This week, 72 new emojis, being photographed by Mapplethorpe, Dublin’s artist studio problems, empathy vs exploitation, Warhol on Trump, and more.
Andes Hruby writes about the time Robert Mapplethorpe took her photo:
I first met Robert Mapplethorpe in the elevator of the Chelsea Hotel in 1973, when I was 4. My father had just died in a car accident, and my mother was simply lost. The New York hotel was a perfect place for anyone longing for a new identity or reality. Few people there were my age, and in my mind I ruled the shabby chic hallways like Eloise at the Plaza.Robert, like most of my mother’s friends, was just another shadow smoking cigarettes, but I paid attention to him because he had a toy I wanted: a Polaroid camera.
Dublin was once a hub for artists, but that might be changing as real estate issues continue to have a serious impact:
Last year, after 15 years of continuously precarious tenancies, and a traumatic eviction, suddenly I had no studio in Dublin after the closure of Broadstone Studios. Thirty other established artists, several of whom had represented Ireland at Venice biennales for example, also lost their working spaces.
The significant historic building where we were tenants later received planning permission for conversion to luxury apartments, trebling its value …
Our loss was one of several signals of what has turned into a crisis for artists’ studios over the last year. Close to 50% of Dublin’s organised artists’ studio spaces have disappeared since then, crushed in the very particular and extreme dynamics of the current commercial property market in the city.
Reflecting on the whiteness of the US media:
In his memoir, My Times in Black and White: Race and Power at the New York Times, Gerald Boyd, one of the first black people to rise to a senior management position at the newspaper, recalled that when he was first hired, in 1983, a senior editor told him: “I really enjoy your clips – they’re so well written. Did you write them yourself, or did someone write them for you?” As he rose through the ranks, he was frequently told by his superiors that he would be “our Jackie Robinson” — the man who broke the colour barrier in professional baseball in the late 1940s. Like me, Boyd was assigned to the “urban affairs” beat, and then to Atlanta, a job he was told was perfect for him, since he could “cover the South as a black man”. Boyd overcame these indignities to rise to the number-two job at the paper — inducing resentment among some white peers. Finally, he was brought down by a scandal involving a young black reporter, Jayson Blair, who had fabricated information in a string of stories. Boyd was forced to resign along with the paper’s top editor, Howell Raines, and suggested in his memoir, which was published after his death in 2006, that he had been judged guilty by association, simply because he and Blair were both black.
Two writers debate the line between empathy and exploitation:
Here’s how I see it: Empathy is the ability to respect and maybe even understand another’s point of view, revealing larger truths about ourselves and others. Exploitation is the use of another’s experience for personal gain. Empathy requires self-awareness. Exploitation is marked by self-interest. Empathy is about deepening connections. Exploitation, about filling one’s pockets, literal or figurative.
Various academics, artists, and curators reflect on the genius of artist Carrie Mae Weems:
Invoking these layers in 1990, Weems raises questions concerning their legacy for art and life. Consider the subtle play of mouths and hands linking the central poster to the foreground figures. While Malcolm X points toward the unseen crowd and seems on the verge of forcefully speaking, the protagonist holds her cards in her left hand while curling her right in front of her mouth. Her male companion offers a mirror image, cards in his right hand, his left holding a cigarette to his lips. In the kitchen table scene, the blazing public oratory of Malcolm X has turned inward. With cards held close, canny glances directed sidelong, mouths hidden, these players work the interior. The politics of the street have folded into a private circuit, an exchange predicated on a shared history and bound by the rules of a game. Although we can read the signs, we remain at the far end of the table, uncertain of the rules, and not privy to this intimacy and its unspoken content. — Robin Kelsey
Star Wars geeks will be happy to know that The Force Awakens soundtrack is available on a special-edition vinyl that feature 3D holograms etched right into the disk:
Artist Motoi Yamamoto installed two salt labyrinths, “Floating Garden” and “Labyrinth,” within the 13th-century castle tower at Aigues-Mortes in Southern France for an exhibition called Univers’ Sel, on display through the end of November:
The Warhol Museum has dug around its library to discover all the things Pop artist Andy Warhol said about Donald Trump, the GOP candidate running for president:
Warhol never did satisfy the Trumps. After this failed commission, Warhol expressed seeming resentment of the Trumps in his diaries for the next few years. The next Trump-related diary entry is from another birthday party for Roy Cohn on February 26, 1983:
“[…] And Ivana Trump was there and she came over and when she saw me she was embarrassed and she said, “Oh, whatever happened to those pictures?” and I had this speech in my mind of telling her off, and I was undecided whether to let her have it or not, and she was trying to get away and she did….” (The Andy Warhol Diaries, 487–488)
An organization called Diarna has created an online “geo-museum” where visitors can explore historical Jewish sites in Western Asia and Northern Africa that no longer exist, like this synagogue in suburban Damascus:
… the synagogue is said to mark the location where Elijah anointed his disciple Elisha, although historical data suggests that multiple structures have existed there since antiquity. Romanian-Jewish traveler and historian Israël Joseph Benjamin visited the site in the mid-19th century and wrote that the original structure had been destroyed by the Roman Emperor Titus, as well as a second synagogue, supposedly rebuilt in the first century by the Rabbi Eleazar ben Arach and destroyed in the 16th century.
In the 1840s, Reverend William Graham wrote that Damascene Jews would decamp to the synagogue, looking to escape the hustle and bustle of 19th-century Damascus. A few decades later, Reverend J.L. Porter wrote that Jewish pilgrims treated the area as a place to conduct leisure …
According to Diarna’s Ezra Ashkenazi, Damascus Jews continued praying at the synagogue through the 1905s, making the long trek to Jobar for Shabbat prayers, or for the Jewish holidays, or to make pilgrimage.
US President Obama left this handwritten note at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial this week:
At the age of 96, Dr. Heimlich (who is currently in a nursing home) saved a choking woman with the maneuver he invented:
“Though I invented the Heimlich manoeuvre I had never been called on to do it before.
Dr Heimlich described how he turned the woman, Patty Ris, around in her chair so her back was exposed.
The manoeuvre requires a rescuer to carry out abdominal thrusts on a choke victim to dislodge the blockage.
This racist television ad shocked most people around the world:
The top spelling mistakes (according to Google) in each US state: