The world in a Sand Grain

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Current debate about contemporary life, ancient historical issues, and just about everything in between in different languages

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The New Vandals   Arts and Entertainment

Started 3-Dec by Apollonius (Theocritos); 1971 views.

From: drl0lip0p


Has anyone seen these issues coming?  sunglasses


From: MelanGEE


Why rebuilding is necessary when things weren't flawed? 


From: Tittah


That was centuries ago - not everyone is so well informed!

Eliot (Elohimil)

From: Eliot (Elohimil)


This shows what these hysterical groups are made of!


From: Dot_hoe


Absolutely!!! thumbsup

In reply toRe: msg 1

Days after Sasha Suda abruptly resigned as director of the National Gallery of Canada last July, 16 prominent Canadians wrote Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez detailing the qualifications they felt were required of the next director. The implication was that Suda had few of them.

Astonishingly, Cassie is acting as if her position were permanent. She fired four senior managers, including the long-serving senior curator of Indigenous art and the deputy director hired by Suda. Cassie won’t discuss those dismissals, calling the details “private.” She insists she is implementing the strategic plan, supported by the gallery’s board of trustees.

Cassie is artlessly confident, “a proven leader, motivator and mentor … effective in leading people through change,” as her LinkedIn profile states. To her, the strategic plan is the holy grail. To the outsider, it’s a tableau of platitude and confection shaped in seminars and seances. Its theme is advancing justice, equity, diversity and accessibility, all essential goals in a changing society. Now everything — people, programs, art — must be seen through an “anti-racist” and “anti-oppression” lens. ... 

... Our eight national museums are uninspiring beyond the National Gallery, the War Museum, the Canadian Museum of Immigration and the Canadian Museum of History (which was superbly renewed under its former president, Mark O’Neill).

For Cassie, the strategic plan is rationale for cleaning house, which explains so many vacancies. Defending her approach, she reliably mentions the endorsement of the board and its chair, Françoise Lyon, who is the other problem.

Unlike her immediate three predecessors, Lyon has no background in art. She was invited to apply to join the board in 2017 and soon she was leading it. Lyon runs a private-equity firm, her biography says, “with extensive experience working with ultra-high net worth and high net worth individuals.” Her world is business and finance, not arts and culture.

So, here we are. A thinly qualified former director issues a manifesto called a strategic plan and decamps. An interim director, with fewer credentials, implements radical changes that will bind her successor. A board chair, with no qualifications, insists the trustees cannot interfere.

Canada’s National Gallery has fallen into the hands of amateurs in thrall to dogma and in love with mantra, with more confidence than credibility. Feckless and reckless, they march us to cultural mediocrity — or worse.

In reply toRe: msg 23
At a private liberal arts college in Minnesota, art history is now Islamophobic. In October, an art history professor at Hamline University was teaching Islamic art, a segment that included two depictions of the Prophet Mohammed in fourteenth- and sixteenth-century paintings with significant historical value.

The professor alerted her students beforehand, careful to ensure that observant Muslims who object to the depiction of their prophet would not have to see him on screen.

It seems that the professor had done everything right: providing images of famous paintings for her students’ edification but allowing students to opt out of viewing them if doing so ran contrary to their religious beliefs.

But who are we kidding? This is a liberal arts college in the twenty-first century. Of course the incident was branded “Islamophobic” by students and faculty. And of course the professor was fired.

In reply toRe: msg 24

... Swarmism is power without a head, which is to say without accountability. It operates instead via “overlapping partnerships and networks”, as the foundation which funded The Embrace describes itself. And it is power without a heart: in place of fallible, capricious human feeling, including human mercy or relationships, it offers bureaucratic compassion via algorithmic taxonomies of “intersecting” victimhood.

For the swarmist vision of human flourishing has no shared meanings. Instead, all we really have in common is individual freedom, our technologies, and our physical bodies. And if this is true, and if it is also true that all hierarchies of values are exclusionary, there is nothing to aspire to beyond this life. There is nothing admirable about humans. The best we can aspire to is probably to re-engineer ourselves into something superior.

This bleak vision, combined with the most vigorous possible negation of Christian humanism, overlaid with anxious posturing about “marginalised groups”, forms the backbone of the swarmist aesthetic — and nothing could be more swarmist than the unaccountable committees who now commission public art. The Embrace, for example, was commissioned by a nonprofit (one swarm) with support from a foundation (another swarm). It is indeed fitting that Martin Luther King, a man fired by a Christian belief in universal human dignity, should have his legacy reworked for the headless, heartless, swarmist order, by representing his moment of triumph in an embrace without either a head, or a heart.

After close to a century of careful, antiseptic abstraction, then, the swarmist monumental style has arrived. It memorialises its moral taxonomies in deliberately beautiful deathworks, and deliberately ugly, posthuman artworks. In sculptural form, it produces something akin to a deification of nihilism, that alternates between feasting on the carcass of the previous regime and creating swarm-approved monuments to a posthuman future. It is a queasy mix of genuflection to any visual tradition save the Western one, combined with a Cylon-laboratory celebration of distorted, protean flesh.

In reply toRe: msg 25

Oh what a tangled weave we weld - David Cole, Taki's Magazine, 24 January 2023


Autumn 1986 I attended an exhibit at the California Institute of the Arts. I wasn’t there for the “art”; CalArts exhibits were (and are) for the pretentious hipster crowd, not for guys like me who love mocking the pretentious hipster crowd. But a former high school friend invited me, and I kinda fancied one of his female pals, so I made the trek to Valencia.

The exhibit was as ghastly as I’d anticipated. One piece of “art” (I’m not making this up) was a Hostess Fruit Pie nailed to a wall. There was also a pile of bricks, a precursor, I assume, to the infamous “bricks and a light bulb” exhibit that was mistaken for trash by an immigrant cleaning woman (credit where it’s due; Third Worlders don’t know art, but they sure know basura).

The highlight of the CalArts exhibit was a chair. A brown-colored wooden chair. Old, but not antique. Well-worn, the color faded on one leg, chips of paint on the back.

The artsy-farters were obsessed with this one. Surrounding it, they tried to one-up each other with insightful interpretations. “Obviously, the chipping paint symbolizes the decline of leisure time for the working class.” “Yes, but from a theme of race. The fading brown color shows how the black man is being erased from leisure entirely.” “From a Marxist analysis, the chair, perfectly chosen by the artist, represents the proletariat. The chair doesn’t earn the respect of being antique, nor the desirability of being newly made. Like the working man, used and abused, and eventually replaced.”

And just at that moment, a large-framed black man in uniform appeared in the gallery. He grabbed the chair and began dragging it away.

“Sir, do not be so rough with such a delicate work,” one of the bespectacled cretins cautioned. “Cease or I shall call a docent.”

“Man,” the black guy responded, “this is mine.”

“Oh, you are the artist? How wonderful! The finest piece in the gallery crafted by a man of color!”

“I knew it! I knew the themes were racial,” joyfully chirped another of the patrons.

“No,” the black guy said, “it’s mine. My chair. It’s what I sit on. I’m the security guard, and I’m movin’ it to da lobby for my shift.”

Didn't we know?  confounded

Everything has to look alike to the most powerful hector  on the planet -- according to them.