Showing posts from March, 2015

No. 6001 Is Now Being Served

This week we were told that the US had applied one of the oldest tricks at hand within psychological warfare, dispersing 60,000 leaflets on March 16 from an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter above Raqqa, in which Daesh/IS are presiding.

There is a tendency these years - if not most of the time, admittedly - to belittle the possible impact of imagery. Especially since it is near impossible to prove impact and outcome at the best of times, and leaflets and posters remembered might just be the result of assisted memory from the like of historians and exhibitions. Still, the stubborn imagery-pushers among us would say that given it is recalled long after the fact, gives us certain indications. Especially since such material would have been printed on cheap paper that disintegrates while the print is still wet. And so the discussion continues, all the while images such as the one above are being dispersed in much the same way they have been for the past 550 years since their printing w…

Khamenei Threefold Incarnated

While Assad was not supposed to be given a face in that the revolution was about the Syrian people and not his person, the bloodshed has been going on for so long that a face is in order. This is a manmade catastrophe. Someone is actively perpetrating it and so that someone is responsible for each life taken.

He is consequently not so much a face as all movement as portrayed by Khalid Gueddar. Shielded by Khamenei, the Iranian Supreme Leader, the two of them mirror one another with a direct compositional downward line running from the gaze of the one holding guard to the one adding to the pile of the slaughtered. All of it made possible by the floating of the robe of thick oil.

In the Nordic languages as well in German, we have a word for what we are seeing: Khamenei in selvtredje/själv tredje/selbdritt. As in having three incarnations, each incarnation responsible for propagating the next one. Oh, and the drawing is already two years old:

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Khalid Gued…

Binary Darkness

For the first International Day to End Impunity in 2012 Hussein Khuzam created the stencil below consisting of three parts. The three of them all the more poignant for not being drawn together; and so the culpability of two regimes, which would not for anything be interlinked, was laid out alongside one another for their silencing of critical voices.

Drawn to the essence beyond their actual faces, they are characterized through their glasses, beards and headgear, all of which is circumscribing their features:


At the beginning of the Syrian revolution
There was criticism directed at Saudi Arabia concerning human rights
Some Syrians told me not to be lashing out at Saudi Arabia in drawings as they stand beside us
Unlike Iran, which stands by the system and contributes to the killing of Syrians

Our position was clear

Freedom is indivisible, and we want it for everyone
And the wicked in the region are so regardless of present positions
Because we believe they hold but…


Cartooning is a way of saying no without ending up with aggression, as Bonil stated in an interview last week
For that very reason it is absurd that humor is right now seen as an aggressor, he continued. Xavier Bonilla (Bonil) himself is being constantly threatened by the Ecuadorean president, Rafael Correa and Bonil is presently caught up in the second of two lawsuits, the first of which went against the cartoonist. As an example of the presidential "Imagine, me against humor?!"-style, the British comedian John Oliver had his own set to with him here and the response here
Johan Oliver concluded that Correa need to learn to prioritize his time, not pursuing anyone mentioning his name and to weaken his hypersensitivity in the process. Such is the response from a free citizen in a democracy, while Bonil caught up in Correa's juridical restrictions of journalistic freedom deduced that politics and humor are married to one another. A marriage in the sense that citizens …

"They say that we are uncivilized!"

By now their turbans have turned into an extended brain. Their eyes have sunk to the bottom line of their faces; eyes and exposed teeth becoming one in the process. Their opinions are in short one with their bodies, concentrated on letting out their outrage. I have a particular weakness for the hands of the one speaking; the fingers mimicking the teeth at which he is pointing to give poignancy to his words.

Flask himself uses direct speech in his line, working with a line at once deliciously dense and dirty and as fine as in barely there while ringing in details such as the frustrated wrinkles across their eyes. Flask analyses our day and age through a gallery of mis-fits seeing it all from a distance and yet fully active citizens in that they are dicussing and taking sides in the happenings of society. His pair of Islamists are for their part entangled in first world problems while pretending to be part of a higher order of another kind.

But qua being murderers, the Islamists are fi…

Art Resistance

Paparazzi politics. Such was a comment I read only the day before yesterday's killings at the Museum Bardo in Tunis. The Daesh/IS is dealing in paparazzi politics, working all for show rather than content.

The reaction yesterday from artists we have met many times before on this blog was consequently prompt and unflickering; a response all the more impressive given the fact that their personal security is not a given.

A dilemma Nadia Khiari portrayed only moments after the fact that while Willis is looking beyond the situation he is in, they are focusing on him only.

Still, in spite of the exclamation mark Willis is in need of nothing beyond his own clear-cut figure, and his proclamation acquiesce with the writing on the wall created today by Zwewla in the south of Tunisia. With their newly acquired calligraphic voice, the wall aptly underlines the solidity of their statement:

"We are not artists, we are simple citizens from Tunisia, trying with the help of walls to inform th…


Eyes that have seen all too much.

On the fourth anniversary of the bloodshed in Syria the still painfully young seer is seeking rest.

The sharp angles of two compositional elements respectively dissolves his body and supports his head. The resting is only apparent, though, Salam Alhassan is employing said elements to break up the figuration of the body of the seer on the picture plane. He is vanishing away before us:

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Salam Alhassan and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Freedom of Pression

About the time when this blogpost was written on Thembo Muhindo Kashauri, he had been silent on social media for about a month. As had Alain Mushabah Massumbuko of Le Centre African de la Caricature and it was obvious what had happened. 
Obvious since their sudden silence followed from the publishing date of a drawing by Thembo Muhindo Kashauri on the protests which took off on that very day; an anger prompted by the delay of the presidential and parliamentary elections, which were to have taken place in 2016. The opposition labelled the delay a constitutional coup in that President Kabila claimed a census should be conducted before elections could be held. This would de facto postpone elections for an indefinite period of time, securing his presidency for just as long. 
And so the protesters took to the streets, colliding with the security forces: the latter afterwards denying having fired on the protesters, explaining away the number of corpses to be seen:

Thembo Muhindo Kashauri i…

Je suis sortie

If it had not been for the safety-pinned note he would probably not even have noticed. Actually, she might as well have been inside considering not even her shroud has detected any difference.

An actively absent entity in the public sphere, while not visibly absent when actually so. "I must make up my mind, which is right - society or I". Nora said, when she left Ibsen's A Doll's House in 1879.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Djamel Lounis and must not be reproduced without his permission.

The Tortured Brain and The No Brained

We have just seen Laocoon as the center of debate whether to suffer in silence or dare expressing violent pain. The figure group itself is composed of so many elements that it is next to impossible to incorporate it into new layers of imagery, but Per Marquard Otzen has managed to do exactly that; uncovering the convolutions of the artistic brain of winding snakes and bodies twisting in pain.

PSST Per, you have given Laocoon his non-authentic arm; Michelangelo could tell you. Unless giving him that very arm is very much intentional in breaking with the unity and thus drawing attention to the anguish of the artistic process. An anguish for us to see only this once since the poet resembles those unhappy men, prisoners of the tyrant Phalaris, who let them be slowly roasted by a gentle fire - in the words of Kierkegaard - only their shrieks did not reach the tyrant's ear. To him they sounded like sweet music. Do sing again, people exclaim while flocking about the poet:

Museums as the …
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