Posted inNews

Is a Tax on iDevices a Savior of French Culture?

André Malraux, the prolific French critic and Minister of Culture under Charles de Gaulle, once wrote that art is an “anti-destin,” a revolt against destiny. And by that measure, the country’s recently-released report calling for a tax on internet-connected devices to fund cultural production qualifies simultaneously as artless and a work of art in itself.

Posted inOpinion

A Kinetic Echo in a Chapel

BERKELEY, California — Remember Ernesto Neto’s jaw-dropping installation “Leviathan Thot,” at the Panthéon in Paris in 2006? As much as I loved “Leviathan Thot” it could have easily been made in the 1970s or 80s. Recently however, I stumbled across another artist in who has made an equally powerful and much more contemporary, albeit more subtle, installation in another French church.

Posted inArt

Seeing Through the Crowds at the 2011 Venice Biennale Part I: The Giardini and Pavilions

Editor’s Note: Peter Dobey published a series of photo essays (1, 2, 3) about this year’s Venice Biennale at the beginning of June. This is a long-form essay (to be published in three parts) that explores the work at the Biennale.

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PARIS — It is difficult to write about Venice, just like it is difficult to really SEE Venice. Individual experiences of art fade away into the oversaturation that is the Venice Biennale in the same way the city of Venice is sinking into the Adriatic. There is the ontological experience of Venice and the problem of one’s ability to encounter it. Then there is the physical impossibility to see everything the Biennale offers you and all the things it doesn’t, especially when in Italy.

Posted inArt

Peeking Behind the Veil: Princess Hijab

I sit down with my laptop in a quiet, central Brooklyn café, not far from Prospect Park on a slightly overcast day in August to interview the mysterious Parisian street artist Princess Hijab. I order a San Pellegrino with lime; she abstains from any snacks or beverages. Despite the time difference from France, she’s alert and ready to engage with me. I go into the interview knowing how she guards her anonymity, and the concrete details of her identity remain elusive — this is an email interview after all.