Showing posts from November, 2014

"It requires no relief"

Two artists and one cool company to be in when they are debating. The author Virginia Woolf and the musician Tue Ebert could be on the brink of declaring a definition on art, finding in their unison that common factor for art we have always been searching for in vain, but that is far from their interest. No, they are much more interested in how art comes about: 
Art is an arduous process.

It is all well and good to get an initial idea, but to actually get to the point in which the artwork has attained its own heartbeat, there is work to be done. It is sitting down every day for a year at the studio.

Such were the thoughts by Tue Ebert, whom we have already met on this blog reading Joyce. Most of the time, though, we reverse to our mutual favorite, Virginia Woolf. And with her, her very best novel or as she named it herself "an abstract mystical eyeless book; a playpoem": The Waves. 

We both prefer her as an essayist when she is not expected to incorporate a plotline, but le…

The Captured Brain

There is such a thing as lazy cartooning and then there are those drawings which add layers to our understanding.

I have an aversion against names and notions written across the forehead or back of the protagonists in a cartoon. Intellectual lazyness and as such a cardinal sin in cartooning. I do know it is usually imposed upon the cartoonist from outside. From someone who wants to be absolutely certain that everyone knows it is about THIS and not THAT once the cartoon is publicized.

Only the effect is as heavy handed as describing it above. The play with double meanings is after all a means of giving us a chock; the one of not being absolutely certain at first what is taking place, setting off reflection.

Fadi Abou Hassan uses but three elements here, moving the noose to that part of the body, which is usually not the focus of an execution and yet, of course it is exactly so:

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Fadi Abou Hassan and must not be reproduced without his permission.

On the Anniversary of the Kristallnacht

A wall that has seen all too much. As imagery it is not intentional; the reality of it, however, was very much so. The Kristallnacht in which German Jews were attacked and murdered and about 30.000 deported to concentration camps, while their property was destroyed and burned down, took place on this day in 1938 and November 9 is a day to reflect on one of the reasons the Holocaust that ensued became a reality.

In terms of intentionality, cartooning was explained as one of the core reasons that made the genocide possible. The intentions had a name: Julius Streicher, the editor of the Nazi weekly Der Stürmer:

"Typical of his teachings was a leading article in September, 1938, which termed the Jew a germ and a pest, not a human being, but "a parasite, an enemy, an evil-doer, a disseminator of diseases who must be destroyed in the interest of mankind".

The last paragraph above is a transcription from his verdict when he was placed among the 12 main accused on the two front be…

Ducks to Water

The Ducks by Jørn Villumsen have amassed quite an interest lately and it is indeed high time to see how they are doing.

They are fine. In fact, never better:

At least for as long as the rain continues. The littlest one is still in trouble, but the century-old sturdy fishermen of the paintings of Michael Ancher have arisen and they are doing a better job coping with the traffic than the police lately.

The sheep in Jutland on the other hand have gone into hiding. The wolf has returned to Denmark and Jørn Villumsen has of course portrayed all 11 of them. A new danger howls at every velvety hilltop if the media should be believed; note their sharp glittery clarity contrary to the worn townscape:

The cartoons shown are courtesy of Jørn Villumsen and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Communities of Meaning

When I was preparing the blogpost on Doaa Eladl on the danger of never returning home in spite of all good intentions the other day, the story had in fact another layer to it: Tony, writing from Beirut, found himself commenting on two situations at very same time due to a sudden unrest in the neighborhood, possibly a bomb? Yet, neither of them hesitates in what they do - they create and discuss art.

This is such a moving example of when art matters. I cannot help comparing their approach to the art debate around these parts, Northernmost Europe, for the past months, where the insistence on art as provocation has taken another round.

The Swedish art critic Robert Stasinki discussed the matter in the October edition of the magazine published by Konstnärernas Riksorganisation Konstnären. On the one hand we have the Wittgensteinian language classification, which has a popular appeal in its simplicity that the main ingredient to art is the self-pronounciation of someone declaring him- or …
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