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Posted inArt

Shock of the View: Seeing and Scene at the Venice Biennale

VENICE — Nothing quite captured the absurdity that is the vernissage of La Biennale better than Ragnar Kjartansson’s fishing boat, the S. S. Hangover, floating through a barrel-vaulted and colonnaded boat parking structure carrying six horn players performing British composer Gavin Bryars’ “White’s SS” (1977) as Tilda Swinton looked on elegantly from a grassy beach at the end of the massive Arsenale. Yes, I actually saw Tilda Swinton. I died.

Posted inArt

Reading the Writing on the Wall at #OccupyGezi, Part 1

ISTANBUL — The graffitti that now covers the streets of Istanbul cannot be called ‘art.’ It was put there by people on the run from tear gas and billy clubs. It was done quickly and secretly, at night or in flight. It is a reflection of the social media that inspired it — pithy, angry, quick, and short. The grafitti are spray paint tweets on brick and mortar. And they tell a story — they reveal the hows and whys of this mass, varied uprising against an increasingly arrogant ruler.

Posted inArt

Beyond the Creep Factor: Postmortem Photography as Remembrance

With the arrival of accessible photography came a developed culture of portraiture for not just the living, but the dead. Up until the 1830s with the creation of the daguerrotype, creating an image for remembrance of your loved ones was reserved for the rich, who could commission paintings. Yet with photography came a way to preserve a family member’s image before they disappeared into the earth.