Organizing the World

This brief essay will focus on something that I think is important to Tumblr — the need to negotiate with media already in circulation. It is a desire that has been expressed variously throughout the 20th century by other artists and writers who negotiated, or thought about how to negotiate, with a world overflowing with images. Already in the 1980s you have media theorist Vilém Flusser describing a “telematic society of image producers and image collectors.” Before that Susan Sontag had already discussed how just about everything had already been photographed. Today, Hito Steyerl emphasizes that “postproduction has come to take over production wholesale.”

The Man Behind the Squeegee

Corinna Belz’s new documentary, Gerhard Richter Painting (playing at Manhattan’s Film Forum from now until March 27), offers a rare glimpse into the life and work of the celebrated and self-proclaimed “secretive” German artist. For a little more than 90 minutes, we watch Richter labor over two new paintings, as well as devise upcoming gallery shows and attend large-scale exhibitions of his own work. Although the reasoning behind Richter’s artistic choices may remain largely mysterious, a sympathetic rendering of the artist emerges.

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