- Are iconic images dead? One famous photographer thinks so:
- The icon was back out of the box as a marketing term, as former New York Times photography critic AD Coleman recalls: “Cultural journalists were bandying that term around in regard to all sorts of things: rock stars, fashion models, consumer goods, you name it. Everything from a Campbell’s soup can to the Empire State Building was becoming ‘iconic’, everyone from Muhammad Ali to Phil Spector was becoming an ‘icon’ of pop culture.”
- The nature of “facts” is being questioned:
- In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 81 percent of respondents said that partisans not only differed about policies, but also about “basic facts.”
- Artist Richard Serra was asked for 10 favorite books, and they are all by male authors and almost all by white authors (of course, there’s one zen tome by an East Asian author, which has practically become part of the stereotype of enlightened, leftist, Western whiteness):
- Speaking of artists and books, the New York Times reviewed Marina Abramović’s new memoir, and it’s a doozy:
- There’s something unseemly about how consistently she complains about the awfulness of her childhood — her mother was cold, she claims, and mistreated her physically and emotionally. In a remarkable paragraph, she writes (the italics are mine): “When I was young, I thought our flat was the height of luxury. Later I discovered it had once belonged to a wealthy Jewish family, and had been confiscated during the Nazi occupation. Later I also realized the paintings my mother put in our apartment were not very good. Looking back, I think — for these and other reasons — our home was really a horrible place.” Too bad about the Jewish family, but my mother’s taste in art was a real hitch in my stride.
- The Florence Flood may have changed art conservation forever, and now we look back after 50 years:
- Hollywood’s role in the problem with police:
- The police story is one of the elemental dramas of American popular culture, the place we face down whatever crimes frighten us most in a given era and grapple with what we want from the cops who are supposed to stop those crimes. “Dragnet’s” Joe Friday bolstered public faith in law and order in the ’50s. “Dirty Harry” Callahan stoked terror and rage about the violent crime wave that began in the ’60s. And John McClane of “Die Hard” awed audiences when he singlehandedly saved a whole office tower from ruthless criminals in the 1980s.
- The role of “meme warfare” in the current US election:
- The tools we use to communicate are becoming counterproductive to actual communication. It’s only getting easier to spread lies and respond with shrugs. The internet has become an endless theatre of virtual conflict, one in which we are all either willing or oblivious participants, and like it or not, it is on this battlefield that the nature of our reality will probably be decided.
- Colony Little reviews Simone Leigh’s exhibition at the Hammer Museum, and the kicker is powerful:
- This process of acknowledging and moving through pain is a process we all know very well. During lamentation, we confront and process pain by ultimately transforming it into something positive, or we hide it. However, the problem with pain is that it doesn’t stay hidden; it just reveals itself in different ways, much like the pain of injustice manifesting itself in new forms. These themes of pain, injustice and adaptation are expressed in abstraction through Simone Leigh’s sculpture.
- Londoners, including this ceramic artist, are reflecting on the impact of Brexit:
- 20 African photographers you should know about. They are exhibiting at the 2016 Lagos Photo Festival, which continues until November 21.
- Almost 100,000 dogs are euthanized every year in Taiwan, and photographer Yun-Fei Tou created a series of portraits of these strays, taken just before they were put down:
- Cornel West always has something to say, and this election season is no different. While he agrees Clinton may be better than Trump, he gives us some warnings:
- … like her predecessor, Barack Obama, she promotes the same neoliberal policies that increase inequality and racial polarization that will produce the next Trump. More important, she embraces Trump-like figures abroad, be they in Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Israel, or Syria — figures of ugly xenophobia and militaristic policies. The same self-righteous neoliberal soulcraft of smartness, dollars, and bombs lands us even deeper in our spiritual blackout.
- What is the Trump vote really about? There are signs it’s not about money:
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