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post #1276 of 1310
the point was that he basically is a corporation now, yet he wants you to root for him as though he was an underdog. you don't root for pepsi to succeed—they're already hugely successful. why would you root for him?

edit: why you making me work? happy.gif also, that's not my opinion, by the way. i don't really care much one way or another. i have a friend who's a big jay-z fan and disagrees with that review
Edited by pickpackpockpuck - 9/6/13 at 11:23am
post #1277 of 1310
i see. but why would he change his tune now ? if he started droning on about his riches and great successes, it would be an even greater departure from authenticity and turn him into lil wayne or something equally bad. and people root for pepsi/pfizer every day, by buying their products. one kills you the other is s'posed to heal you hehe

in the end it doesn't really matter for me, though. it would probably be best if everyone just ignored him or he took up a more silent hobby :-)
post #1278 of 1310
Thread Starter 
always felt like Pfizer's subversiveness was one of facade tbh, never bought into the hype

can we talk about that jay z meme instead
post #1279 of 1310
Thread Starter 

post #1280 of 1310
a thrilling bit !

The pair travelled from Milan and queued to get into the room that housed the “Mona Lisa”. Eventually, they pushed their way to the front. But they had not come to see the painting: they had come to see its absence. One week earlier, it had been stolen.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The afterlives of art
Toby Lichtig

Rick Gekoski
Stories of missing works of art and literature
284pp. Profile. £14.99.
978 1 84668 491 3
Published: 4 September 2013

“The nail of the Louvre” by Georges Léonnec, 1911“The nail of the Louvre” by Georges Léonnec, 1911 Photograph: Roger-Viollet/Getty

Anyone who is not perplexed by the complex issues surrounding the loss of works of art hasn’t thought about them sufficiently.” This call to contemplation by the writer and rare-book dealer Rick Gekoski is the animating force behind Lost, Stolen or Shredded, a collection of essays about the gaps and missed directions in the recent history of human culture, the precious works of art that have been destroyed or pilfered, irrevocably distorted or never created in the first place. Its grouchy tone also belies the appeal of its author. Gekoski has an ear for lively prose and a nose for a good story, particularly if it involves a degree of mystery. “There is, after all, something wearying, predictable and banal, about knowing things”, he writes, citing Franz Kafka as an author who profits by exclusion. In his foreword, Gekoski tells the story of Kafka and Max Brod’s visit to the Louvre in 1911. The pair travelled from Milan and queued to get into the room that housed the “Mona Lisa”. Eventually, they pushed their way to the front. But they had not come to see the painting: they had come to see its absence. One week earlier, it had been stolen.

Much of the ground in this anthology has already been covered, but even the more familiar tales benefit from retelling. The fifteen discrete chapters form what Gekoski calls “my own internal museum of loss”, and although the author insists that he can offer no overarching thesis (“it is not my aim to write generally about the nature of loss”), we are reminded, time and again, that the creation of a work of art is merely the beginning of its narrative, that “to be without loss is to be without change”, and that an artwork is more than the sum of its parts. Context, for Gekoski, is everything, as Marcel Duchamp, or Jacques Derrida, would doubtless have agreed. One writer also notable for his absence in this erudite and wide-ranging collection is Walter Benjamin, who wrote, in his famous essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, about the “aura” of a work of art. This, for Benjamin, is what gives art its authenticity, both aesthetically and – of interest to a dealer such as Gekoski – in market terms. “Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element”, Benjamin wrote: “its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.” This notion of “aura” seems to hang heavy in Lost, Stolen or Shredded as Gekoski considers the various ways in which it can be negated, enhanced or interfered with.

The two-year disappearance of the “Mona Lisa” merely added to its character – a similar effect, it might be argued, to accumulated centuries of craquelure and patination. The robbery of the “Urewera Mural” in New Zealand created a legend of its own. Gekoski describes the theft of Colin McCahon’s painting – filled with references to Tuhoe tribal history – by two Maori activists, bent, in their own words, on giving the New Zealand authorities “a taste of what it feels like to have something taken from you against your will and be powerless to stop it”. Gekoski uses this tale to digress on the politicization and “sanctity” of art, posing the uncomfortable, if facile, question of whether a “priceless” painting can ever be “more valuable than a human life”. He sensibly avoids the answer but does conclude, in the light of the valuable debate that erupted about Maori dispossession, that the mural was “better lost than found”. It was eventually returned, somewhat damaged, after several months of “investigative incompetence” and a series of intricate negotiations with the campaigners.

Who has the right to appropriate or ruin a work of art? At what point does it become public property? For Gekoski, there are no simple answers. He considers Graham Sutherland’s portrait of Winston Churchill, a commission by Churchill’s parliamentary colleagues on the occasion of his eightieth birthday, in 1954, which the British Prime Minister despised (“it makes me look half-witted, which I ain’t”) and which was later destroyed at the request of Churchill’s wife, Clementine. Gekoski notes that Lady Churchill had form in this area, having demolished portraits of her husband by Walter Sickert and Paul Maze, and argues, unconvincingly, that the Churchills had “ample justification” for their actions because the painting was commissioned “to honour [Churchill], and it didn’t”. One wonders how the public would now react if Prince Philip decided to feed Lucian Freud’s portrait of the Queen to the Windsor hearth.

It is for quite another reason that Gekoski finds it “hard to regret the destruction of [Philip] Larkin’s diaries”, by Larkin’s lover Monica Jones – and that is because they were never “meant” for public consumption in the first place. But the real explanation is that the contents were likely to be so distasteful. There are some things, it seems, Gekoski would rather not know (the revelations about the private life of Eric Gill have “ruined” Gill’s art for him). It is easy to disagree with him on this point – surely our understanding of an author better informs the work – but Gekoski is correct that our view of Larkin “is probably more sympathetic” as a consequence, and this undoubtedly helps us to focus on the poetry. And whereas we may mourn the “extra badness” lost to history in the untold stories of Lord Byron’s incinerated memoirs, “there is nothing attractive about the extremes of the Larkinian”.

The question of ownership again arises in a stimulating discussion of the ongoing purchase of Kafka’s manuscripts by the National Library of Israel from the estate of Max Brod’s mistress, Esther Hoffe – a process that recalls The Trial in its tortuousness and technicality. Other subjects of interest to the author include the pillaged treasures of the Kingdom of Benin, the repatriation of Nazi loot, and the recent fate of the National Museum of Baghdad, which lost around “15,000 antiquities” during the Second Iraq War. Gekoski acknowledges that one man’s plunder is another man’s national archive, pausing to reflect that “if we embark upon a frenzy of giving back from one culture to another, we will come to have museums which are merely ‘national’ . . . where a kind of crimped provincialism holds sway”. This is, of course, easy to say when, like Gekoski, you have a city such as London at your disposal. He is more sympathetic to the dispossessed populace of Benin than that of nineteenth-century Egypt because “the Oba . . . had enhanced and protected their treasures”.

A chapter on fakes, focusing on the notorious master forger Mark Hofmann, helps to inform the debate about authenticity, and another on literary process looks at a “finished” artwork’s ghostly parallel lives. Does our appreciation of The Waste Land change when we consider its original opening: “First we had a couple of feelers down at Tom’s place”? Gekoski has little to say about this, but he does raise an interesting point in considering the future of literary archives in the age of total electronic recall. An author such as Jeanette Winterson may indeed destroy her work in progress as a matter of course (“I don’t want my personal papers becoming a doctoral thesis”, she wrote in her memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?), but anyone who uses a computer unwittingly records their every keystroke onto their hard drive. Gekoski could have said more about a culture in which everything has become at once more disposable and obsessively documented, in which notions of authorial privacy have changed beyond recognition, in which physical objects (books, letters, CDs, photographs) are dismissed as yesterday’s technology, copying is akin to acquiring, and artists such as David Hockney paint not with a brush on canvas but a thumb on screen. This is the age of digital reproduction, and the implications for art’s “aura” are manifold.

Lost, Stolen or Shredded could ultimately have benefited from a wider thesis, perhaps based around this point, but it isn’t Gekoski’s style to confine art to a box. “No fun in that”, he mutters. This collection originally appeared as a series of broadcasts for BBC Radio 4, and this is how it should be read: in short bursts, with great pleasure, and even greater consideration to art’s contradictions and contingencies.

Toby Lichtig is an editor at the TLS.

but i still find it rather arbitrary
the “aura” of a work of art. This, for Benjamin, is what gives art its authenticity, both aesthetically and – of interest to a dealer such as Gekoski – in market terms. “Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element”, Benjamin wrote: “its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.”
post #1281 of 1310
any thoughts on the europa report ?
post #1282 of 1310
Thread Starter 
It's good until the last 90 seconds that kinda ruin it. If you can live with a sort of disappointing ending it's still worth a watch for the atmosphere etc.

Anyone seen Gravity ? I want to but I can't stand Bullock
post #1283 of 1310
even having read this warning midway through i wasn't ready for the absurdity of the end :-/
predictable but fun till that point at least

bullock+clooney really keeping me from watching what otherwise seemed a thrilling sequence in the trailer.
post #1284 of 1310
Originally Posted by Applied Design 
March 2, 2013–January 31, 2014

For designers, chairs are a ritual of initiation [snowman are you listening!?!??!]. For chair design more than that of any other object, human beings are the unit of measure, and designers walk a fine line between standardization and personalization. Among the hundreds of chairs in MoMA’s collection, Yoshioka’s Honey-Pop Armchair is one of the most unusual, since it manages to fulfill both criteria. Entirely made of the type of paper honeycomb that is used in Chinese lanterns, this chair starts out flat, just like a lantern. Once peeled open, accordion-style, it accepts the impression of the body of whoever first sits on it.

post #1285 of 1310
post #1286 of 1310
post #1287 of 1310
goddammit, youtube.
post #1288 of 1310



Deft commentary on the capriciousness of value in art. Reminded me immediately of Joshua Bell's DC Metro performance.


post #1289 of 1310
Originally Posted by sipang View Post

Anyone seen Gravity ? I want to but I can't stand Bullock

I was surprised to find I didn't like it as much as everyone else apparently seems to. It's really good, but it's not great. I think it was just too heavy handed at times.

This is kinda old news, but much of Alan Lomax's recording archive is available to listen to online for free. Lomax traveled around the world recording folk music from different cultures. He's famous in the U.S. for recording a lot of stuff in the South and Appalachia, including spirituals and slave songs, bluegrass, blues, etc. But he also recorded folk songs from Ireland and Scotland, the Caribbean, and locations as distant as Romania and Uzbekistan. There's so much good music in here that you'll probably never be able to listen to it all. Here's the link:

The biggest downside is that it's hard to sort through. A good place to start is their collection guide:
Edited by pickpackpockpuck - 10/15/13 at 7:27am
post #1290 of 1310
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