Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A Pen Is a Magical Object

Our mothers are the Sirens of our lives, according to Riber Hansson in his poem at once drawn and written. Our mothers gave us the key to reveal the essence of life otherwise hidden. The English translation from Riber's original Swedish version is below:

Det var mor
som visade mig pennorna.
En penna är ett magiskt föremål.
Om man drar spetsen över ett papper
hämtar den upp linjer som ligger
osynliga under ytan.
Spår som inte försvinner
när pennan lyfts.
Många tecknare tror att fenomenet
är en hos materien inneboende egenskap,
trots att bevis för denna teori fortfarande saknas.

It was my mother
who introduced me to the pens.
A pen is a magical object.
If you draw the nib across a piece of paper
it picks up lines which are running
invisibly below the surface.
Tracks that do not disappear
when the pen is lifted.
Many artists believe that the phenomenon
is an intrinsic property of the matter
although evidence for this theory is still missing.

Riber Hansson, June 14, 2011.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Riber Hansson and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

ARTivism Drives Democracy

A special note for this blog's numerous Ukrainian readers. As of tomorrow and until June 5, Oussama Bouagila shall be in Lviv for the workshop presented below. He sends you all a special greeting hoping to see as many of you as possible, while he is in Lviv.

Oussama is active in Zwewla, which uses graffiti to create awareness against poverty and abuse of power and they took to the streets along with the very first demonstrations for democracy in Tunisia in January 2011. Since then he has conducted several workshops, teaching and inspiring even the youngest to create change by way of the visual presence of difference:

Zwewla, November 28, 2013, in Siliana.
"Speak yourself"

The workshop in Lviv is titled:  Artivism Drives Democracy 

"ARTivism Drives Democracy
from tomorrow on in Lviv-Lemberg / Ukraine

Discourse of 50 art activists from 8 countries for practical interventions into the crisis of Democracy in our countries.
Two weeks training camp for artistic actions for a Horizontal Democracy.

will be used as an example to implement it into our cities
(Athens, Hanover, Athens, Augsburg, Florence, Oslo, Tunis, Lviv, Belgrad, Eindhoven-Amsterdam)

We want to activate public space as a discussion panel and think of the city as a place of creation with the right to meet, participate, exchange, big celebrations and collective designed and used
urban space.

Let's use the public space to give more power to the people, to realize an open social Democracy everywhere!! We want to create a long term partnership ARTIVISM DRIVES DEMOCRACY after three years preparation."

Have a great workshop and hopefully you will give Oussama a busy time!

Monday, 23 May 2016

The filthiness of overthinking

My beautiful father passed away a month ago and is the cause for the silence on the blog; posting will probably be a bit shaky for a good while yet for the very same reason.

On the note on loss, Per Marquard Otzen, who is notoriously against putting his drawings into words, let slip an exclamation a few weeks back, which considering his reluctance to speak on the matter, may equal a thesis:

"My approach to the act of cartooning has always been that the drawings of are meant to be "lost". Cartoons are art for the dailies and the here and now. Pure Zen. To save, to archive and to think in terms of "posterity" destroys the flow with a self-celebratory pathos to it, a grisly scheming, which to me seems devastating to the nature of the art form.

The ideal cartoonist is qua his/her medium given much better artistic possibilities than "the painter", who hardly makes a brush stroke without being tempted to imagine it "painted" on a museum wall".  

Per Marquard Otzen, The Poet Radovan Karadzic, April 26, 2009.

Grisly scheming is a favourite term in cartooning. The filthiness of overthinking, ending up with the corpse of the Pegasus in the pursuit of the definition of life (and with it: art). Karadzic is a prime example, after all we know only too well, what happened, when he converted his lyrics into action.

Yet the work is published? The paradox of cartooning is the fact that publication is traditionally synonymous with disappearance. The wrapping of fish in yesterday's news paper.

Only... on today's social media cartoons make potentially endless rounds ending up the most astounding places of which this blog is but one. In other words: QED, Per!

(and happily so!)

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Per Marquard Otzen and must not be reproduced without his permission.

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