20 October 2007

Which End is Up

Perennial Struggle
"... [A]ll the political battles we fight now were fought in the name of religion in the past. That's why it's so important to study religion. ... You're challenging unaccountable power."
~ from an interview with British politician Tony Benn
As examples, he cites the biblical account of Daniel in the lions' den (Daniel 6:16-23); Martin Luther's challenge to the authority of the papacy; and the Old Testament conflict between the Kings ("who had power") and the Prophets ("who preach righteousness").

O Tempora! O Mores!
"Even intellectuals, once prepared to risk themselves for what was right and true, are now addicted to entertainment, reluctant to inconvenience themselves for any cause, and devoted to personal safety."
~ just a taste of the multifaceted rant to be found at "Dumbing Down". I've been lost there for days -- trying to formulate some coherent notes for my own would-be manifesto. Ideas are still simmering...

Romanticizing Futility
"To give in to that beautiful sensation of individual futility is to abandon any number of possible actions and believe that the intellectual work is complete, because one has opposed that which needed opposing. It is to wash one's hands when there is heavy lifting left unfinished! Art cannot accomplish the act of overthrowing the motherfuckers in the White House. But it can inspire the act, envision the possibility, even define a viewership's relation to power. Punk did this and [Raymond] Pettibon helped. But by limiting outrage and action to the sphere of individual expression and romanticizing futility, they have created a 'counterculture' that the empire has actually come to rely on."
~ Deborah Fisher, in a kick-ass review of the recent (ending today) Raymond Pettibon exhibit in NYC, posted at ArtCal Zine

Great Moments in Artists' Statements
"Existence is vulgar..." ~ Bill Gusky

A belated thank-you to Steven LaRose, for the ink drawing he sent (shown here; click on image to see full-size in a new window).
Photo Sharing at Photobucket

It is exquisite -- enough so to tempt me to make a bonfire of my own easel and brushes. But I do have to admit that I was surprised by its size (4" x 4.5"). Seeing images on the internet can really fuck with your sense of proportion, since everything from murals to ATCs can be rendered roughly the same size. In fact, the "full-size" image displays on my computer monitor considerably larger than the actual work itself.

You can see Steven's entire "Structure of the Inner Ear" photo set here. He has a solo show later this year (November 10 through December 22) at the Kristi Engle Gallery in Los Angeles, and he's also part of the current Blogger Show of multiple exhibits in New York, Pittsburgh, and Millvale, PA.


Steven LaRose said...

Thanks, wait until you read Bill Gusky's essay for the Kristi Engle catalog. That guy is a great writer.

Helquin said...

Oh, thank you. I feel kinda bad that I compromised my effusive praise by blabbering on about the surprise of size, but this little gem is even better "in person" than the onscreen image suggests. Makes me wonder what those Moon Beom paintings look like in meatspace...

Looking forward to reading Gusky's essay. I hope at least one of you will be posting it online.