Encore un effort on Lefebvre. My first go was nothing but objections. Round two started out with admiration but I soon found myself airing further criticism — almost against my will…
“Information is increasing while direct contacts are in decline. Relations are becoming more numerous while their intensity and authenticity are diminishing,” wrote Henri Lefebvre in 1961, and by 1981 he understood that this would entail “a solitude all the more profound for being overwhelmed by messages.”
The writings of Karl Marx will always remain a source of insight and inspiration, but vast swaths of the Marxist literature that exerted such a fascination when I was younger now seem barren of interest.
The spectacle can be found on every screen that you look at. It is the advertisements plastered on the subway and the pop-up ads that appear in your browser.
On October 8th, a homeless Russian émigré named Vladimir Umanets defaced a Rothko painting hanging in the Tate Modern in London with his name, the year, and the following fragment: A POTENTIAL PIECE OF YELLOWISM. “Black and Maroon” (1958), originally sporting a signature Rothko black rectangle on a signature Rothko maroon field, is valued at around 50 million pounds. The values of Yellowism are a little harder to get a hold of, though there is a Manifesto online, which outlines the aims of the movement with statements that are either obscure or silly, such as: “Every piece of Yellowism is only about yellow and nothing more. … ” and “Interpreting Yellowism as art or being about something other than just yellow deprives Yellowism of its purpose.”