Friday, December 18, 2009

Composition with Factory Chimneys

Natalia Goncharova
Composition with Factory Chimneys. 1918-1919.
Sketch for stage "Vulgar Wedding" (not executed).Gouache, graphite pencil on paper mounted on cardboard, 56x78.8. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

Where's the wind when it isn't blowing?

Political graphic novels from Albrecht Dürer to Art Spiegelman

The graphic novel is the most democratic of all art forms because everyone can "read" and understand it. It presupposes no knowledge of cultural history, familiarity with subject matter, compositional principles, and allegorical content. The comic links individual scenes into a pictorial "text," which does not necessarily say everything but whose interstices can be filled in associatively and by bringing in the person of the viewer to constitute a story. The democratic pictorial understanding innate to the comic, to sequential art, which – despite the name – is not necessarily "comic," encapsulates the pretensions of institutions concerned with communicating art and bridging the gap between art production and the public.

The exhibition assembles an international spectrum of politically motivated sequential art from the invention of printing to the present day. All the works have a decidedly political dimension and they are presented not chronologically but in terms of content. These thematic complexes allow cross-references and allusions beyond the given historical context. The architecture on the upper floor of the Kunstverein specially developed for this exhibition underpins this reference system. The display elements recall the spatial sequences of a comic. Each and every panel is a self-contained unit that nevertheless interchanges with other themes offering cross-links. On the ground floor, Keith Haring's graffiti provide a projection surface for classical presentation.

Ad Reinhardt, Martin Arnold, Gerd Arntz, Ferdinand Barlog, Berthold Bartosch, Harold Begbie / Francis Carruthers Gould, Steve Bell, Shirley Bogart, Stanley Brouwn, Jacques Callot, Clavé / Godard, Edmond Francois Calvo, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Sue Coe, M. Philip Copp, Stephen Croall, Robert Crumb, Jari Pekka Cuypers, Honoré Daumier, Lin Da-we, Dave Decat, James Dyrenforth / Max Kester, Walt Disney, Gustave Doré, Albrecht Dürer, Ekkes, Martin Gray, Masist Gül, Will Eisner, Max Ernst, Öyvind Fahlström, Jules Feiffer, Lyonel Feininger, Ari Folman, Jean-Claude Forest, Rube Goldberg, Francisco de Goya, Vernon Greene, Keith Haring, George Herriman, Hergé, Hans Holbein d. J., Paul Hogarth, William Hogarth, Laurence Hyde, Jörg Immendorff, Henri Gustave Jossot, Rolf Kauka, Reinhard Kleist, Joe Kubert, John Leech, Ján Mancuska, Stefan Marx, Frans Masereel, David Mazzucchelli, Winsor McCay, Scott McCloud, Carl Meffert, Alfred von Meysenbug, Jürgen Metz / Charly G. Schütz, Mike Mignola, Henry Moore, Keiji Nakazawa, Otto Neurath, Otto Nückel, Erich Ohser, Michael O' Donoghue, Dan O'Neill, Henrik Olesen, Karl Ewald Olszewski, George Orwell, Richard Felton Outcault, Giacomo Patri, Gladys Parker, Guy Peellaert / Pierre Bartier, Grayson Perry, Raymond Pettibon, Pablo Picasso, Fritz Raab, Alfred Rethel, Henry Ritter, Rius, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sacco, Petr Sadecky, Marjane Satrapi, Gerald Scarfe, Gerhard Seyfried, Ben Shahn, Jim Shaw, Situationistische Internationale, Ernst Scheller, Manfred Schmid, Adolf Schrödter, William Siegel, Otto Soglow, Art Spiegelman, Robert and Philip Spence, Christoph Steinegger, Ernst Steingässer, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Lou Tji-gui, Mathilde ter Heijne, Rodolphe Toepffer, Gary Trudeau, Wang Tschun-bsin / Yang Scha, Félix Vallotton, Lynd Ward, Klaus Wiese / Christian Ziewer, Adolphe Willette, Oscar Zarate etc.

Kunstverein Hamburg
December 19, 2009 - March 14, 2010

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All the Needles on are Red

Osamu Kanemura, 1998


-υπάρχουν και πράγματα που δεν τα αποφασίζουμε εμείς είπε εκείνος που έμελλε να πεθάνει εννοούσε τον θάνατό του
-δεν γίνεται να πεθάνεις είπε η γυναίκα του που τον αγαπούσε σίγουρα κάτι υπάρχει να κάνουμε να πάμε στην Αμερική είπε
-και όμως δεν γίνεται τίποτα της απάντησε και με την γνώση αυτή με την γνώση του θανάτου του που ισοδυναμεί με την γνώση της μη ύπαρξης της δικής μας μη ύπαρξης ανάμεσα στις συνεχιζόμενες των άλλων υπάρξεις και αυτόματα ισοδυναμεί με την δική μας λήθη και αυτόματα ισοδυναμεί με την δική μας αντικατάσταση από άλλα πρόσωπα άλλα πρόσωπα παντού σε κάθε δυνατή θέση πρόσωπα που αντικαθιστούν χωρίς να αντικαθιστούν γιατί το κάθε πρόσωπο είναι μοναδικό αυτός είναι ο ορισμός του προσώπου παρόλοντούτο η αντικατάσταση υπάρχει αντικατάσταση ρόλου δηλαδή αντικατάσταση θέσης στην δική μου θέση κάποιος άλλος αν και το δικό μου πρόσωπο δεν είναι κανένα άλλο και με αυτή την γνώση ο πρωταγωνιστής επιλέγει και εγκαθιδρύει με αλαζονεία την αλαζονεία μέσα στην απελπισία τον αντικαταστάτη του τον αντικαταστάτη του σε όλες τις θέσεις που αυτός πρωτύτερα καταλάμβανε και όπου αυτός πιστεύει πως δεν θα τον αντικαταστήσει γιατί αυτός πιστεύει πως είναι ανώτερός του πάντα νομίζουμε πως είμαστε καλύτεροι από τους αντικαταστάτες μας

Φοίβη Γιαννίση

WWI Red Cross Quilt

58 x 88
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

During WWI, Red Cross quilts were made to raise money or provide comfort to soldiers fighting overseas. This piece is a wonderful example of the quilt style made during this time.



Gert & Uwe Tobias, Untitled, 2009, woodcut print on paper, 210x188 cm

The Breeder Gallery
Gert & Uwe Tobias
19.11.09 .. 24.12.09

Zombies of Marx

Derrida’s Spectres of Marx is a frustrating book. For someone capable of such careful readings, Derrida’s references to Marx are remarkably sloppy, and, as with a lot of his later work, the obsessively spiraling style appears hollow rather than beguiling (it’s not as bad as The Politics of Friendship, but what is). But the central theme of the text is undeniably interesting. Derrida identifies in Marx an uneasiness with his (Marx’s) own analysis, with Marx constantly discovering the spectral nature of capitalism, which he continuously seeks to deny or deflect with a focus on life as a material positivity.
It would be pointless to deny that Marx is sometimes vitalist, although this is not a simple organicist praise of life as vital spirit. Rather, Marx connects life with productive potential, first of all in the figure of “living labor,” but in more depth in Marx’s description of the fundamentally excessive nature of the proletariat, the surplus population necessarily produced by capitalism. In Capital, the descriptions of overpopulation evoke compression and pressure, a pressure that the capitalist authorities quoted inevitably figure in terms of a danger that is equally biological, moral, and political.
However, although Marx does, as Derrida writes, sometimes oppose and seek to exorcise the spectral, he doesn’t do so in the name of this vitalism. On the contrary, Marx rejects spectrality because the specter is too alive, a remnant of life that remains after material death. Marx’s rejection of spectrality occurs in the context of a more general rejection of this vitalism, direct or deferred, and an embrace of a certain sort of unlife, an anti-organicism. Derrida almost sees this in his discussion of commodity fetishism which “is the contradiction of automatic autonomy, mechanical freedom, technical life.” (153) Derrida, however, doesn’t pursue this theme of automaticity, but instead immediately proceeds to assimilate the commodity to the specter, not without some difficulty, because the commodity is the opposite of the specter – not dead matter inhabited by an ineffable remnant of life, spirit or pneuma, but dead matter animated by an eerily unliving automaticity: not a specter, that is, but a zombie.
While Marx’s famous distinction between living labor (the proletariat) and dead labor (commodities) suggests that this zombie character of the commodity is in opposition to the revolutionary character of the proletariat, the difference is not so clear, because the proletariat’s particular role in capitalism comes from the fact that labour-power is a commodity. Benjamin develops in some detail the revolutionary possibilities that might follow from the proletariat sharing this inorganic, unliving, zombie quality with the commodity. In the Arcades, Benjamin traces the founding of the revolutionary Internationals to the world exhibitions, where “the masses, barred from consuming, learned empathy with exchange value,” by realizing that they, like the commodities they produce, are infinitely exchangible and communicable.
Benjamin locates this revolutionary communicability in the catacombs of Paris (used by the revolutionaries of the Commune), the city of the dead that overdetermines the city of those who are supposedly living. That the city is always the city of the dead is, Benjamin writes, “an essential moment in the image of modernity,” because modern capitalism, rather than containing and constraining life as it appeared to in Marx’s image of overpopulation, recreates life as unlife. Marx describes this process in his discussion of factory labor (as opposed to small-scale manufacture) in Capital, but Benjamin goes on to connect this process to advertising and fashion, both of which construct an inorganic body for the proletariat. This inorganic body is what allows the proletariat to engage in political struggle, as with the example Benjamin gives of the anonymous horde of pamphleteer during the 1848, who were referred to as “Monsieur Everyone.”
Monsieur Everyone is a swarm of artificial, unliving commodity-proletarians—a zombie horde, in other words.

text by voyou

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Loves of a Blonde

This love of mine turned me in a hooligan.Dir: Milos Forman, 1965

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cliff house project

Adolph Sutro’s Victorian Cliff House was constructed in 1896 and, like so many wooden structures of that era,
burned completely to the ground in September of 1907.
Here is a number of photographs and postcards selected from the following site "Cliff house project".

All the Young Cowgirls

On the Street....All the Young Cowgirls, Las Vegas

Boys to Men

Boys to Men, Rodeo Style, Las Vegas

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Getting Hot In Here

Mary Tremonte
It's Getting Hot In Here

3 color silkscreen print
Lavender paper with hot pink text


Another Study of the Same Page

Georgia Sagri, Factory, 2008-9, acrylic on canvas, 23x30,5cm
A.D. Gallery, Athens
25.11.09 - 10.02.10


You make yourself clear.
Your words issue forth
and come near me, moving
briskly in the cool air.
I wrestle them to the ground.

We stretch ourselves out
on the grass that is bluing
with evening. Somewhere
between us is an understanding.
But also an element of risk.

Stars extend their nightly
invitations. They beckon
through a universe
of remarkable transparency.
I issue my nightly refusal.

Halvard Johnson: from Winter Journey, 1979

Shenzhen Marathon: The Chinese Thinking

As part of 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture, Rem Koolhaas and Hans Ulrich Obrist will host an INTERVIEW MARATHON at the Shenzhen Civic Centre on 22 December.

In an exhilarating and cerebral non-stop, eight-hour event, Koolhaas – the architect of the new Shenzhen Stock Exchange, under construction next to the Civic Centre – and Obrist – co-director of exhibitions and programs and director of international projects at London's Serpentine Gallery – will interview 30 of China's leading figures from the fields of media, economics, politics, planning, architecture, the arts, religion, science, and technology. The theme of this urgent dialogue is THE CHINESE THINKING.

What is the intellectual, creative, and political underpinning of China's burgeoning economy, its rapid urbanization, its architectural and artistic development, and its new power status in a bi-polar world? What are the costs, and the blindspots, of this rampant growth? And what is the special role played by Shenzhen as a laboratory for China's development?

A broad range of participants – from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan – will generate new knowledge and insight into China's current conditions. This marathon event is organized by Ou Ning, chief curator of 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture, with research by Jiang Jun, editor of Urban China magazine.

Hans Ulrich Obrist invented the interview marathon concept in Stuttgart in 2005 as an experimental new kind of public event that bridges panel discussion, exhibition, and performance. In 2006 the concept evolved as Rem Koolhaas joined Obrist in interviewing over 70 people in a 24-hour marathon that took place in the Serpentine Gallery's summer pavilion, co-designed by Koolhaas and structural designer Cecil Balmond. The pavilion was one of an ongoing series of annual architecture commissions conceived by Serpentine director Julia Peyton-Jones. Obrist and Koolhaas now look forward to engaging the rapidly growing city of Shenzhen as a way into THE CHINESE THINKING.

AI Xiaoming – documentary maker, feminist scholar and activist
AN Ge – legendary photographer of life under Deng Xiaoping
Yung-Ho CHANG – Dean of architecture at MIT, curator and architect
CHANG Ping – journalist and social critic for Southern Metropolis Daily
CHEN Tong – founder of art institution Libreria Borges
Samson CHIU – Hong Kong-based director and screenwriter
FENG Yuan – critic and urbanist at Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou
Victor Zhikai GAO – Deng Xiaoping's translator, now a columnist
HE Chengjun – architecture critic
HE Huangyou – photographer of Shenzhen since the 1960s
HSIEH Ying Chun – Taiwanese architect and contractor, director of Atelier 3
HUANG Weiwen – design director of the Shenzhen Municipal Planning Bureau
JIANG Jun – chief editor of Urban China magazine
LEUNG Man Tao – public intellectual, TV host, writer
LI Yong – journalist and blogger
LIU Xiaodong – contemporary figurative painter
Local Action – Hong Kong-based group for democratization in urban planning
MENG Hui – writer and editor
OU Ning – writer, artist, chief curator of Shenzhen Biennale
Thomas Z. SHAO – chairman of major publishers Modern Media
SHU Kexin – community activist with background in engineering
TANG Jie – vice mayor of Shenzhen
WU Yin-Ning – Taiwanese writer, poet and activist
Marisa YIU – architect, chief curator of Hong Kong Biennale
YUAN Weishi – critical historian and writer
ZHANG Nian – feminist and cultural critic
ZHU Wen – writer, poet, director of Seafood, winner of Grand Jury Prize at Venice, 2001

22 December, 2pm - 10pm
Shenzhen Civic Centre

Cover for Vogue

Giorgio de Chirico
cover for Vogue (British Edition), 8 January 1936
private collection

Lenin's Little Light Begins to Burn

Lenin's little light begins to burn, From Prozhektor.Reprinted from Oktiabr'skie Stranitsy(1917-41),compliled by V.S.Listov and G.A.Ambernadi,158

The Soviet Art Museum

Aleksei Aleksandrovich Fedorov-Davydov (1900-1969) belonged to the first generation of Soviet art critics, historians, and curators. Just seventeen at the time of the 1917 Revolution, by 1929 he had already formulated guidelines for transforming Russia’s art museums into institutions that served the needs of a socialist society.1 In 1930 he presented his theses at the First All-Russian Museum Congress, where they were further developed by a special brigade of museum professionals. That same year, in response to complaints from the League of Militant Atheists, the administration of the State Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow was instructed to reinstall its galleries according to “the demands of Marxist art history and the goals of politically educating the masses.” As a result, the permanent collection was divided into three socio-economic stages: Feudalism, Capitalism, and the transitional era from Capitalism to Socialism (Soviet Art). The country’s other leading museums, the Hermitage and the State Russian Museum in Leningrad, followed suit, while at the same time all three organized special temporary exhibitions on themes such as “Realism of the 1860s-1880s,” “Revolutionary and Soviet Themes,” “Art of the Industrial Bourgeoisie,” and “French Art from the Age of the Decline of Feudalism and the Bourgeois Revolution.”

In 1933 Fedorov-Davydov published The Soviet Art Museum.2 At once a survey of the Soviet museum’s evolution over the previous decade and an explanation of how Marxist art theory could be applied to museum practice, the book is an important document of mainstream Soviet culture during the period 1929-32. Fedorov-Davydov describes the logical next step in the evolution of the art museum: from the history of great names, through the history of styles (Wölfflin et al.), to the history of class. What makes his argument compelling is the uncompromising break it makes with the aesthetic rules of the old museum—rejecting the hierarchy of the arts and forcing art to rub shoulders with social realities. When, in 1934, the doctrine of Socialist Realism was imposed on all aspects of Soviet cultural life, the experimental Marxist exhibition, embraced with such fervor by Fedorov-Davydov and his colleagues, became in turn, a victim of the evolutionary process.

The following extract from The Soviet Art Museum appears here in English translation for the first time. In it the author explains why the multi-media installation is the only possible vehicle in which the Marxist museum can explore the broad sociological implications of art history.

[ . . .] [T]he greatest struggle has focused on the principle of the ensemble, i.e. the combined display of various kinds of art. The museum fuddy-duddies made fun of the ensemble and deliberately distorted the idea behind it. They accused us of trying to kill painting, destroy art. They claimed that we want to hang engravings rather than paintings in museums, to set up beds and washstands and such like nonsense. This was all just stirring but cheap demagoguery that had little to do with the real state of affairs. First and foremost the ensemble was . . . the only way we could reveal and convincingly show the unity of a class’s artistic ideology at a given stage in the class struggle, to show at times the very essence of a style, for of course it is not arbitrary or fortuitous that the art of a particular [class] should be geared toward paintings or decorative art. Without the ensemble we cannot show whether a style is monumental or intimate, whether it tends towards synthesis or differentiation, we cannot fully reveal whether it is far removed from life or whether it is dominated by the goals of serving every-day purposes (as does the poster, newspaper graphics, etc.) Only in the ensemble can the art of the “lower social classes” be shown and compared with the art of the ruling classes. Peasant painting does not cease to be painting just because it decorates the base of distaffs rather than pictures. The crudest lubok doesn’t stop being art, however much it “offends” the aesthetic gaze of the snobbish art historian.3 These lubki, oleographs, embroideries and such like are necessary in order to reveal the “insular” position of aristocratic and bourgeois art, to destroy the illusion that the art of a given period is purportedly confined to the “high art” of easel painting; to show how the ruling class uses art to mold and suppress the consciousness of the repressed classes.

But from the very outset we were fully aware . . . that the ensemble was not an end in itself, that if the Marxist display of art history is unthinkable without the ensemble, nevertheless the ensemble can in and of itself be both formalist and idealistic . . . An ensemble for its own sake, the simple mechanical combination in one place of all the branches of art without dividing them into primary and secondary, turns the museum’s galleries into an antique shop. . . .What is important to us in furniture, housewares, and so on are their ideas and expressive aspects only . . . Not their everyday content but their ideology, not their function in daily life but the way ideas and emotions shape the everyday object—this is what we required of architecture and decorative art in the art museum. The very selection of furniture, porcelain and bronze, and their display, should be handled so as to destroy as much as possible the functional, everyday associations with which such objects are imbued. One may show interiors from specific periods via a painting or a drawing . . . but one must never arrange everyday interiors in art museums [. . .].

[In the exhibition “Art of the Industrial Bourgeoisie” 1930] the so-called “leftist” art of France and Germany (starting with Cubism) for the first time received a Marxist class interpretation of its various manifestations and tendencies; moreover, for virtually the first time the mass viewer was able to comprehend it. Photographs of Constructivist buildings, reproductions of Bauhaus furniture, costumes, photography, and photos of sports made the new content that Cubism introduced into art understood. Along with its separate formal and technical achievements, its profound social and ideological decadence also became clear. Examples of decorative art and “production graphics” on packaging and labeling showed the idea and meaning of Suprematism, etc., and the new and valuable technical and artistic elements that we can borrow and use from them . . .

[. . .] Contrasts between class-based styles are created using a small number of objects in the same room . . . If there is plenty of material and the facilities are large enough, two rooms may be juxtaposed, each devoted to the art of a single class. Thus, for example, the contrast of two galleries showing the art of the 1860s, one devoted to the art of petit bourgeois . . . democracy and bourgeois liberals, the other to aristocratic art. Standing in the doorway between the two spaces the visitor can at a glance view them both and grasp via the visual aid of the installation the difference and struggle of these styles, underscored moreover by the different color scheme of each room. This example shows very clearly the role of supplemental material in emphasizing style. In the art of the democrats their utilitarianism and political topicality, and the predominance of minor forms of easel painting are emphasized by the inclusion of drawings and magazine illustrations. In the art of the aristocracy the white furniture and porcelain of palaces underscore its tendency towards decoration and pleasure, its conventionality and affectations . . .
[By the late 1920s] big slogans and dynamic layout had played their part. The decorum and old-womanish propriety of the “temple of art” were boldly destroyed. The low whisper of the “academic” installation was replaced by the loud voice of the agitator. For the first time political slogans, quotes from Lenin, and party resolutions appeared on the walls of the art museum. But once the “sacred tradition” had been decisively, stridently shattered, the self-sufficient “holy places of art” reinstalled without symmetry, a red rope strung between the paintings, and a revolving circle of photos hung beneath the paintings; once the “temple” had been “defiled” by political slogans and the dynamism of the revolutionary street, this extremism was no longer needed. . . . [W]e had already learned much more about how to reveal the class essence of particular styles without having to fight against the art and diminish its objective artistic qualities. And we continue to be in favor of “the beauty of the exposition” and of ensuring that the museum visitor enjoy himself as well as learn. Strictly speaking, we have never rejected beauty or pleasure per se . . . but have fought against pushing them to center stage. The struggle against “beauty” for its own sake and simple “pleasure” was waged because these concepts concealed the old routine, because these concepts disguised the formalist, aestheticizing and idealistic content of old museum practice.
1. “Printsipy Stroitel’stva Khudozhestvennykh Muzeev” [Principles for the Construction of Art Museums], Pechat’ i Revoliutsiia, 4 (April 1929), 63-79.
2.Sovetskii Khudozhestvennyi Muzei. Moscow, 1933.
3. The lubok is a form of cheap woodblock print, often brightly colored. It has traditionally been a symbol of “low,” “popular” art, as well as a central source of inspiration for the Russian Neo-primitivist movement.
Text by Aleksei Fedorov-Davydov
Notes and translation by Wendy Salmond

Source : X-TRA Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2003

Friday, November 20, 2009

Reconstruction of the model of Vlamidir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International as an Instrument of Research for Domesticity

Reconstruction of the model of Vlamidir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International as an Instrument of Research for Domesticity
Wood, acrylic, veneer, plywood, spray
30 x 30 x 110cm

San Francisco Ferry Super-Structure

William Dassonville, San Francisco Ferry Super-Structure, ca.1920

Δύσκολες απαντήσεις

Σε άρθρο που δημοσιεύεται εδώ στην σελίδα του Κ.Κ.Ε, και υπογράφει η Ελένη Μπέλλου μέλος του ΠΓ της ΚΕ του ΚΚΕ, με τίτλο "Ο αντεπαναστατικός γιορτασμός για το γκρέμισμα του «Τείχους του Βερολίνου»" θέτει η Ε. Μπέλου, τα παρακάτω ερωτήματα. Πήρα το θάρρος να απαντήσω μιας και κανείς δεν ασχολείται πλέον στα σοβαρά ούτε με το ΠΓ ούτε με την ΚΕ ούτε με το ΚΚΕ, αλλά αυτός είναι και o λόγος που κάποιος πρέπει να το κάνει για να μην έχουμε "μελλοντικά κενά"
Ε.Μ: Αφού δεν υπάρχει ιστορική αναγκαιότητα επαναστατικού περάσματος από τον καπιταλισμό στο σοσιαλισμό - κομμουνισμό, αφού ο καπιταλισμός δεν κινδυνεύει από τον κομμουνισμό που αποτελεί ιστορικό παρελθόν όπως η φεουδαρχία και το δουλοκτητικό σύστημα, γιατί τόσος ιδεολογικός μόχθος πάνω στο πτώμα του;

Γ.Ι: Για τους ίδιους ακριβώς λόγους που υπήρξε ιδεολογικός μόχθος πάνω στο “πτώμα” του φεουδαλισμού. Τα παραδείγματα πολλά. Να μην ξεχνάμε ότι η Ιστορία μας διδάσκει ότι επαναλαμβάνεται πολλές φορές ως φάρσα, αλλά δυστυχώς με καταστροφικά για την ανθρωπότητα αποτελέσματα. Σα να λέμε ότι το πτώμα τείνει να γίνει ζόμπι, και όλοι γνωρίζουμε ότι τα ζόμπι δεν είναι χορτοφάγα.
Για αυτό μοχθούμε ιδεολογικά. Για μια καθώς πρέπει ταφή.

Αυτό το σοσιαλισμός-κομμουνισμός μένει λιγάκι αίολο. Τι εννοείτε;
Κυρίως εξηγήστε την παύλα.
Επίσης η λέξη πτώμα χρειάζεται εισαγωγικά σύμφωνα με τα όσα υποστηρίζετε.
Ε.Μ: Γιατί καταδιώκονται συμβολισμοί του κομμουνιστικού κινήματος, ιδιαίτερα στις χώρες της καπιταλιστικής παλινόρθωσης, αφού «οι ίδιες οι λαϊκές μάζες τον έχουν απορρίψει, τον έχουν ανατρέψει»; Γιατί διώκονται, μάλιστα πολύ περισσότερο από ό,τι φασιστικές - νεοναζιστικές κινήσεις, παρά το γεγονός ότι κομψά και άκομψα διοχετεύονται μύριοι ιδεολογικοί συνειρμοί περί «μαύρου» και «κόκκινου» ολοκληρωτισμού;

Γ.Ι: Μα γιατί στις «χώρες της καπιταλιστικής παλινόρθωσης» υπήρξαν και τα στρατόπεδα συγκέντρωσης τα διαβόητα γκούλαγκ, υπήρξαν οι περίφημες μυστικές υπηρεσίες η ασφάλεια και γενικότερα ένας ολόκληρος μηχανισμός καταπίεσης, κατίσχυσης, παρακολουθήσεων, συκοφαντιών βασανιστηρίων εξαφανίσεων εκτελέσεων δολοφονιών κτλ. Όλα αυτά τα οργάνωσαν κάποιοι που αυτοαποκαλούνταν κομμουνιστές και οι οποίοι έκαναν ευρύτατη χρήση αυτών των συμβόλων με σκοπό να καλύπτουν τα όσα ιδιοτελή και απάνθρωπα έπρατταν.Επομένως...
Ε.Μ: Γιατί, παρά τη στοχοπροσήλωση και το συντονισμό στην απαξίωση των σοσιαλιστικών επιτευγμάτων για τη λαϊκή πλειοψηφία - την κατάργηση της ανεργίας, την πλήρη εξασφάλιση του δικαιώματος στην εργασία, στην εκπαίδευση, στη φροντίδα Υγείας-Πρόνοιας, στον Πολιτισμό-Αθλητισμό, στη στέγη - η λαϊκή μνήμη επιμένει να θεωρεί ότι ζούσε καλύτερα σε εκείνο το σοσιαλιστικό παρελθόν, τουλάχιστον από την άποψη των υλικών όρων;

Γ.Ι: Κατ’αρχήν είστε αόριστη λέγοντας ότι «...η λαϊκή μνήμη επιμένει να θεωρεί ότι ζούσε καλύτερα σε εκείνο το σοσιαλιστικό παρελθόν...» διότι η λαϊκή μνήμη λέει και πολλά άλλα, ας μην τα αναφέρουμε και χαλάμε επιπλέον τις καρδιές μας.
Και στην συνέχεια μιλάτε για επιτεύγματα του σοσιαλισμού όσον αφορά την λαϊκή πλειοψηφία την ίδια στιγμή που η Ιστορία έχει καταγράψει ότι η λαϊκή πλειοψηφία βρίσκονταν στα κάτεργα. Συμπεραίνω λοιπόν ότι οι μαρτυρίες στις οποίες βασίζεστε προέρχονται από ανθρώπους του καθεστώτος. Όπως και εδώ στην Ελλαδίτσα όπου τόσοι και τόσοι «λαϊκοί άνθρωποι» ταξιτζήδες ,περιπτεράδες, εργάτες ακόμη, υποστήριξαν και ακόμη υποστηρίζουν λίγο πολύ, το "καλό που έκανε στην χώρα ο Παπαδόπουλος"
Ε.Μ:Γιατί, παρά τη συγκέντρωση τόσων δυνάμεων για την προετοιμασία των εκδηλώσεων, συμμετείχαν στην κεντρική εκδήλωση περίπου 100.000, σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες μας, όταν στην ανάλογη πρωτοχρονιάτικη συγκεντρώνονται 1.000.000;

Γ.Ι: Αυτή την ερώτηση σας την απαντώ χαριστικά φερόμενος ώς τζέντλεμαν.
Ούτε τόσοι δεν ήταν, αλλά όπως και να το κάνεις η Πρωτοχρονιά είναι κομμάτι παλαιότερη γιορτή με μεγάλη παράδοση και "πολυδιαφημισμένη" σε χώρες όπως η Γερμανία δεν είναι κριτήριο αυτό για να πλησιάσει κανείς στην αλήθεια. Να με συγχωρείτε αλλά απλά εκθέτει αυτόν που ρωτά.

Ελπίζοντας ότι θα πάψετε να ρεζιλεύεστε και να επιδεικνύεται την ιδεολογική σας απελπισία, να ρωτήσω κι εγώ κάτι που σας έχουν ρωτήσει μάλλον και άλλοι «αντικομουνιστές» «δωσίλογοι» «πράκτορες» "ρουφιάνοι" και «νεοφιλελεύθερα καθάρματα» πριν από μένα.

Το διάβασα στον τοίχο τις προάλλες,
“ΤΟ ΚΚΕ δεν κάνει δήλωση”.
Εννοείτε στην εφορία?

υ.γ μας άρεσε το "χώρες της καπιταλιστικής παλινόρθωσης"
Επίσης το "γιορτασμός" εκπληκτικό

Σχόλιο του Γιάννη Ισιδώρου απο το blog

The Yacoubian Building

Marwan Rechmaoui
Spectre (The Yacoubian Building, Beirut)

Political Act in Contemporary : Drawing Borders

A sentence, coined by the artist Šejla Kamerić, from Bosnia and Herzegovina:
“There is no border, there is no border, there is no border,
no border, no border, no border,
I wish.”

as an art work (recently quoted in the magazine Kontakt, of the ERSTE BANK GROUP, as part of an interview with Kamerić under the title “Freedom Comes”) posits the “border” as a disruptive and imposed regulative force within the different social, territorial, and artistic conditions of contemporary global capitalism. Therefore, the disappearance of borders, as it is also precisely captured by the title “Freedom Comes” of this recent interview with Kamerić in Kontakt, is to be seen as a wish that would definitely bring freedom.
The disappearance of borders seems to be the last point in the success story of the constitution of the present world. This is the point at which its whole history, in relation to the WALL that once divided East and West (Berlin) Europe, is constructed as well. But the wish put forward by Šejla Kamerić is already operative as the logic of the historization of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Am I right? In the August 2008 issue of the Lufthansa onboard magazine, a full-page ad (page 6) by the German National Tourist Board announces the year 2009. It is presented as the forthcoming 20th jubilee, as a celebration of 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, with the following slogan: “Welcome to a land without borders.” The announcement goes on to say that the Berlin Wall symbolized the Cold War and the division of Germany and Europe into East and West (until 1989) for 28 years. But in the coming year of 2009, representing 20 years since the reunification of Germany, it will be possible to visit in Germany only some remainders of that time in Europe (and I would add, before they vanish completely). In this announcement, it is stated that the revolution for a better world in East Germany started in Leipzig at the St. Nicholas Church, etc. There is a very clear parallel process going on in Europe with regard to the overtaking of the communist revolutionary past of the “East“ of Europe by Christianity. It will be necessary to undertake a very precise analysis in order to identify the circulation of capital and the hegemonization of Europe by Christianity as two parallel and interrelated processes that go hand in hand both historically and currently!
I will take the border as a point of departure in order to propose the following thesis. I can claim that although we have the feeling that invisible borders prevent the space of the world, to be precise, that of the First capitalist neoliberal global world, from being open and mobile, we nevertheless have to think differently. On one hand, we see the process of the unbelievable circulation of positions that prevents us from fully accepting thinking of the space of contemporary art and culture, the social and economical, as being foreclosed by borders, and on the other, we see the disappearance of the borders that firmly installed a clear division of the world in the past, as was the case in the time of imperialist capitalism. Actually what we see is a process of the disintegration of borders, at least as part of an ideological, discursive process of the reorganization of the new Europe and the world. What is presented by Kamerić as a wish is already operative so to speak, it is already working throughout the new Europe. This is the slogan of Germany today with which it will celebrate 20 years of its reunification (which took place in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall). Therefore, there is an obvious logic organizing the whole space of the new Europe, and this means it is necessary to push a very precise analysis. Even more so, it is precisely necessary in relation to such a background, which is so cheerful in celebrating a world without borders, to push forward another thesis or logic: we need borders more than ever. How is this possible? The answer is very simple: to establish a border – to draw a line of division that would re-articulate this new world that seems to be without borders and where the only thing that seems impossible is impossibility as such – means to present, to take a clear political stance, to ask for a political act. This political act means pointing a finger against the situation that claims that today the only thing that is impossible is impossibility as such. Whose im/possibility?
But let’s proceed step by step. What is the phenomenon that can be seen if one looks attentively at the different logics of functioning within the space of politics, but even more so within the art and culture of the new Europe nowadays? We see a disinterest in the art, culture, etc., coming from the region of former Eastern Europe. This is not about being romantic or sad; this disinterest must clearly be connected with the escalation of all major exhibitions and biennials that show a special appetite for the positions of Third World artists, mostly Asian and Latin American. The past divisions and ideologies of difference within Europe are seen as an obstacle to the process of capital circulation. This means, to the circulation of financial capital as the major form of global capital today, or, to say it simply, these divisions are seen as an obstacle to the circulation of money. Behaving as though this is already one space (Europe), it is not necessary to push any inclusion through exclusion, it is enough to behave as if no differences any longer exist (China proved this with the Olympic Games as well!). We are all identical through a process of “evacuation” that David Harvey in A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005) defines as “accumulation by dispossession.” Accumulation by dispossession is a process of expulsion from the possession of any possible difference; when it is necessary, a law is used (just think of the unbelievable legislative policy of the EU, which only specialists can follow nowadays) or there is a whole set of institutional, legislative, bureaucratic, infrastructural, theoretical, and cultural processes which are abruptly or “gently” installed. The Bologna process of reformulating the European Higher Education Area is an excellent example of this tearing down of borders in Europe. The process of “accumulation by dispossession” is perhaps no longer effective in Europe, as it is supposedly completed here (with the German slogan for 2009, it is cemented as a process that is finally realized, so to speak), but think of its workings elsewhere, in the Third World, for example.
The process of the disappearance of borders, as I try to conceptualize here, and my thesis is that the wish is almost completed (just lets think of the Wall Street collapse and the world that is falling down as a domino effect) is in fact connected to the processes of the accumulation of capital. One is surely accumulation by dispossession, meaning getting rid of, being robbed of, any difference. The second process is what we are facing today, and is called the imperialism of circulation. Michael Hudson in his Super Imperialism, from 1972 (recently republished), says that instead of there being a crisis as regards gaps in distribution, today we are witnessing a process contrary to it, which is “the imperialism of circulation.” But to come to the imperialism of circulation today, you have to be dispossessed. In 1972, Hudson already announced that the borders which were preventing distribution, forming gaps in distribution, would be removed by the imperialism of circulation. I can state that both processes – accumulation by dispossession and the imperialism of circulation – have to be seen not as a simple cut between the modes of the accumulation of capital (sending the accumulation by dispossession to retirement), but that one constituted the parameters (through dispossession) of the other in order to dominate at the present moment.
I roughly sketched out some of the most interesting moments that are part of the important debate regarding the question of the accumulation and redistribution of financial capital, which has to be seen as the logic for any serious debate of what is to be done at the present moment, regarding questions of agency for a possible emancipatory politics within/against global capitalism. It is also not necessary to repeat that this background is part of the new way that is imposed and made operative in order to think differently about borders as well. The borders are gone, and the price to be paid is the total dispossession of all our ideas, stances, and specificities. Capital has only one agenda, though – surplus value – and this is more than a program or a Hollywood film conspiracy. It is a drive; human desire against this mad drive is not an equal opponent. The imperialism of circulation without differences, as the primal logic of the condition of the production of global financial capitalism implies that what is produced is money. But as the crisis implies, this bubble will explode sooner or later as well. Last, but not least, the recent capitalist economic crisis which can be described as a process of stagflation, i.e. of differential inflation amid stagnation, is not only a sign, but also the realization of new processes of the capitalization of financial capital in connection with new modes of capital accumulation. Individually and institutionally, we can all detect the rising prices of different goods and services, which are processes of differential inflation in the middle of what experts in numerous articles in newspapers depict as the present capitalist stagnation for us laics in the field of economics (after more than a decade of prosperity and deflation!). The consequences of the crisis are still not predictable and will escalate further.
But what is important for us now is the subsequent or parallel process that is equivalent to Hudson’s “imperialism of endless circulation” and which I can simply describe, making reference to Jelica Šumič-Riha’s article “Prisoners of the Inexistent Other,” by stating that what is impossible in the world of capitalism today is impossibility as such. They work together: on one side the imperialism of circulation, and on the other, the impossibility of something being impossible. The imperialism of circulation, in its frenetic processes, prevents the subversion, the attack of any master entity. Everything circulates, is exchanged, clearly dispossessed of any difference, and no obstacles are to be seen in the network that structures reality for us. Those once perceived as enemies, from individuals to institutions, behave as if we were all in the same “merde” (to use this juicy French word for “shit”), as if we were all together, and if we all had to find the remedy to our problems and needs, obstacles, etc. (while those who generate expropriation and dispossession have to be forgotten immediately). It is almost impossible to say that something is impossible today.
Or to put this differently, in the past a subversive act was possible as it was subversion against the clear foreclosure and division in society. We had the borders. The big Other, the virtual symbolic order, the network that structures/d reality for us, was the thing giving “consistency”, so to speak. It was almost a guarantee of an intervention against it. The world today presents itself in an endless circulation (imperialism is an excellent concept capturing this drive) that is seen as “friendly” and endless exchange, and therefore in order to solve expropriation, enslavement, and neocolonial interventions by capital, only one measure is proposed, and this is called coordination. I recently found a completely serious political proposal that stated that the only thing to be done to solve our problems is an effective “coordination.” My question is, can we really be dumb enough to stick to such theories? Of course they all have an ace hidden in their pocket or up their sleeve in order for things to circulate smoothly. It is necessary to successfully coordinate the process of getting rid of a small number of those who still bother us with social antagonisms and class struggle. I am not saying, though, that there is not a need, as in the case of accumulation, for a new conceptualization and historization of the class struggle!
Perhaps on my way to Damascus with this text, I can give an answer to what was seen as a purely rhetorical question when formulated by Jon McKenzie in 2001. His book is entitled Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance, where this else floated in the air, unanswered. Or else what? I will propose the following answer or command: Circulate (but just without differences)! So we have to draw a line in space, a border. To show a border within the inconsistency of the big Other, means to act. To act politically. The act changes the very coordinates of this impossibility. It is only through an act that I effectively assume the big Other’s nonexistence. This implies not only that s/he has to take the politics of representation into her/his hands, and set the border within the cynical situation that the only thing which is impossible is impossibility as such, but, as is argued by Šumič-Riha, it is necessary to build the framework as well, the foreclosure that would set the new parameters, giving the new coordinates to the political act. (Something we did when we started to publish Reartikulacija!) Within such a context, I can claim that what is necessary, in fact, is a precise, new conceptual and paradigmatic political act, which implies the setting of a new framework.
The political act is a division, the setting of a border within a space. It reconfigures, closes, or stops, if you will, the imperialism of the circulation without differences by establishing new parameters within the space. It establishes a new structure to which to relate (de-coloniality of knowledge, de-coloniality of power, lesbian and queer political platform, etc). An act is always performed through enunciation and it not only sets the parameters that initiate the act itself, but the parameters in relation to the Other to whom it is addressed, as well. What is important is the establishment of the structure to which this line(s) of division will relate. In the case of Germany and in the case of the story of a non-existent past division in Europe, it is necessary to state that the biggest profit from the disappearance of borders in Europe is to be gained by financial capital. The point is that in order to push such logic, it was necessary to imply a ferocious process of equalization and leveling of all of the strata of the different European and World societies, from the social to the educational and cultural. It was necessary to install one of the most ferocious politics in the whole space as well – the politics of dispossession – or to put it differently, local specificities were changed into ethnic/ethnographical ones, and one general path of history and genealogy from art to culture, science, and the social, was established as the only valid one: the First Capitalist World history that completely (de)regulates the history, present, and the future of the world.
Therefore, the question is always to which histories we attach our representational politics and how we resituate our position ourselves within a certain social, economic, and political territory.
The declaration of existence is the first step, as argued by Šumič-Riha, but what follows afterwards is the rigorous practices of consequences, the logics of consequences (of the declaration), where the impossibility of the foreclosure of the capitalist discourse turns into the condition of a new possibility. Therefore, in rearticulating a certain history of global capitalism and borders, I can state that the so-called 1990s multicultural ideology of global neoliberal capitalism was the declaration of the existence of other worlds, but only and solely for the installment of a second step, which is the iron logic of the imperialism of circulation. In order to do this, an accelerated process of dispossession was put to work, which cleaned and evacuated each and every difference. These two stages are excellently captured in the field of contemporary art by a project I already mentioned several times and undertook an analysis of in the past. In the 1990s, Mladen Stilinović declared that “An artist who can not speak English is NO artist.” This sentence, as an art work, depicted the initial multicultural logic of the neoliberal global capitalism of the 1990s excellently. It was an interest in a specificity that had to use the “common language” of translation regardless, and at that time it seemed that it did not matter how good it was. A decade afterwards, in 2007, I proposed a correction of this sentence as an art work: “An artist who can not speak English WELL is NO artist.” This is the new process of dispossession and difference, and the process of emptying the world of any content and political action. It is a formalization and equalization of positions that allows easy circulation.
A political act is that which interrupts a situation where the only impossible thing in the world today is impossibility as such.
Text by Marina Gržinić
Marina Gržinić, Re-Politicizing art, Theory, Representation and New Media Technology, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Schlebrügge.Editor, Vienna 2008.

David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2005.

Michael Hudson, Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, Austin, Texas, Holt Rinehart 1972.

Jelica Šumič-Riha, “Jetniki Drugega, ki ne obstaja” (Prisoners of the Inexistent Other), in Filozofski vestnik/Acta Philosophica, journal, published by the Institute of Philosophy ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana 2007.
Source : REARTIKULACIJA no. 5 - 2008

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Mountain

Japan matchbox graphics from the 20s-30s

the Curator as an Artist

Swarkovski's guaranty (prudential)Building, Buffalo Corner Column, 1951-52

Monday, November 9, 2009

Masculine Style Dinning Room

Masculine style dinning room from "Our Homes and How to Beautify Them", H.J Jennings, 1892.

Ingestion / Anti-pasta

Here is a photo of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti eating a plate of spaghetti in 1930. What looks like an anodyne photograph was in fact a highly loaded image, for this was the man who, together with his younger colleague Fillia (the pseudonym of Luiggi Colombo), had just published the "Manifesto of Futurist Cookery" (1930), which dared declare anathema Italy's sacrosanct pasta. Marinetti saw the Italian table as weighted down by heavy traditional food. The English might be content with their dried cod, roast beef, and pudding, the Germans with their sauerkraut, smoked bacon, and sausages, but for the Italians pasta would no longer do. Marinetti wanted to reverse the best-known chapter of the history of Italian cuisine. In the 17th century, the city of Naples had initiated a gastronomic revolution whereby its inhabitants, until then known as mangiabroccoli and mangiafoglie, now became mangiamaccheroni. The pasta eater, holding the spaghetti in his hands above his mouth, became a stock figure, like the characters of Commedia dell'Arte, disseminated in prints all over Europe. Now the Futurists were calling for the abolition of what they deemed an absurd Italian gastronomic religion. Marshalling the opinions of doctors, professors, hygienists, and impostors, Marinetti claimed that pasta induced lethargy, pessimism, nostalgia, and neutralism. In short, pasta stood behind everything the Futurists had been battling ever since the appearance of their initial manifesto in 1909.

They lamented that pastasciutta—dried pasta of the sort we all eat—was 40 percent less nutritious than meat, fish, and vegetables. Mixing scientific data with poetic flights of eloquence, Marinetti held that pasta ensnared Italians within the slow looms of Penelope and bound them to the sailing ships somnolently awaiting a gust of wind on a sleepy Mediterranean. Being anti-pasta meant being antipassatista, i.e., against the past.

Predictably, upon its publication in the Turin daily Gazetta del Popolo on 28 December 1930, and its translation in the Parisian daily Comoedia a few months later, the manifesto provoked an uproar. Delighted to have finally managed to write a manifesto that, in line with Futurism's intent to transform every aspect of life, had finally hit on the one realm of the quotidian that affected every single Italian, Marinetti and Fillia gleefully devoted a whole section of their 1932 Futurist Cookbook to recording the blistering effects of the initial cooking manifesto. In typical Futurist fashion, the section containing the polemic preceded the section with the actual recipes. Marinetti and Fillia claimed, in equally characteristic Futurist inflationary style, that the pros and cons of pasta were endlessly debated in the Italian press in hundreds of articles by writers, politicians, chemists, and famous cooks, not to mention innumerable cartoons. Meanwhile, foreign publications from London to Budapest, from Tunis to Tokyo, and all the way to Sydney had announced somewhat incredulously that Italy was about to abandon spaghetti. In the city of l'Aquila (a few hours from the Italian capital) women had taken the situation into their own hands by signing a collective letter of indignation, addressed to Marinetti, in favor of pasta. In Genoa, an association called P.I.P.A., an acronym for International Association Against Pasta, was formed. Thousands of miles away in San Francisco, a fight had erupted between two Italian restaurants situated on different floors of the same building. While the head cook of the Savoia, Italy's royal family, actually came out against pasta, the mayor of Naples professed that vermicelli with tomato sauce was the food of the angels. To which Marinetti responded that if that were the case, it simply served to confirm the boredom of life in paradise.

Ultimately, Marinetti believed, modern science would allow us to replace food with free, state-sponsored pills composed of albumins, synthetic fats, and vitamins that would lower prices for the consumer and lessen the toll of labor on the worker. Ultraviolet lamps could be used to electrify and thus dynamize food staples. Eventually, a totally mechanized production would relieve humankind of labor altogether, allowing man to be at leisure to pursue nobler activities. Dining could thus become a purely aesthetic enterprise. On this premise, Marinetti and Fillia's proposals for the new Italian cuisine constitute one of the most inspired chapters in the annals of Futurism. The cookbook gave a new infusion of giovinezza—a favorite Fascist word, meaning "youth"—to the slightly tired antics of a movement now known as Secondo Futurismo. While the spectator could already expect, by the 1930s, to be abused by the Futurist text, the Futurist painting, the Futurist polimaterico (multimedia sculpture), and the Futurist performance, here the abuse went not to the head, but straight to the stomach.

The polemics in The Futurist Cookbook were followed by an elaborate account of some Futurist banquets. One of the more memorable of these Aeropranzi futuristi was a banquet for 300 people held on 18 December 1931 at the Hotel Negrino in Chiavari. Guests were delighted and terrified as they braced themselves to ingest dishes prepared by the famous cook Bulgheroni, who had come especially from Milan to this small Ligurian town to preside in the kitchen over the burial of pastasciutta. Although the Futurists had advocated the abolition of eloquence and politics around the table, the guests nevertheless first had to sit through a lecture by Marinetti on the state of world Futurism. Afterward, the meal began with a flan of calf's head seated on a bed of pineapple, nuts, and dates, stuffed—oh, surprise!—with anchovies. Then, to cleanse the palate, Bulgheroni served a decollapalato (a pun on decollare, meaning "to get off the ground"), a lyrical concoction of meat broth sprinkled with champagne and liquor and decorated with rose petals. The main dish was beef in carlinga (another aeronautic term, probably referring to a kind of Dutch oven), meatballs—whose composition was best left uninvestigated—placed over airplanes made out of bread crumbs. After a few more dishes the dessert, named eletricita atmosferische candite, arrived, consisting of colorful little cubes made of fake marble crowned with cotton candy that enclosed a sweetish paste containing ingredients only a long chemical analysis could disclose. Not everybody made it to the end of the dinner.

Most memorable among other Futurist recipes was the carneplastico: a synthetic sculptural interpretation of Futurist aeropittura referring to the much-beloved Italian landscape. In honor of the beacon of Italian industry, one could taste the pollo Fiat, a stuffed chicken placed on puffy pillows of whipped cream. On a more pornographic note, one could also have a porco eccittato, a cooked salami placed vertically on the plate with coffee sauce mixed with eau de cologne.

Whatever Marinetti might have thought about his capacities for perennial transgression, such conceits of dishes as "divine surprises" had a long historical lineage. They went back to the most extraordinary passages in Petronius Arbitrius's Satiricon, thus reviving an aspect of Romanita that the Fascists, in their eagerness to revive Roman glories, would have been all too happy to endorse. Indeed, many of the ingredients were coded so that the exotic fruits that appear in so many Futurist dishes were meant to evoke Italy's hope for a firmer grip on North Africa in fulfillment of its imperial ambitions as master of the Mediterranean. There was, it turns out, some disagreement during the Fascist ventennio as to the uer-history of pasta. According to the story presently told in Rome's Museo Nazionale della Pasta Alimentare (the only such museum in the world, founded in the 1990s), traces of early pasta implements were found in the archeological remains of the Etruscan town of Cerveteri, near Rome, dating to the 4th century BC. Pasta was also identified in low reliefs of the 12th century. And yet the writer Paolo Buzzi, in an article printed in 1930 in the much-venerated journal La Cucina Italiana, pointed to the fact that no mention of pasta by the ancient Romans could be found in the history of Italian cooking by d'Apico, the Homer of cooking. This might sound strange, he added, if one thinks of the thousand stories one was told as a child about the catastrophic volcanic eruption of Pompeii, one of which told of plates, still filled with maccheroni, thrown into the lava.

As always with Futurism, Marinetti's ottimismo della tavola had its darker side in the realm of realpolitik. Not by chance, as he himself acknowledged in the manifesto, Marinetti launched his attack against pasta just when Italy, hit hard by the Depression, was struggling to achieve one of Mussolini's great dreams: autarchy, or the elimination of Italy's economic dependence on foreign markets. Pasta, quintessentially Italian as it was, depended on expensive imports of wheat. The regime thus launched a campaign in favor of home-grown rice as a better substitute. Rice, we are told, was more virile, more patriotic, and more suitable for fighters and heroes. Rice also had its part in the history of Italian cooking as the great rival of pasta; it came from the Po valley in the industrial North, while pasta, with its hypothetical birthplace in Etruria and its triumph in Naples, was identified with the center, and even more with the agrarian and backward South. This was a battle that could thus be waged on familiar Futurist geopolitical territory.

And so the Futurists offered tuttoriso: new dishes to replace the traditional Northern risotto. More sinister is the fact that among the doctors summoned by Marinetti was the eugenicist Nicola Pende, the man behind the new Instituto di Biotipologia in Rome. Marinetti's attacks against pasta coincided, significantly I think, with the first wave of Taylorization of pasta production. On display in the Museo della Pasta in Rome are vintage photographs of women (almost never men) at work in front of vertical hydraulic presses, grinders, cutters, and blenders that look no less impressive, no less daunting, and no less alienating, than the assembly line at Fiat's famous Turin factory known as the Lingotto, a Futurist favorite back in the teens. By the 1930s, the institution of biotypes as substitutes for Taylorism to attain maximal efficiency in the working place and the provision of a master race had taken hold of the Fascist imagination. Thus the New Futurist Man, the man without pasta, the homo ludens who might eventually replace homo edens, the man whom one may be tempted to theorize as the postmodern "desiring machine" of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in Anti-Oedipus, was, then, first and foremost, the New Fascist Man.

Fine. But what is one to make of our Marinetti snapshot? The staple photograph we see reproduced shows Marinetti instructing a female cook on how to concoct one of his recipes, both of them standing in front of a 1913 Muscular Dynamism painted by Umberto Boccioni. So is our photograph here of Marinetti caught red-handed in the act of eating the infamous dish? A good Italian who just couldn't resist? And this taking place at Biffi, if one is to believe the caption, one of the best-known Milanese establishments (still in existence) and a favorite haunt of the Futurists? Or is it a clever maneuver by Marinetti intended to bamboozle the viewer, leave him or her guessing, spinning yet still more controversy? About to send off my text and still wavering between these two interpretations of this piece of photographic evidence, I stumbled on one little paragraph of The Futurist Cookbook. There, entry number 7 in a short section on apocryphal anecdotes provided a possible answer: "Photographs of Marinetti in the act of eating pasta appeared in a few mass-circulation magazines: they were photographic montages carried out by experts hostile to Futurist cuisine, who were trying to discredit the campaign for a new way of eating."1 There could, however, be another reading: the photo is real and Marinetti, whatever he might have claimed in his cookbook, was simply lying about the montage. There must have been moments when, even for Marinetti, the desires of the everyman vanquished those of the Futurist and the Fascist in him.

1 — Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, The Futurist Cookbook, trans. Suzanne Brill (San Francisco: Bedford Arts, 1989), p. 99.

Text by Romy Golan

Source: Cabinet magazine, Issue 10, Spring 2003

Monday, November 2, 2009

M'Zab Valley

A traditional human habitat, created in the 10th century by the Ibadites around their five ksour (fortified cities), has been preserved intact in the M’Zab valley. Simple, functional and perfectly adapted to the environment, the architecture of M’Zab was designed for community living,while respecting the structure of the family.

Algeria, 4000.0000 haWilaya (province) of Ghardaia

Une main

Brancusi, Une main, 1920

After a Death

Once there was a shock
that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail.
It keeps us inside. It makes the TV pictures snowy.
It settles in cold drops on the telephone wires.

One can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun
through brush where a few leaves hang on.
They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.
Names swallowed by the cold.

It is still beautiful to hear the heart beat
but often the shadow seems more real than the body.
The samurai looks insignificant
beside his armor of black dragon scales.

Tomas Tranströmer
Translated by Robert Bly

Central Hotel in Uriage-Les-Bains

Pierre Bonnard in his Room at the Central Hotel in Uriage-Les-Bains, photography by George Besson, 1918

In the corner

In the corner
Coloured lithograph from At home
by J.G Sowerby and Thomas Crane

The World as Stage

Streets, squares, parks, supermarkets, Internet portals, and other sites have become stages of urban life that allow us to display our everyday actions and behaviors. Many artists today work with the theatrical aspect of staging the self in everyday life. The question of the theatrical has taken on a new relevance due to the multiple forms of self-staging and lifestyle. If everyone plays the main role in his or her own lifestyle film, what is the role of art? The exhibition Die Welt als Bühne (The World as Stage) uses the increasing trend towards lifestyle theater as an opportunity to confront ourselves with alternative life models and to show how existing forms of self-staging can be reinterpreted in an emancipatory fashion.

In their work, the participating artists mediate among art, media staging, and real life. In the exhibition, stages are created (Tilman Wendland) to show collective forms of acting (Mads Lynnerup, Jan Northoff), or interaction takes place with already exiting platforms for performance (Jan Mančuška, Carey Young). The exhibition is a combination of performance, video, photography, as well as the stagings of virtual and architectural platforms that challenge in performative terms existing conventions of the theatrical.

Curated by Solvej Helweg Ovesen (Kopenhagen/Berlin)
Artists: Tamy Ben-Tor, Claus Carstensen/Peter Bonde/Thomas Andersen, Mads Lynnerup, Jan Mančuška, HuskMitNavn, Jan Northoff, Tilman Wendland, Carey Young

Neuer Berliner Kunstverein n.b.k.
November 21, 2009 - January 10, 2010

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Magic lantern slide created in the 1930s and distributed around
the world to educate people about Japan.

Source :

Saturday, October 17, 2009


William Mortensen, L'Amour, 1936


Before you loved me,
we played Scrabble in Dainohara Park
beside a small lake covered in lily pads.

I take ages on my turn, calculating,
and catch you staring out over the water,
hands clasped around the lingering warmth
of your vending machine Royal Milk Tea.

I lay down the tiles for “SPARKLE.” Seven letters.
“Impressive,” you mutter, and grinning
I wrestle new letters from the bag.

Our hands pass more rapidly
over the board. You set M beside E.
and I put U beside versatile S
until there are no words left
and the afternoon has faded into night.

It is the first time I beat you.

Later, we search for fireflies in the darkness
and find them, like shooting stars.
We tread off the lit paths and cast
our bodies into one another – in a gazebo,
against the cold painted steel of a playground slide,
tangled in a tire swing dangling from an old pine.

I think you love me then.

Aiko Harman

Song of homeland

Michael Sailstorfer
Heimatlied[Folksong / Song of homeland], 2001

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

These Foolish Things

There are three kinds of fools: Real Fools, Professional Fools, and Unsuspecting Fools. The professional, a staple of Shakespeare's plays, is, in reality, nobody's fool.

Aristotle is sometimes called the Master of Those Who Know, which may explain why most people find him easier to admire than to like. By contrast, his own teacher's famous teacher might be dubbed the Master of Those Who Haven't a Clue. Informed by an oracle that he was the wisest of men, Socrates immediately recognized that this must be some kind of Delphic joke. Wise, pshaw! At best he was just a lover of wisdom etymologically a philo-sopher rather than a possessor of it. Really, Glaucus he might have said if I am so smart, why do I have to go around asking all these questions?

Still, Socrates does at least look the part of antiquity's Yoda. Everyone knows that to be wise means to be old, with lots of wrinkles around kindly eyes that have seen much and forgiven much and are full of pity for the fools that mortals be. But that, in short, is the trouble with wisdom. It implies a superiority to or withdrawal from the hurly-burly of life. While most of us are surrendering to what Joseph Conrad called the destructive element, and probably drowning in it, the wise guy is there on the shore warm and dry in his old flannel dressing gown and his new fluffy bunny slippers, and he's probably murmuring something like, Grasshopper, only a fool would go into the water on a day like this. Shaking his head, he will soon pad on back to his snug little burrow and a nice cup of chamomile tea.

This is living? Wisdom plays it safe, avoids occasions of sin, sits home on Saturday night with an improving book. Elvis used to croon that Wise men say, Only fools rush in. But like the king he was, he knew that a brokenhearted clown understood more about the heart than any cautious Polonius. What would love be without impetuousness? Who can love and then be wise? The heart has reasons that the reason doesn't know. No proverb says that love should be the end product of careful calculation, that it's the smart move. This is why computerized dating seems repulsive to so many people; you just know the machine would be happier working on a spreadsheet. Besides, who would trust his emotional life to a program written by some Caltech brainiac who's spent his entire geeky existence playing Halo and Warcraft? To quote Mr. T, I pity the fool.

As every truly wise man or woman knows, love is just one of those crazy things, and there's no logic to what attracts us to one person and not another. You can tot up the pluses and minuses of a relationship all you want, meditate on the possible outcomes of commitment, consult past experience, but you'd do just as well, or better, to listen to a lot of country and western music. You want an explanation for falling in love? Maybe it was Memphis. Montaigne, whose Socratic motto was What do I know? accounted for his love for his friend Etienne de la Boetie perfectly: Because he was he and I was I.

In other words, when it comes to falling in love, who can explain it? Who can tell me why? Well, the goddess Folly can. In Erasmus's The Praise of Folly she proclaims that she oversees love, that folly embodies the intuitive and passionate side of life and is far more fundamental to our human well-being than propriety or reason.

And that's just for starters. Folly points out that Christ endured the folly of the cross and reminded His followers to imitate children, lilies, mustard-seed, and humble sparrows, all foolish, senseless things, which live their lives by natural instinct alone, free from care or purpose. Folly represents the natural in all its senses, standing in opposition to the mind-forged manacles of societal norms and expectations. Eventually, notes Erasmus, this sort of folly can even modulate into mystical distraction and ecstasy. Plato asserted that the madness of physical love, during which we forget all about thinking and our spirit seems to leave the body, is the highest form of ordinary happiness, while Christianity offers a similar joyful and irrational dream state when the soul temporarily unites itself with God.

Humanity, that dialectical animal, likes to look at things as binary opposites: raw and cooked, gay and straight, Laurel and Hardy. Just so, foolishness is the usual antithesis of wisdom. But foolishness, as Erasmus reminds us, is one of those qualities with a bit of range to it, so that another possible opposite is prudence. In fact, prudence and wisdom are practically roommates, and while sometimes being wise can look attractive Gandalf, anyone? almost nobody, except perhaps investment counselors, really wants to be thought of as prudent. Might just as well be an old maid in sensible black shoes or a Mr. Peepers with a coin purse. No, no, no; give me stiletto heels or give me death! If you can't say keep the change, why bother to go to the bar?

In truth, there are essentially three kinds of fools: Real Fools, Professional Fools, and Unsuspecting Fools. Real Fools are the innocents, the simpletons, the idiot savants and naturals who react to situations and people with an Aspergian lack of restraint or decorum. They speak their unmediated minds, and great truths sometimes emerge, as out of the mouths of babes. Any of them might have blurted, The emperor has no clothes. Forrest Gump is our great modern examplar of this kind of fool. Heaven looks out for such as these.

Professional Fools include court jesters, clowns, toadies, con artists, and a whole range of yes-men. By pretending to be stupid or servile, the Professional Fool coolly aims to reinforce his client's conviction of his own obvious superiority. In fact, these performance artistes always quip and caper with a purpose: a salary, behind-the-throne power, a scam. In literature one of the most memorable of these professional fools is Rameaus Nephew, who in Diderots famous dialogue of that name toadies to the rich and powerful in return for a snug berth and regular meals. In the film The Usual Suspects, Kevin Spacey is a more complex example: Hunched and crippled (as were many professional court jesters), he's slightly pitied by the tough and obviously much smarter people all around him. But Verbal Kint is far more than the talkative child that his name suggests.

As for Unsuspecting Fools, they are essentially everyone else in the world, starting with you and me. Everybody plays the fool sometimes; there's no exception to the rule. More particularly, the Unsuspecting Fool is the supposedly wise figure a sovereign, a pedantic scholar, a pillar of the establishment who is blind to his own vanity and self-importance, ignorant of what's really going on, puffed up with hubris. Pride goeth before a fall. In tragic vein, Oedipus and Lear are Unsuspecting Fools.

If you want to understand the power of Real Foolishness, read fairy tales. If theres one thing that such stories teach us, it's to trust animals. The simpleton who befriends the local forest creatures will find the treasure and win the princess. Every time. Not the clever older brothers with some Mission: Impossible plan. The guy who takes the thorn out of the lion's paw, who doesn't trample on the ants, who is careful not to crush the wildflowers will be rewarded.

Why is this? Because such saintly or holy fools possess a primitive, almost prelapsarian goodness. They are close to Nature, and they are empathetic and kind and humble and unsure of themselves and maybe not very good-looking either. They're picked on by society and were probably in the lowest reading group, and their good souls shine forth like shook foil. Think Shrek. It's no accident that the Feast of the Holy Innocents is also the date for the Feast of Fools. Over and over again, the Bible reminds us that the humble will be exalted.

In Shakespearean comedies (and tragedies) you're certainly smart to play the Professional Fool or clown. When Bottom the Weaver is translated into an ass, the very symbol of the fool, what happens? The gorgeous Titania leads him away for some quality time in her bower. Hamlet knows that with his antic disposition on, he can do or say whatever he'd like. There's no need to act the conventional young intellectual like his earnest schoolmate Horatio, who probably wears a bow tie and always makes the dean's list at Wittenberg. As for the late Yorick, that fellow of infinite jest was obviously the only person at the gloomy court of Denmark who ever brought a spark of joy into the life of the melancholy Dane: He hath borne me on his back a thousand times! Even the greatest of all Shakespearean characters, Falstaff, is essentially a fool writ very, very large. Wherever Sir John goes, it's party time, Carnival, and he is the Lord of Misrule. Certainly this jolly fat man is a lot better company than, say, the rather cold-hearted and manipulative Prospero. But even that magician finally decides to drown his book and give up his power. Being superhuman isn't half as much fun as being human.

As for those Unsuspecting Fools, take a look at King Lear. Here the best and the brightest the king himself; the clever, upwardly mobile Regan and Goneril; that shrewd bastard Edmund wreak nothing but havoc and sorrow. Everything goes wrong. But why, how, could this happen to them? They took every precaution, they carefully plotted and schemed, they made Venn diagrams and flow charts, and they were careful not to let people or human feelings interfere with their big plans. By contrast, the most admirable characters in the play are terribly naοve (Cordelia), insane (Edgar as Tom O'Bedlam), or simpleminded (the Fool).

One might argue that Shakespeare's wicked characters aren't wise but merely worldly wise and usually too smart for their own good. They re the sort of people to whom Paul offers his famous advice in his first letter to the Corinthians: If any man among you seem to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. They are, in fact, self-centered egotists who have suppressed the springs of natural affection. In this respect, if not in any other, they aren't really so different from the great sages and Buddhas, who remove themselves from this world, who keep a safe distance from the bonfires of desire. The austerity of spiritual life, the quest for perfect understanding or oneness or transcendence, asks that we give up being human. Is any abstraction really worth so much?

The English author Walter Pater suggested that we should seek experience itself, rather than the fruit of experience, i.e., wisdom. Of course, he was an aesthete with an ornate style, so it's easy to dismiss what he said. It's important for human beings to make mistakes, to do stupid things, to go overboard, to be foolish even if it's painful and not to judge themselves too harshly when they've been burnt. As Zorba the Greek used to proclaim, Life is trouble!

Let me bring this foolishness to an end by repeating the advice from the closing lines of The Praise of Folly: Clap your hands, live well, and drink! In other words, meine Damen und Herren, life is a cabaret. What is the use of sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play! And, then, if you're really wise or do I mean foolish? you might as well dance.

Text by Michael Dirda
fall 09

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Signs outside the Louisiana home of Royal Robertson

Signs outside the Louisiana home of Royal Robertson
Photo by John Drury, 1991

Αφηγήσεις της κατοικίας στη μοντέρνα και σύγχρονη τέχνη


«Αφηγήσεις της κατοικίας στη μοντέρνα και σύγχρονη τέχνη»
Μάθημα: Κωστής Βελώνης

Περιγραφή του μαθήματος

Το μάθημα επιδιώκει να φανερωθούν οι τρόποι ώστε να συλλογιστεί κανείς την «οικιακότητα», τον ιδιωτικό και οικογενειακό βίο όπως τον αντιλήφθηκαν οι καλλιτεχνικές πρωτοπορίες από τα τέλη του 19 αιώνα καθώς και σ’ολη την ιστορική εξέλιξη της νεωτερικότητας. Εστιάζοντας τόσο στις γενικές αρχές των εικαστικών κινημάτων όσο και σε μεμονωμένες περιπτώσεις καλλιτεχνών κατανοούμε τους λόγους για τους οποίους άλλες φορές ενθαρρύνεται, αμφισβητείται ή και περιφρονείται η κουλτούρα γύρω από την κατοικία. Μέσα από την ιστορία της τέχνης και των εφαρμογών της στο σχεδιασμό, στις εικονογραφήσεις, το κινηματογράφο και γενικότερα στη μαζική παράγωγη του υλικού πολιτισμού δίνω έμφαση στους ρόλους των φύλων μέσα στη κατοικία, στις ιδεολογικές θέσεις πάνω στον καθημερινό βίο του νοικοκυριού, στις ταξικές και κοινωνικές συγκρούσεις της πρωτοπορίας με τις αρχιτεκτονικές νόρμες των κατοικιών του 20 αιώνα. Πως τελικά ο σύζυγος ως «μαχητής» του δημόσιου βίου ορίζει την παραμονή του μέσα στον οίκο και πότε την ακυρώνει;
Άραγε μήπως η ιδέα της «πρωτοπορίας» διαμόρφωσε τα χαρακτηριστικά της βασιζόμενη στην απόρριψη του οικείου, του γνώριμου αλλά και του οικιακού, του χώρου δηλαδή που κάποιος μόνιμα η πρόσκαιρα κατοικεί?
Μια επανεγγραφή της ιστορίας με άξονα την «οικιακότητα» σε ποιους καλλιτέχνες θα αναγνώριζε τη δυνατότητα μιας προφητικής και επίκαιρης κριτικής ισότιμης με την ποικίλη και πιο σύνθετη «δημοκρατικότητα» του τέλους του μοντερνισμού ;
Αυτό που εξετάζω παράλληλα με την «επίσημη» avant garde είναι και μια «προαστιακή θηλυκή νεωτερικότητα» που δίνει έμφαση στις «αξιες» ή στις πολυπλοκότητες της κατοίκησης και της οποίας τα ιχνη μπορουν να βρεθούν ακόμα και πριν την δεκαετία του 70. Αυτές οι σιωπηλές για την αναγνωρισμένη καταγραφή της ιστορίας της τέχνης πολιτισμικές ετερότητες ορίζουν ένα πρόσφατο σχετικά πεδίο έρευνας που μπορεί να ανακατασκευάσει τις γνωστές διαδρομές της μοντέρνας τέχνης και να ενδυναμώσει τις πιο πρόσφατες κατευθύνσεις.

Στη συνέχεια ακολουθεί μια σύντομη παρουσίαση κάθε ενότητας. Στις περισσότερες περιπτώσεις, στην διάρκεια της διάλεξης περιλαμβάνονται περισσότερες ενότητες. Επίσης δεν έχουν απόλυτα χρονολογικό χαρακτήρα, και κάθε φορά αλλάζουν ανάλογα με τις ανάγκες του μαθήματος.

Η διεκδίκηση της μοντέρνας ταυτότητας της νοικοκυράς

Σε αυτή την ενότητα εστιάζουμε στα τέλη του 19ου αιώνα και τις αρχές του 20ου εξετάζοντας τα χαρακτηριστικά της «γυναικείας δημιουργικότητας» μέσα από την διακόσμηση της οικίας. Στόχος είναι να έχουμε μια ξεκάθαρη εικόνα για το πώς εισάγεται το νεωτερικό στοιχείο στις διακοσμητικές τέχνες πριν την ιστορική επισημοποίηση της "μοντέρνας τέχνης». Οι «στρατηγικές» της συζύγου μέσα στον οίκο μας βοηθούν να υποστηρίξουμε την γένεση μιας παράλληλης προς την «επίσημη» avant-garde «προαστιακής νεωτερικότητας» αποκλειστικά γυναικείας, η οποία στηρίζει την σχέση του ιδιώτη με την οικία αντί να την αποδυναμώνει και να εναντιώνεται προς το διακοσμητικό, εμμένοντας σ’ ένα είδος «οικιακής εγκατάστασης».

Ενδεικτικά έργα :Διαφημίσεις πολυκαταστημάτων (Παρίσι, 19ος αιώνας)/ Vuillard, «Οι κίτρινες κουρτίνες», 1893/ M.Cottin, «Les Petits riens», 1896/ Bonnard, “Όρθιο γυμνό» 1919/ Εικονογραφήσεις περιοδικών για τη διακόσμηση(19ος αιωνας)

Αξίες της αστικής οικογένειας στο γαλλικό και αμερικανικό ιμπρεσιονισμό

Αναφερόμαστε στις οικιακές αναπαραστάσεις του καλλιτεχνικού εργαστηρίου μέσα από το έργο των ιμπρεσιονιστών όπου τα όρια ανάμεσα στο χώρο δουλειάς και κατοικίας είναι ασαφή. Εξετάζουμε τις ομοιότητες και τις διάφορες στο γυναίκειο γαλλικό και τον αμερικανικο αντρικό ιμπρεσιονισμό. Eμφαση δίνεται στο έργο του Manet σε σχέση με τους ρόλους των μοντέλων του και τις επιρροές των μεταγενέστερων

Ενδεικτικά έργα: Εικονογραφήσεις για το «Σαλόνι» του Παρισιού/ William Merritt Chase “The hall at Shinnecock”, 1892/ Edmund C.Tarbell, «Girls Reading», 1907/ Mary Cassat, “Little Girl in a Blue Armchair” 1878/ Berthe Morisot, “Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wigh”, 1875 / Manet, “Olympia”, 1863/ “Portrait d’Emile Zola”, 1868.

Σκανδιναβικές μόδες του κατοικείν : Από τον Carl Larsson στο ΙΚΕΑ

Αναφέρομαι στις πρώτες δημοσιεύσεις του Carl Larsson το 1895 οι οποίες εικονογραφούν την κατοικία της οικογένειας του στην περιοχή Lilla Hyttnas της Σουηδίας. Ο σχεδιασμός εσωτερικών χώρων του Larsson που εκφράζει την ανάγκη για ένα ιδανικό προβιομηχανικό παρελθόν του οποίου η φιλοσοφία εκφράζεται εν μέρει και στην «γραμμή» της ΙΚΕΑ έρχεται να υπογραμμίσει μια κρίση και μια αναβάθμιση απέναντι στον μοντέρνο σχεδιασμό. Συγκρίνουμε το προγενέστερο υλικό με τα εξπρεσιονιστικά και υπαρξιακά δωμάτια του Edward Munch και Vilhelm Hammershoi αντίστοιχα.

Ενδεικτικά έργα : Carl Larsson, “Ett hem” 1899/ Edvard Munch, «Το φιλί», 1892/ Vilhelm Hammershοi, «Dust Motes Dancing in Sunlight», 1900/ Σύγχρονες εικαστικές εγκαταστάσεις

«Η χαρά της ζωής» του Μatisse και η τέχνη του κουρασμένου Businessman
Η ζωγραφική του Matisse ανεξάρτητα από τον ριζοσπαστικό χαρακτήρα της τις μέρες του «φοβισμού», συμμετείχε συνειδητά στην επιδιωκόμενη γαλήνια ατμόσφαιρα του οικογενειακού περιβάλλοντος. Ανιχνεύουμε τους κοινούς συνδέσμους ανάμεσα στις ασθένειες της πόλης (νευρασθένεια) και τις διακοσμητικές επιρροές του Μatisse που επιδιώκουν την «ευτυχία» μέσα στο κατοικείν.
Ενδεικτικά έργα : Matisse “Στοχασμός (μετά το μπάνιο) 1920-21, “το ροζ atelier” 1911 , «η οικογένεια του ζωγράφου», 1911 / Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, «Το τραγούδι των Βοσκών», 1890.

Προσπερνώντας την οικία στη μοντέρνα γλυπτική: Τακτικές του “ανοίγματος” της κλειστής φόρμας

Σημείο εκκίνησης της ενότητας είναι η εξιστόρηση της σταδιακής κατάργησης του περίκλειστου γλυπτικού όγκου στην μοντέρνα πλαστική έκφραση. Παρουσιάζω συμπτώματα αυτής της διάνοιξης καταδεικνύοντας τις συγγένειες προς μια αρχιτεκτονική σύλληψη της γλυπτικής μέσα από το έργο του Boccioni, του Gabo, του Picasso, του Gonzalez κ.α.
Θα συζητήσουμε τις συνέπειες του ανοίγματος του γλυπτού το οποίο θα επιτρέψει την ανάπτυξη ενός ζωτικού κυριολεκτικού χώρου. Είναι όμως εξίσου σημαντικό να διευκρινίσουμε ποιές είναι οι θεματικές διαδρομές της «μεταφορικής» κατοίκησης μέσα στο εικαστικό έργο.

Ενδεικτικά έργα : Umberto Boccioni, “Sviluppo di bottiglia nello spazio”, 1912 / “Forme uniche della continuita nello spazio”, 1913/ ‘ Τραπέζι+ Μπουκάλι + Σπίτια’, 1912/ " La strada entra nella casa", 1911/ “Dinamismo di un cavallo in corsa + case”, 1914–15/ Picasso " Κιθάρα" , 1912 / "Ποτήρι, μαχαίρι και σάντουιτς σ’ ένα τραπέζι ", 1914/ A.G.Bragaglia, «Φιγούρα κατεβαίνοντας τις σκάλες- αυτοπορτραίτο», 1911 /Σπουδή για μια νέα φωτογραφική εικόνα», 1911/ Gabo, “Ογκομετρικός και Στερεομετρικός κύβος”, 1937/ «Δομημένο κεφάλι μίας γυναίκας», 1917/ «Κεφάλι» , 1916.

Οίκος και ταξική συνείδηση στην πικτοριαλιστική και ρεαλιστική φωτογραφία

Μέσα από φωτογραφικό υλικό των τελών του 19ου αιώνα παρέχουμε πληροφορίες για τις ιδεολογικές και αισθητικές προθέσεις στην καταγραφή εσωτερικών χώρων στην εργατική και αστική τάξη. θα τεθούν ζητήματα που αφορούν στο βικτωριανό πρότυπο του κατοικείν όπως και της ρεαλιστικής παράδοσης τη φωτογραφίας στην προσπάθεια της να συγκινήσει την αστική τάξη.

Ενδεικτικά έργα: Riis, ”How the other half lives”, 1888/ Lewis Hine, “Tenement, Jewish family”, 1912/ Julia Margaret Cameron, "The Return after Three Days", 1865 / Clarence H. White, “Ring Toss”, 1899

Μια κατοικία για του εκλεκτούς: Τακτικές του αποκλεισμού και κοσμοπολίτικες φιέστες

Εστιάζω στην αμφίσημη σχέση κυβισμού με την διακόσμηση μέσα από μανιφέστα και τις εκθεσιακές επιλογές του κινήματος. Αναφέρομαι διεξοδικά σε τρεις διαφορετικές στρατηγικές του εκθέτειν με το «Maison Cubiste”, τις δραστηριότητες του dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler και τoυ σχεδιαστή μόδας Paul Poiret.

Ενδεικτικά έργα: George Lepape, «Les choses de Paul Poiret vues par George Lepape», 1911/ Φωτογραφικό υλικό από τη γιορτή του Paul Poiret, La mille et deuxieume nuit, 1911/ Raul Dufy, «La Perse», 1911/ Marie Laurencin, «Les gloves», 1937 /Picasso, «Cubiste portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler”,1910/ Braque, “sculpture unique” 1914/ Marevna, «Κυβιστικά ηλιοτρόπια» 1914

Φουτουρισμός και η ηρωική έξοδος από το σπίτι

Εστιάζουμε στην στρατιωτική ορολογία της πρωτοπορίας για να προσδιορίσω τα αίτια της απαξίωσης του οικιακού περιβάλλοντος. Διαφορετικές ερμηνείες της “εμπροσθοφυλακής» από την ιακωβίνικη και τη σοσιαλιστική πρωτοπορία μέχρι την φασιστική πρωτοπορία των φουτουριστών. Αναλύουμε την αναπαράσταση της μαχητικής avant garde στην φουτουριστική τέχνη καθώς τη σχέση των φουτουριστών με τις γυναίκες.

Ενδεικτικά έργα : Balla, “Street Light”, 1911/ Severini, « Armored Train in Action » 1915/ Severini “Maternity” 1916/ Felix Valloton, “L’attaque” 1894/ Wassili Kandinsky, Ο Αποχαιρετισμός, 1903.

Το «σοσιαλιστικό αντικείμενο» στους κοινόχρηστους χώρους των μπολσεβίκων

Eξετάζουμε τους τρόπους με τους οποίους αμφισβητήθηκε η ατομική κατοικία την περίοδο της οκτωβριανής επανάστασης. Παρουσιάζω παραλλαγές του οράματος για το συλλογικό κοινωνικό χώρο στην κομουνιστική ουτοπία μέσα από το έργο των ρώσων κονστρουκτιβιστών, σουπρεματιστών και προντουκτιβιστών. Παρατηρούμε τις συνέπειες της εφαρμογής της κοινοκτημοσύνης την σταλινική περίοδο και την επανεξέταση της παρέμβασης της σοβιετικής ιδεολογίας στο ιδιωτικό χώρο μέσα στη σύγχρονη ρώσικη τέχνη. Ειδική αναφορά στο θεωρητικό έργο του Τρότσκι και του Αrvatov για την κατοικία και το αντικείμενο.

Ενδεικτικά έργα : Σοβιετικές Αφίσες για την κατοικία/ Gustav Klutsis «Μακέτα κατασκευής», άγνωστη ημερομηνία/ El Lissitzky, “Wolkenbügel”, photomontage (πλατεία Nikitskii στη Μόσχα), 1925/ Laszlo Moholy-Nagy “Light-Space Modulator“, 1922-30/ Aleksandr Rodchenko «Μη-αντικειμενικό γλυπτό αρ.6», 1918/ Vladimir Stenberg «κατασκευή στο χώρο KPS 42 IV»,1919-21/ Vladimir Tatlin “Corner Relief“, 1915/ Ilya Kabakov «The Man Who Flew Into Space From his Apartment», 1968-1996/ “C’est ici que nous vivons”, 1995

Ο σουρεαλισμός και το “κάστρο” : το ασυνείδητο της μοντέρνας αρχιτεκτονικής

Σε αυτήν την ενότητα ανατρέχω στην αντιπάθεια των σουρεαλιστών για τη μοντέρνα αρχιτεκτονική. Ξεκινώ από το μανιφέστο του Breton και την προτίμηση του για την τυπολογία του κάστρου ως ένα απελευθερωμένο κοινωνικό χώρο και συνεχίζω με τα παιδικά δωμάτια των τελών του 19 αιώνα που αποτέλεσαν τόπους ανάπτυξης της φαντασίας.

Ενδεικτικά έργα : Max Ernst, Une semaine de Bonte /Man Ray, Le chateau de des, 1929/ Jean Cocteau, La belle et la Bête, 1946 /Joseph Cornell, Rose Hobart, 1936/ Dali, Dream of Venus, 1939

Σχεδιασμός εσωτερικών χώρων και η πρακτική της «ενδομήτριας» αρχιτεκτονικής

Διαβάζουμε αποσπάσματα κείμενων που αποδεικνύουν τον ενθουσιασμό του Dali με την art Nouveau και περιγράφουμε τους εσωτερικούς χώρους του Monkton House του Edward James με τον οποίο συνεργάζεται ο Dali. Τα επιχειρήματα του Τζαρά για την «ενδομήτρια αρχιτεκτονική” συνεισφέρουν σε μια συνολική θεώρηση της σουρεαλιστικής αρχιτεκτονικής. Στην συνέχεια ο βιομορφισμός του Roberto Matta παραλληλίζεται με το αρχιτεκτονικό όραμα του Frederick Κiesler για τα οργανικά κτίρια. Το μάθημα συμπληρώνεται με την σύντομη προβολή φιλμικού υλικού που ανιχνεύει την σουρεαλιστική αντίληψη για τους εσωτερικούς χώρους.

Ενδεικτικά έργα και κατοικίες : Edward James, Monkton House, Sussex/ Las Pozas, Xilitla, 50’s/ Giacometti, The palace at 4.a.m, 1932-33/ Frederick Kiesler, Endless House,1926/ Roberto Μatta, mathematique sensible–architecture du temps, 1938/Joseph Cornell, Setting for a Fairy Tale, 1942.

Ιδιωτικότητα και φετιχισμός: αναπαραστάσεις του γυναικείου σώματος στη σουρεαλιστική και ντανταιστική παράδοση

Η αφορμή για το μάθημα είναι οι έκθέσεις «Exposition surealiste des objets» στη Γκαλερί Charles Ratton και η «Exposition Ιnternational du Surrealisme», στη Γκαλερί Beaux Arts, τα 1936 και το 1938 αντίστοιχα. Εμβαθύνουμε στην κάθε συμμετοχή ξεχωριστά, όπως στην Claude Cahun, Meret Oppenheim, Man Ray, Bellmer, Marcel Duchamp κ.α Στο ίδιο πλαίσιο συσχέτισης με την ιδιωτικότητα αναφερόμαστε στο έργο του Molinier, Leonor Fini, Dora Maar, Balthus, στην χορογράφο Maya Deren και στην Βαρόνη Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.

Ενδεικτικά έργα: Claude Cahun, «αυτοπορτραίτo» 1932/ Balthus “Nu avec le chat” 1948/ Dorothea Tanning “Τragic Τable” 1973/ Meret Oppenheim, “Ma gouvernante”,1936/ Marcel Duchamp, “1200 Coal Sacs,1938

Κουκλόσπιτα ενάντια σε μακέτες και η κρυφή κατοικία του Duchamp

Εξετάζω τις σχέσεις ανάμεσα στο “Βoite en valise” του Marcel Duchamp και στο οικογενειακό κουκλόσπιτο της διακοσμήτριας Carrie Stettheimer. Αφηγούμαστε πώς ο ίδιος ο καλλιτέχνης αξιοποίησε την ιδέα της μινιατούρας στα ύστερα έργα του. Στην συνέχεια, αντιπαραθέτω τον κόσμο του γυναικείου κουκλόσπιτου μ’ εκείνο της αρχιτεκτονικής μακέτας, γεφυρώνοντας τις προπολεμικές γυναικείες διακοσμητικές πρακτικές με την όψιμη μοντέρνα φεμινιστική τέχνη.
Έχοντας εξαντλήσει το διάλογο με τα «γούστα» της πνευματικής ελίτ των «μοντέρνων καιρών», καλούμαστε να αναζητήσουμε το μη ορατό αλλά υπαρκτό των «ανεπιθύμητων» εμπειριών κοιτώντας την ιστορία ξανά μέσα από την «κρυμμένη κατοικία», εκείνης της Stettheimer που ο Duchamp της είχε δωρίσει μια μινιατούρα του «γυμνού που κατεβαίνει γυμνό τις σκάλες».
Ενδεικτικά έργα : Marcel Duchamp , "Nu descendant un escalier αρ.2” , 1912”, / “Boite –en- valise”, 1941/ “Fresh Widow”, 1920/ Carrie Stettheimer “dollshouse”, 1916-35 / Florine Stettheimer “Portrait of my sister Carrie with Dollhouse”, 1923 /Womanhouse project, 1972/ Miriam Shapiro και Sherry Brody “Dollshouse”, 1972.

Το σώμα ως κατοικία στη μεταπολεμική τέχνη : ανάμεσα στην προστασία και την απειλή

Σε αυτή την ενότητα στοχεύω να αναδείξω την συγγένεια μεταξύ οικίας και εγκατάστασης. Εστιάζω στην μεταπολεμική γλυπτική όπου το ανθρώπινο σώμα μετα τον δεύτερο παγκόσμιο πόλεμο αντιμετωπίζεται ως αρχιτεκτονικός χώρος, κέλυφος, οίκος που προσδίδει μια συνθήκη αυτοαναφορικότητας και εκφέρει στοιχεία περισυλλογής και απομόνωσης. Με αντικείμενο τις πρακτικές της πρωτοπορίας στο θέμα της ιδιωτικής κατοικίας, θίγω το ζήτημα της οριοθέτησης της αρχιτεκτονικής μορφής μέσα από το εγγενές οικείο κέλυφος του ανθρώπινου σώματος.

Ενδεικτικά έργα :Joseph Beuys, “Plight”, 1964-72 / Dubuffet, “Closerie Falbala” , 1971-1976/ Per Inge Bjorlo, “Indre romV”, 1991 / Mario Merz, “Igloo di Giap”, 1968.
Μέσα στην οικία : Ο θρίαμβος της τηλεόρασης και η υπεροχή της «αμερικάνικης» κουζίνας στη μεταπολεμική γλυπτική

Σε αυτό το μάθημα προσπαθώ να αποδείξω με ποιους τρόπους το μοντέρνοo ύφος του εσωτερικού χώρου της οικίας λειτούργησε καταλυτικά για την εθνική ταυτότητα της αμερικάνικης κοινωνίας, και συγκεκριμένα πώς η αναβάθμιση της μεταπολεμικής κουζίνας χρησίμευε για τις ιδεολογικές διαφωνίες καπιταλισμού –κομμουνισμού.
Με ευκολία συμπεραίνουμε ότι η έννοια της κατοικίας μεταπολεμικά προχωρά σε μια αναθεώρηση της απομονωμένης της ταυτότητας και εμπλέκεται σε ιδέες που στοχεύουν στη μεταμόρφωση της από χώρο διαβίωσης σε τόπο αναψυχής και διασκέδασης.

Ενδεικτικά έργα : Εdwardo Paolozzi “It’s a psychological Fact Pleasure Helps Your Disposition”, 1948/“Aμερικάνικος τρόπος ζωής», Πάρκο Sokolniki, Μόσχα, 1959/ Richard Hamilton «Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?”, 1956/ Gerhard Richter, Konrand Lueng “Leben mit pop-eine demonstration fur den kapitalistischen realismus”, 1963/ Vostell «TV-Décoll/age αρ. 1», 1958-1961/ «Concrete TV Paris» (1974-81,/ Andy Warhol, “Brillo Boxes”, 1964.

Το φάντασμα της πτώσης της οικίας των Usher στις εγκαταστάσεις

Εστιάζω αποκλειστικά στο διήγημα του Poe “H πτώση του οίκου των Ωσερ», το οποίο συνιστά μια εναλλακτική αφήγηση για τη διαδρομή της μοντέρνας τέχνης και ειδικά για τις σχέσεις μοντέρνου- παράδοσης, αλλά και της ίδιας της ιδεολογικής κρίσης του νεωτερισμού. Εντοπίζω εκείνες τις εγκαταστάσεις –κατοικίες όπου είναι αισθητή η εμπειρία της πτώσης , της διάτμησης, και του γκρεμίσματος. Αναφερόμενος στις αρχιτεκτονικές χειρονομίες του Schwitters, του Jean Pierre Raynaud, του Gordon Matta –Clark και Robert Smithson επιχειρώ να αναδείξω μια εικαστική παράδοση που συνειδητά φέρει την ρήξη στις τυποποιημένες σχεδιαστικές γλώσσες της αρχιτεκτονικής.
Ενδεικτικά έργα : Schwitters “Merzbau” 1923-1943/Gordon Matta Clark-“Bronx Floor”, 1972-3 / “Bingo”, 1974 “Splitting”,1974, “office baroque”, 1977/ J.P.Raynaud “La maison”, 1969-1993,/ Joseph Beuys “I lιke America and America likes me”, 1974/ Robert Smithson “Partially buried woodshed”, 1970, “Hotel Palenque”,1969/ Arman, “Conscious Vandalism”, 1975

Καλειδοσκοπικά δωμάτια στην ψυχεδελική τέχνη
Αναφερόμαστε στη σχέση θεάματος και ψυχεδέλειας μέσα από το σχήμα και τις ιδιότητες του καλειδοσκοπίου. Στην συνέχεια με αφορμή τις εγκαταστάσεις των Kusama και Σαμαρά όπως και με τα lights shows προσεγγίζω τους τρόπους που η ψυχεδελική κουλτούρα συντίθεται στην αρχιτεκτονική και ειδικά στον ιδιωτικό χώρο. θα διευκρινίσουμε ότι η επαναστατική πρόθεση στην ψυχεδελική τέχνη είναι ταυτόσημη με την αλλαγή στο πεδίο της οπτικής αντίληψης.
Ενδεικτικά έργα: Lucas Samaras, “Mirrored Room”,1966/ Yayoi Kusama –“Infinity Mirror Room (phalli’s field)”, 1965/ 1970/ «Mirror Room”, 1991/ “Fireflies”, 2003/ Jesus Rafael Soto, “Penetrables, 1967/” Brion Gysin “dreamachine”, 1959/ Μark Boyle “ Son et Lumiere”, 1966/ Jianni Colombo, “Structuratione fluida”, 1967/ Ν.Schoffer, “CYSP 1”, 1956 / Davide Boriani, “Ambiente stroboscopico”, 1966/ Jim Lambie, “Zobop”, 1999/ Eva Rothschild, “Within You Without You”, 2002/ “Black Mountainside”, 2001 Olafur Eliasson, «La situazione antispettiva», 2003.

Άπολις : Μακριά από το σπίτι

Στην τελευταία ενότητα αναφέρομαι σ’ έναν ιδιότυπο «αποδραστικό» μοντερνισμό, στον οποίο οι περιπλανήσεις κατέχουν σημαντική θέση. η γενεαλογία μπορεί να βρεθεί στις περιπλανήσεις των σουρεαλιστών και στις derives και detournements των καταστασιακών.
Η όψιμη νεωτερικότητα αντιπροτείνει ένα μοντέλο καλλιτέχνη που ασεβεί απέναντι στους «νόμους» της πόλης, εκτροχιάζεται στην περιφέρεια της ή στις ακόμα παρθένες περιοχές και από κει σχηματίζει την δική του οντότητα πέρα από τους συμμετοχικούς μηχανισμούς της πολιτικής κοινότητας. Αυτή η αναζήτηση θα επισημανθεί με τις μοναχικές διαδρομές του Richard long, Hamish Fulton, Werner Ηerjok, και τις συμβολικές οριοθετήσεις της διαδρομής όπως στην περίπτωση του Carl André. Το διακύβευμα είναι εάν η ιδιωτική σφαίρα επιτρέπει ένα βαθμό ελευθέριας όσο και η αποφασιστική έξοδος από την πόλη.
Eνδεικτικά έργα και φιλμικό υλικό: Dali, “Rainy Taxi”, 1938 / Vito Acconci, «Following Piece», 1969/ Wim Wenders, «Αλίκη στις πόλεις»/ Charlie Chaplin, “Modern Times”, 1936/E. Kienholz, «Back Seat Dodge 38,1964 / Tomoko Takahashi, “ Line out ”, 1996/ Carl Andre “Lever”, 1966/ Ed Ruscha, «Royal Road Test», 1967/CIAM, 1933.

Προτάσεις εργασίας

H εργασία ανταποκρίνεται στις ενότητες του μαθήματος. Αρχικά την προτείνετε προφορικά η με κάποιο συνοπτικό σχεδιάγραμμα. Αφού συμφωνήσουμε σε κάθε περίπτωση οφείλετε να έχετε βιβλιογραφικές αναφορές ακόμα και αν οι πηγές σας προέρχονται από το Internet. Επιλέγετε να σχολιάσετε μονάχα ένα έργο από το σύνολο της δουλειάς ενός εικαστικού ή αρχιτέκτονα. Οποιαδήποτε άλλη αναφορά έργου θα συνδέεται και θα παρατίθεται με την κύρια επιλογή.

Γραπτή εργασία μέχρι 2500 λέξεις και όχι λιγότερο από 1000.


Δεκάλεπτη παρουσίαση της μελέτης σας με όποιο τρόπο επιθυμείτε και γραπτή παράδοση της σύνοψης της θέσης σας σε 500 λέξεις.