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Posted inArt

Bohemian Rhapsody: The Love Songs of Franz Kafka

How did a sharply dressed insurance agent with a desultory love life, who preferred brothels to relationships, who held crappy middle management jobs before retiring early due to poor health, become, as his one-time lover Milena Jesenská puts it, a “clairvoyant” storyteller, let alone one with a still-unrivalled capacity to take readers deep into the cold core of what it means to be alone and to be human?

Posted inArt

Single Point Perspective: Kafka’s Object and Its Objectives

There is a rather large and forbidding object currently on display on the second floor of the New Museum.

More than 9 ½ feet tall and 6 ½ feet wide, it is made up of two sections: an upper level composed of three cabinet doors, one of which is open to expose a set of gearwheels, and a mattress with arm and leg straps below. Twenty five cables hang down from the machinery in the cabinets, terminating in large, hair-raising needles.

Posted inArt

Underpaid Labor at the Art Show

My friend was trying to convince me the other day that $20 was not an unreasonable amount for a museum to ask visitors to pay. We were standing in the lobby of the Whitney shortly after the Biennial had opened, and maybe I was having none of it simply because I was feeling snarky while remembering previous years when I occasionally got invited to the press opening or whatever. Or maybe it was because I’m basically a starving student still, while already well-advanced in years, and such amounts really are a significant outlay for me.