Arts & DesignFeatureReviews

Ordinary Uncanniness: The Early Photographs of Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus: In the Beginning, an exhibition at The Met Breuer, 945 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10021, July 12 through November 27, 2016

Like the painter Francis Bacon and the illustrator Ralph Steadman, Diane Arbus’s photographic art has often been associated with the grotesque, the disconcerting, the alien. Her haunting photos of steely-pale-eyed …

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Arts & DesignEssaysFeatureMedia/Publics

Walking with Disaster

In a summer filled with news of the election in the United States, global terrorism, and Brexit, the swift resignation on July 24th of Nepal’s Prime Minister, Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, hardly made the headlines. The only two news sources reporting on the event outside of Asia — Al Jazeera and the New York Times — also produced somewhat dissimilar commentaries. The New York Times framed the resignation in the context of party politics, the challenges of running a multi-coalitional government, growing demands for federation, and geopolitical tensions with Nepal’s powerful neighbors, India and China. The Al Jazeera report also associated the resignation with demands for constitutional reforms and federalization, but the commentary largely focused on the numerous street protests that had been disrupting daily life in Kathmandu since Oli’s ascent to power in October 2015. …

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Arts & DesignEventsFeatureReviews

Art for the Troika

An exhibition now touring several cities in Europe is worth visiting and thinking about, as it reflects both the political and cultural sensibility of Europe. PIGS is curated by Blanca de la Torre, a Spanish art curator who develops projects throughout the world and understands art as a social tool to disclose political injustices and prejudices. The “pigs” to which this exhibition refers are not simply the four countries (Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain) …

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CapitalismEssaysFeatureMedia/PublicsTheory & Practice

Theses On The Philosophy Of The FKA-Anthropocene, Feat. Shia LaBeouf, Part II

Something of Shia LaBeouf’s name stands in, perfectly, controversially, for what is now happening to us, across us, as a kind of general FKA-transing of all available terms. Around the time Caitlyn Jenner came out, there was talk of an intersectional “trans-”: a trans for race and class and even for ecographic sub-constituencies. During Occupy Wall Street, the same talk happened, and then nothing happened, and a few people said it was still on, and then nothing happened.

Intersectionality seems to be the least sustainable piece …

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CapitalismEssaysFeatureMedia/PublicsRaceTheory & Practice

Theses On The Philosophy Of The FKA-Anthropocene, Feat. Shia LaBeouf, Part I

Walter Benjamin’s strategy in the Theses on the Philosophy of History was to focus on a non-human moment in human time and to present this instance on blast in his prose style. What I mean by “blast” here is the fact that the message had to be pirated past ideological hangers-on and historical barriers, past both Marxist and theotropic renditions, and also past the Nazi episode that might have been his more obvious target in 1940. His prose is clear but depth-charged, resonates at another frequency, still as if exploded past the imaginary proscriptions of Theodor Adorno, who was already in situ in New York …

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Arts & DesignCapitalismEssaysFeatureIn DepthLiberal Democracy in Question

Ghostwork: Endgames in Art & Politics

Along the Limmat River in Zürich, the Swissmill building is in operation at full clip around the clock. Originally a textile factory, the site at Sihlquai was converted to a grain mill in 1843. By 1876 it was considered the most modern milling facility on the European continent with its use of chilled cast iron rollers for cracking open wheat grain and separating the outer layer of bran. Now a patchwork of buildings that harken back to different eras of growth and expansion, the Stadtmühle  (or City Mill) exterior conceals a complex, digitally controlled high-tech organism that vibrates with the mechanical rhythms of modern production.   …

 

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