. Yep, definitely a bygone era.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

a Real Somebody who feels the same way I do

The other day I was wading through the ads in... it was either this month's Artforum or this month's Art in America .... I was looking for the articles when I saw and ad for one more Louise Bourgeois show featuring a picture of one of her over-exposed tired old Spiders; and I said to myself, "I just hate this shit." 

I have never understood why the Art World has always made such a big deal of her stuff.  And I've finally accepted that maybe I just do not have my "viscera" sufficiently in tune with hers in order to get it.  I've seen a documentary about her and like her even less; but then, who am I....

While leafing through the paper magazines, I was also surfing the net to compliment my reading when I ran into an interview with Rosalind Krauss. I got angry at Krauss for saying that even as an artist comes into his/her own through repetition, she hates printmaking (the embodiment of repetition and my medium of choice); but imagine my delight when I read the sentence that follows!

I hate installation art, and my hatred energizes me in relation to the book I’m now writing on the medium. I just hate it. I think it’s pandering, like belly dancers shaking their stuff and trying to seduce the viewer. I find it utterly meretricious. I especially hate the installations of Louise Bourgeois, a not very interesting artist who has been hyped up partly because she’s an old lady. 

I feel less alone!  Though, in truth, I believe the Art World likes Bourgeois because she made penises while also being old.  I think it was her french "je ne sais quoi" in openly talking about sex while also being old that attracts the Art World.  A world of people who believe themselves to be the coolest thing since sliced bread, but who, as a whole, strike me as being totally repressed.  But again, who am I....

...and mind you, I don't necessarily mean the artists are repressed, they're just "the labor"...


As to repetition and printmaking, I understand why Krauss says what she does; but I disagree that the medium is at fault. 

The way that an artist secures the nature of his support as a medium is to continue to work at it, repeating it. The repetition is very important.....Yet, I have to say I hate the medium of printmaking.

A topic for a future blog.....  maybe.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Time travel is possible, and not in a good way...

Ted Cruz announces he is running for president.   Listening to him spout off in newscasts has already made the day seem interminable....  Time will positively come to a standstill as "more of them" join the fray.

Good god, it's gonna be a loooong 19 months...