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NOTES IN PASSING
www.lizesqe@mac.com
Painter of Silence

You do not have to

Look for anything, just

Look.

— Ann Lewin

    6:12pm 18/6/2011
Glass of Water and Coffee Pot 
(oil on canvas, 1760) 
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

Glass of Water and Coffee Pot 
(oil on canvas, 1760)

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

    6:06pm 18/6/2011
 Many things gave me completeness
 They did not only touch me
 My hand did not merely touch them,
 but rather,
 they befriended
           my existence.
 •  Pablo Neruda, “Ode to Things”

Many things gave me completeness

They did not only touch me

My hand did not merely touch them,

but rather,

they befriended

           my existence.

  Pablo Neruda, “Ode to Things”

    5:57pm 9/6/2011
reblogged from lareviewofbooks
Man Is Not Cat Food

lareviewofbooks:

Barbara Ehrenreich
Jack Kirby from Alarming Tales #1, September 1957 
David Livingstone Smith
Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others

St. Martin’s Press, 2011

Dale Peterson
The Moral Lives of Animals

Bloomsbury Press, 2011

Paul A. Trout
Deadly Powers: Animal Predators and the Mythic Imagination

Prometheus Books, 2011.

Jason Hribal
Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance

AK Press, 2010

John Vaillant
The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

Knopf, 2010

In the last decade, human vanity has taken a major hit. Traits once thought to be uniquely, even definingly human have turned up in the repertoire of animal behaviors: tool use, for example, is widespread among non-human primates, at least if a stick counts as a tool. We share moral qualities, such as a capacity for altruism with dolphins, elephants and others; our ability to undertake cooperative ventures, such as hunting, can also be found among lions, chimpanzees and sharks. Chimps are also capable of “culture,” in the sense of socially transmitted skills and behaviors peculiar to a particular group or band. Creatures as unrelated as sea gulls and bonobos indulge in homosexuality and other nonreproductive sexual activities. There are even animal artists: male bowerbirds, who construct complex, obsessively decorated structures to attract females; dolphins who draw dolphin audiences to their elaborately blown sequences of bubbles. Whales have been known to enact what look, to human divers, very much like rituals of gratitude.

The discovery of all these animal talents has contributed to an explosion of human interest in animals — or what, as the human-animal gap continues to narrow, we should properly call “other animals.” We have an animal rights movement that militantly objects to the eating of nonhuman animals as well as their enslavement and captivity. A new field of “animal studies” has sprung up just in the last decade or so, complete with college majors and academic journals. Ever since the philosopher Peter Singer’s groundbreaking 1976 Animal Liberation, one book after another has attempted to explore the inner lives and emotions of nonhuman animals. Bit by bit, we humans have had to cede our time-honored position at the summit of the “great chain of being” and acknowledge that we share the planet — not very equitably or graciously of course — with intelligent, estimable creatures worthy of moral consideration.

But it will take more than a few PETA protests or seasons of the Discovery channel to cut humans down to size. Contempt for animals is built into our languages: think of the word “bestial” or fressen, the German word for the distinctive way animals are thought to eat. In the great monotheistic religions, human superiority is as much taken for granted as the superiority of God over humans. Nonhuman animals were created in the service of humans, as if the deity wanted to leave us with a fully-stocked refrigerator. They offer up their flesh, their pelts and often their labor, and that, as Immanuel Kant saw it, was their mission on earth.

Read More

89 notes     10:20pm 8/6/2011
Sentimentality

Perhaps, at its best, sentimentality strives for something approximating the theological virtues of hope and love.  But in refusing to see the world as it is, sentimentality reduces hope to nostalgia.  And in seeking to escape ambiguity and the consequences of the Fall, it denies the heart of love, which is compassion.  Unless compassion means the act of suffering with the other in their otherness, it becomes meaningless.  Well-intentioned as the purveyors and consumers of sentiment may be, they still want the luxury of an emotion without having to pay the price for it.

Gregory Wolfe
"The Painter of Lite" in Intruding Upon the Timeless

    11:36am 8/6/2011
hiroshima:

Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945 from ICP on Vimeo.

This exhibition was made possible with funds provided by the ICP Acquisitions Committee and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.    

    4:05pm 2/6/2011

Anyway, the whole of the human condition is on artful and accessible display at the ICP through August – our destructive power, our power for good and for mercy, foibles and ironic defenses against the inroads of age and injustice, and a powerful humanity which rests, in fact, on our understanding of our participation in the mortality, vulnerability, [and] mutability” of the world and each other.      

   

    10:00am 2/6/2011
United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division,  [Charred boy’s jacket found near Hiroshima City Hall], November 5, 1945.  International Center of Photography
In addition to the rubble and less-than-rubble of virtually everything within the bomb’s reach, the most devastating photo (to me) was of a boy’s coat, hung over the back of a chair, showing smoldering and charring.  No mention was made as to what happened to the boy who had been wearing the coat when the bomb detonated.

United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division, [Charred boy’s jacket found near Hiroshima City Hall], November 5, 1945. International Center of Photography

In addition to the rubble and less-than-rubble of virtually everything within the bomb’s reach, the most devastating photo (to me) was of a boy’s coat, hung over the back of a chair, showing smoldering and charring.  No mention was made as to what happened to the boy who had been wearing the coat when the bomb detonated.

    4:15pm 1/6/2011
United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division, [Steel  stairs warped by intense heat from burned book stacks of Asano Library,  Hiroshima], November 15, 1945. International Center of Photography
So, based upon a geographical survey of Hiroshima, the small photographs are mounted on the walls in relation to each other. What makes them horrible is the scientifically precise definition of the physical effects of the bomb’s deployment, e.g., notes as to spalling and flash marks created by the blast, the attention paid to the warping of steel stairs in a library which now consists of nothing but ashes from the books (and presumably from the people who were there).  They are clinical surveys of an evil that probably only could be communicated in this way.  

United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division, [Steel stairs warped by intense heat from burned book stacks of Asano Library, Hiroshima], November 15, 1945. International Center of Photography

So, based upon a geographical survey of Hiroshima, the small photographs are mounted on the walls in relation to each other. What makes them horrible is the scientifically precise definition of the physical effects of the bomb’s deployment, e.g., notes as to spalling and flash marks created by the blast, the attention paid to the warping of steel stairs in a library which now consists of nothing but ashes from the books (and presumably from the people who were there).  They are clinical surveys of an evil that probably only could be communicated in this way.  

    10:55am 31/5/2011
Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945

This last exhibition is collected in a single, harrowing room. The Museum’s own literature describes the context:

 "After the United States detonated an atomic bomb at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the U.S. government restricted the circulation of images of the bomb’s deadly effect. President Truman dispatched some 1,150 military personnel and civilians, including photographers, to record the destruction as part of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. The goal of the Survey’s Physical Damage Division was to photograph and analyze methodically the impact of the atomic bomb on various building materials surrounding the blast site, the first "Ground Zero." The haunting, once-classified images of absence and annihilation formed the basis for civil defense architecture in the United States. This exhibition includes approximately 60 contact prints drawn from a unique archive of more than 700 photographs in the collection of the International Center of Photography. The exhibition is organized Erin Barnett, Assistant Curator of Collections."

 

 

 

    4:10pm 30/5/2011
theme by conkers older