Seemingly all of the United States was put into a fashion frenzy last week when it was brought to the media’s attention that the Ralph Lauren-designed uniforms for the 2012 US Summer Olympic team with their all-American flair (and hideous berets) were produced in China.
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.
PHILADELPHIA — Unlike too many pop artists, Chinese artist Liu Bolin has managed to retain a balance, or maybe a synergy, between popular throwaway aesthetics and the conceptual, while keeping the work readable to a wide audience. His work is designed to go viral, but it isn’t as shallow as a LOLCAT. Of course, viral ideas don’t come around every day, and advertisers love them, so it should come as little surprise that Bolin’s Hiding In The Cities series has been blatantly ripped off by a number of advertisers across countries and trades.
In recognition of the Fourth of July, I interviewed groundbreaking artist “Dread” Scott Tyler, whose work is directly engaged in challenging public perception of and reactions to US politics and history. He answered my questions about his desire to engage, America’s relationship to freedom of expression today, nationalism, and the lack of critical discourse around his work.