As we detailed two weeks ago, Mitt Romney made it clear in a recent interview with Fortune magazine that funding the arts is not his priority. Obama and his team haven’t exactly responded with a resounding defense or promotion of the arts (Will Brand speculates on why over at the L Magazine), but last night the Obama camp did at least show that it’s got a little bit of art history under its belt.
For those haven’t been watching the Republican National Convention, the surprise guest yesterday was Clint Eastwood. The actor and director spent most of his speech talking to and arguing with an invisible Obama in an empty chair (you can watch the full thing here). Asked by Politico for a comment on the bizarre speech, Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt responded with a short email:
Referring all questions on this to Salvador Dali.
Get it? Dalí was a surrealist! The speech was surreal! It’s quite clever, actually. And Politico nicely points out that the Dalí Museum is in St. Petersburg, Florida, not that far away from the convention in Tampa.
But our favorite comment on the speech has to be a tweet from LA Times art critic Christopher Knight, who quipped:
Clint Eastwood is the new Marina Abramović.
— Christopher Knight (@KnightLAT) August 31, 2012
And then blogger and artist Greg Allen quickly connected the two:
The Artist Is President. RT @KnightLAT Clint Eastwood is the new Marina Abramović.
— gregorg (@gregorg) August 31, 2012
The only difference, of course, being that Abramović at least had people sitting in her empty chair — though it’s worth mentioning that Marina’s chair and the one that Clint Eastwood created for an “invisible Obama” both have joke Twitter feeds.
While we’re talking politics, now might be a good time to point out that Dinesh D’Souza’s right-wing “exposé” documentary about the president, 2016: Obama’s America, has been doing incredibly well in theaters. The movie has made more than $9 million since its release on July 13; in the words of the New York Times: “As documentaries go, that makes it a hit.”
The Times adds that the film is now this year’s third-ranked documentary, after Katy Perry: Part of Me and a Disney movie called Chimpanzee. There’s got to be some cultural meaning in that … we just haven’t figured out what it is yet.
We just spotted this tweet in response to our post and can’t believe we didn’t see the connection! R. Mutt = R[omney]. Mitt!?!?!
— George Wallace (@foolintheforest) August 31, 2012
As much as I appreciate the collective’s culture jamming initiatives, I don’t know that their putative premise ever bears meaningful fruit.
The banana’s dominance and ubiquity has had serious and far-reaching implications for the region, engendering exploitative labor systems, climate change, and migration.
The first lecture is on the relationship between early portrait photography and diverse notions of US identity during the Gilded Age. Register to attend on January 25.
Charles Dellheim’s study tells the tale of a small group of Jewish art dealers and collectors who played a key role in the changing art world of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The 18-month fellowship aims to provide artists with “as much access as possible” to the club’s facilities and networks “at a time and place convenient to artists.”
Part of the university’s Artists on the Future series pairing renowned artists with cultural thought leaders, this online event is free and open to the public.
A coalition of investors raised funds to purchase the film’s storyboard and announced they would “make the book public.”
A new project, “Emoji to Scale,” orders every mini-object by their real-world dimensions.
Although Khedoori does not depict living beings, their presence is evoked in the traces they leave behind.
The Bronx Museum’s fifth biennial continues to focus its programming on individual identity, eliding the ever-divergent interests of the art market and local communities.
While it may be strange to think of food insecurity as a basis for art, the works in Food Justice reveal barriers and injustices in food access.