Sometimes you get to know writers best in their minor works; a commissioned text can disclose more than an obsessively personal project. The Long Road of Sand is one of these revealing tangents in the complicated career of Pier Paolo Pasolini. In 1959 he was commissioned by a magazine called Successo (!!!) to take a road trip along the entire Italian coastline; his account was published across three issues, July, August, and September that year. The result is not journalism of the usual sort, but a sequence of imagist prose stanzas. And yet, as sharp, concise, and profoundly visual as Pasolini’s observations may be, my invocation of imagism might on one count give a mistaken impression: An imagist poem like Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” (1913) is typically a still. Neither Pasolini nor his imagery is ever still in The Long Road of Sand. In 1959, Pasolini’s first film, Accatone, was two years in the future, though he knew the film world, having collaborated with Fellini on the dialogue for Le notte di Cabiria. But he was already thinking through the eye of the movie camera. “A long tracking shot along the jetty in Lerici, under the hillside packed with houses, would make an entire film.” The book could easily become a script. I’d like to see how Pasolini would have filmed this, and with what foley sounds he would have produced for its resonant soundtrack: “With the bored, intense footfall the wooden clog makes, the morning’s first bathers head towards their cherished habits, while laborers work like black tortoises under a still-forgiving sun.” Pasolini can be a moralist in both the best and the worst sense of the word, but you always know, as it were physiognomically, whom and what he despises or not. On the book’s first page, he says of a police marshall at the border with France, “With the brevity of a thoughtful, slightly bitter host—though amused by the simplicity of life, which seems to me new and blocked—he ‘lets me see.’” Just so, Pasolini himself. I have always found Stephen Sartarelli’s translations to be splendid, and this one is no exception. The book also features atmospheric black-and-white photographs by Philippe Séclier, who retraced Pasolini’s route in 2005. I don’t know if the Italy he depicts really resembles the one the poet raced through in his Fiat 1100 in 1959, but it certainly reminds me of the one that first impressed itself on my imagination in 1981, which was, terrifyingly, closer in time to that of Pasolini’s writing than to mine today, the mythic Italy. Page 111 of this edition contains a beautiful misprint that I wish I’d invented for some high literary purpose: “sunset” has become “sunsent.” Alright, I’ll take it: if you care for this great poet, novelist, essayist, filmmaker, please read this sunsent book.
The settlement comes after Tate prevented an artist who exposed sexual harassment by one of its largest donors from co-curating an exhibition.
Let’s be honest: On a best bathrooms list, no one wants to be number two.
The Newark Museum of Art Presents Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection
Photographers Antony Armstrong Jones, Milt Hinton, Chuck Stewart, Barbara Morgan, and more capture a breadth of legendary and local musicians and performance artists. On view through August 21.
Advocacy groups are pushing for a 5% royalty in resales, which would pertain even after the artist dies, in which case the funds would go to their estate.
This week, the Getty Museum is returning ancient terracottas to Italy, parsing an antisemitic mural at Documenta, an ancient gold find in Denmark, a new puritanism, slavery in early Christianity, and much more.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
The absence of an explicit framing of American art, in all of its diversity, as a visual culture of empire distorts and hampers our ability to understand — and reimagine — our social world.
The gap between the material body and the psychological one, which we all too often take for granted, is one of the underlying themes of Hiro’s exhibition.
David Rios Ferreira and Denae Shanidiin join forces to bring awareness to the plight of Indigenous women and girls, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
Metrograph’s series The Process features films that were either directed by Robert M. Young or made with the help of Irving Young’s postproduction facility.
Memes depicting a sinister, all-powerful Joe Biden alter ego are sweeping the internet, and the Democratic establishment is loving it.