٠ How Rolling Stone alienated the place of the subject ٠

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The cover of the August edition of Rolling Stone mag features Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of Boston’s bombers. People are furious. At first sight, that hysteria could be reasonably understood. Given the suffering he allegedly caused, people might not want him to have protagonism (though they like reading about crimes in the newspaper and watch crime TV shows all the time), or is it something else? Might it be that the real problem is that he actually looks familiar, and beautiful, destroying people’s image of what a non-american monster looks like? And does it add that the story told by Janet Reitman gives it a too human dimension, spoiling his condition of being exclusively located in realm of public imagery?

This is a typical problem of what Lacan would call the split-subject, regarding the place of the subject and that of the image plane. It is extremely complex and I’m not even going to try to pretend fully understand the impact of this particular history, since American society is too layered. But let me try, by going thru the news, to draw some parallels between what journalists and bloggers have been saying and how I locate this within Lacan’s moments of perception.

In the New republic Mag, John Judis writtes a short article (with a terrorism TAG?) explaining why he is boycotting those who are boycotting this Rolling Stone edition. He attributes the problem to Tsarnaev looking “exotically attractive”. Another one of New Republic’s writer, Delphine Rodrik, says the problem is his “bedroom eyes” and then goes on to call him an “evildoer” and locating him side by side with Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Charles Masson, etc. What these writers are doing, when they choose to pretend to talk about the subject, is accentuating the void of critical and acute points of view. They too are alienated from the subject. They to are located in the place where they became part of the image.

BPdCn89CMAABA_v.jpg large Tyler Coates, from Flavorwire, writes: But at the end of the day, it’s Reitman’s piece that is the important journalistic artifact, and one that’s now likely to be eclipsed by the controversial cover. This is the fault of Rolling Stone‘s editors, who assumed their cover line calling Dzhokhar Tsarnaev a “monster” would be enough to avoid the accusations that the image sexualized or glamorized him. But more importantly, it’s our fault — the audience — for falling into the trap so obviously set for us: rather than taking time and thinking critically about the images we are delivered on a mass scale, we’ve accepted that a knee-jerky, short-form response is more suitable and more powerful. Fortunately denoting some sort of self-consciousness, but this isn’t the bottom layer.

BPdIHNCCIAIGz7F.jpg largetwitter image by David Draiman

The main thing, as I understand it, is that we perceive life through the position of the observer but the place of the observer coincides with that of the image, so we are “made real” through the eyes of another, who reflects back at us. Because it is easy to displace ourselves from the demands of being conscious of this position, we then react a lot more that we should. We react as if we were automatons and had no will, no critical thought, no whit. We react instead of realizing that the problem of the image in front of us is our own problem with the transference going own between the real and the imaginary.

Adam Gabatt, from the Guardian, quotes Dan Kennedy, professor of journalism: “It works because of cognitive dissonance. We see him looking rather angelic on the cover, and just about every picture we’ve seen of him he looks angelic, that apparently is how he looked,” he told the Guardian. And meanwhile we see the cover type: ‘The bomber. A monster’. So that works well as a really dissonant juxtaposition. To my knowledge this could help understand why people get so heated over this, since what keeps the subject as a hole is the realm of signifiers and significants, and a lot of people act as if they were impaired, as the only thing they could take away from this is that Rolling Stone mag would be equating Tsarnaev with a rock start…

┐ Alexandre Tylski, Gus van Sant’s highschool as a Zoo └

elephant4
elephant3
elephant1

From time to time I revisit Gus van Sant’s movie Elephant.   I think of it as a brilliant artwork, definitely his best. The characters, the composition, the poignancy of the argument… though he mastered them all what really captivated me was the animal theme and the symbolism behind its use. I remember reading an article about it and never being able to find it again. I encountered it today, by chance, so here it is:

ELEPHANT : un film animalier

Le titre du film

Le titre du film ELEPHANT est au départ une référence consciente au téléfilm du même nom réalisé par le cinéaste (depuis disparu) Alan Clark sur la violence en Irlande du Nord (un titre évoquant aussi l’impossibilité pour un aveugle à se représenter la forme d’un éléphant). Le titre ELEPHANT est aussi une référence à la mascotte des Républicains aux USA: l’éléphant. Gus Van Sant avoue : ” On s’est amusé avec la dimension politique que peut représenter le titre, et donc sa charge satirique envers, bien sûr, l’aspect aliénant du système d’éducation américain. (.) Elephant, c’est ce qui se voit comme le nez au milieu de la figure, mais ce que tout le monde souhaiterait bien occulter. ” (1)

Mais nous pouvons aussi décrypter le titre ” ELEPHANT ” (“ENFANT”?) en tant que symbole culturel, voire parfois cultuel. Ainsi, il ne s’agirait pas d’oublier que l’éléphant est la monture du Dieu de la Foudre Indra (on entendra dans le film la foudre gronder avant le massacre). C’est aussi un animal aux grandes oreilles (Alex, le tueur, souffre de surdité lors de la scène de la cantine et toute la bande sonore du film se décompose de résonances et de réverbérations très sensibles). C’est aussi ” l’éléphant spirituel et sacré ” (le Christ) qui relève Adam après sa chute. L’éléphant est cet animal que l’on dit sage, sans agressivité et solidement ancré au sol ; dans les rêves il représente une réalité terrestre avec laquelle certaines personnes n’arrivent pas toujours à garder le contact.

Bref, autant d’éléments en rapport direct avec le récit et l’esthétique de ELEPHANT de Gus Vant Sant. Un titre pour le moins emblématique des figures animales qui traversent son film : un sweat-shirt représentant une tête de tigre, un T-Shirt jaune représentant un taureau noir, un chien sautillant au ralenti, un éléphant représenté en croquis sur le mur de la chambre des tueurs, le son d’oiseaux pendant la tuerie dans les couloirs du lycée et la scène finale dans la chambre froide remplie de viande animale. Il fallait donc prendre ELEPHANT dans son sens premier : un film animalier. Nous ne sommes pas dans une ménagerie gitane à la Kusturica, mais dans une impossible Arche de Noé déguisée en lycée. Un parc animalier aux accents apocalyptiques. Un retour au monde sauvage.

Le lycée comme un zoo

LE TIGRE. Michelle est une jeune fille timide et rondelette, et visiblement complexée dans les vestiaires. Elle ne semble pas assumer sa féminité. Elle fait figure de garçon manqué. Gus Van Sant nous la présente pour la première fois portant un sweat-shirt sportif arboré d’un tigre (l’emblème même du lycée mais que seule, elle, porte). On sait que le tigre a pour particularité dans les rêves et les mythes d’être un félin gracieux et puissant : tour à tour féminin (longs cils autour des yeux) et masculin (grondement grave). C’est aussi la bête noire rampante (Michelle rase les murs) des premiers hommes, autre retour aux peurs primaires et barbares. Gus Van Sant nous indique la nature foncièrement hybride de Michelle. Mais la nature tout aussi hybride et sauvage des autres personnages.

LE TAUREAU. John est un blondinet habillé de jaune. Cet ange blond marque l’esthétique du film (une sorte de cousin de Tazzio ?) et la mémoire des personnes ayant vu le film (les images illustrant par exemple les critiques de film parues sur ce film mettent presque toujours en valeur ce blondinet). Lui aussi fait figure d’hybride. Car en effet, son T-shirt si particulier y fait représenter un taureau noir sur fond jaune (2) et l’on connaît l’attachement de Van Sant pour les costumes, notamment dans Prête à Tout (1995) avec Nicole Kidman. Le contraste est fort (phrase reprise d’ailleurs dans le film) et nourrira l’esthétique entière du film. Taureau rappelant les peintures pariétales et à la fois symbolique de vie et de mort, on ne voit littéralement que cela lorsque Gus Van Sant filme John déambulant dans les labyrinthes du lycée.

John, l’ange taureau

John est ainsi une sorte d’ange taureau (dont l’écho se fera à la fin avec Benny, son double, jeune noir au T-shirt jaune). Une créature hybride, voire androgyne, que nous soupçonnons un moment d’être le tueur (Gus Van Sant insiste sur lui dans le premier mouvement du film comme s’il s’agissait de son héros principal). Les apparences sont trompeuses (il sera d’ailleurs question d’apparence dans un débat lycéen du film) : le simulacre de l’image est ici au cour.

Ce jeune homme taureau serpentant dans les labyrinthes rappelle alors inévitablement le mythe même du Minotaure. L’origine de la représentation. Retour aux sources des légendes initiatiques (et de l’art pariétal). Questionnement alors de Gus Van Sant sur ” Comment évoluent les mythes et les contes aujourd’hui ? ” mais aussi ” Qu’est-ce qu’une image ? ” et ” Comment la jeunesse vit-elle avec les images ? ” Comment sont-ils piégés par elles comme dans un labyrinthe de signes ? – pas étonnant de voir ainsi plusieurs scènes se dérouler dans la chambre noire du lycée, Gus Van Sant scrute précisément la création photographique et l’imago.

Les 7 jeunes filles et jeunes garçons offerts au Minotaure sont représentés dans le film par les cartons (retour au cinéma muet) indiquant les noms de ces jeunes (muets ?) – liste létale d’une morte annoncée, ils sont comme jetés aux lions. Les cartons sont autant de plaques mortuaires, de tombeaux ouverts. Gus Van Sant détourne le mythe du Minotaure et questionne une époque, ou plutôt : la représentation d’une époque. Dans le monde décrit dans ELEPHANT, les enfants ne sont plus uniquement les chassés, il sont aussi les bourreaux.

Les Trois Petits Cochons

La présence du conte et de l’animal se poursuit et s’achève jusque dans la dernière scène, tournée dans la chambre froide des cuisines du lycée. Et sur une contine détournée en air de croquemitaine. Alex a passé plusieurs portes pour trouver deux amoureux dans une chambre froide. Comme dans Les Trois Petits Cochons (et SHINING de Kubrick, 1980), il traverse les portes. Alex pointe son arme sur le couple amoureux et récite: ” Amstramgram, pic et pic et colegram, bourre et bourre. Si tu prends un tigre par la patte. et qu’il bouge. laisse-le filer. ” Des morceaux d’animaux froids pendent au fond alors que les jeunes amoureux sont laissés hors champ, déjà ” disparus. ” Les corps en mouvement constant du début du film se gèlent. Le zoo est mort.

text by Alexandre Tylski. Continue reading here

┐ Can a symbolic image become a code? └

pmThis image is from yesterday’s official communication by the Portuguese PM about new austerity measures. It shows a reporter wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt. I know it is symbolic but I like to imagine it could be a code, a message given to rise a sort of underground army. Yes, I know, sci-fi, maybe I’ve seen “The Fight Club” too many times, but we need to believe we can take this government down, or else we’ll go mental. In the climax of our national anthem it reads “às armas”, aux armes!!! It doesn’t get more symbolic than this.
The video starts at the moment when the editor chooses to change angle to show the reporter. Thank you both!

┐ The Shinning, “a film made by a bored genius” └

The Overlook Hotel. It was a great name for the snowbound setting of Stephen King’s novel, “The Shining,” and it remained an ominous moniker in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation. Now, thanks to Rodney Ascher’s documentary, “Room 237,” it’s a fitting echo of a document defined by an affection for, and scrutiny of, details which have been overlooked in the overall cultural interpretation of the horror classic.


Subtitled “Being an inquiry into The Shining in 9 parts,” Ascher’s film is exactly that. Made up entirely of film clips (most from “The Shining,” some from other Kubrick films, even more from unrelated films like “All the President’s Men” and “Apocalypto”) and audio interviews from those who have become experts of sorts on the subject: ABC correspondent Bill Blakemore, history professor Geoffrey Cocks, playwright Juli Kearns and more.


Depending on the speaker, the film is really about the genocide of Native Americans; for others, it’s clearly about the Holocaust. Or maybe it’s Kubrick slyly demonstrating spite for King’s original novel, or maybe the auteur is actually apologizing to his wife and the world for helping to fake the moon landing, given his experience in sci-fi with “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Some hypotheses are more far-fetched than others, but they all invite a new reading into a slippery study of psychological instability, and Ascher dispatches a welcome sense of humor about overthinking things on occasion to keep matters from getting too “freshman dorm room” for their own good.
source: sundance review by William Gross

str**ming of “Room 237here

┐ Donald Goddard and Hannah Wilke – Love made possible └

All reproductions of Hannah Wilke’s work were removed due to copyrights issues. Here’s the link to her virtual home.

© Hannah Wilke, My Country tis of thee, 1975

Lil Picard: I see you are a collector of Art Deco objects. Why?

Hannah Wilke: I’ve always collected things. Objects have always been important for me. But the older I get the less I need things, especially since I am concerned with my work now. I haven’t been really colJecttng much lately. My work is my collection; the small sculptures replaced the objects that had been made by society, and my work is more important now than any objects I might collect. My own works are my icons.”

excerpt of Picard, Lil. “Hannah Wilke: Sexy Objects.” Andy Warhol’s lnterview, January 1973.

© Hannah Wilke, Pink Champagne, 1975 latex with snaps 45.7 x 137.2 x 17.8 cms

© Hannah Wilke, Landry Lint, C.O.’s, 1974, set of 12 sculptures, Lint, various colors, 13-1/2 x 13-1/2 inches

Goddard: In the beginning, she gave me a lot of direction. But then as time went on, she hardly said a thing. She would go from one place to another. She would go up a ladder, and I would take a picture from below. She would lie down with a gun in her hand as if she were dead. She would arrange herself in relation to the space she was in and how she wanted the composition to be. Eventually, I sort of knew what she wanted, so she didn’t have to say anything.
(…)

Takemoto: When did you start filming for the Intra- Venus Tapes? Did Hannah have a clear sense of what and how she wanted things documented, or did the filming become a more organic and ordinary aspect of your lives?

Goddard: In 1990 Hannah and I were in East Hampton. We had a rented house out there for the summer. We went to P. C. Richard and Son to buy some electronic equipment for our vacation, including a video camera and a TV set. Hannah just wanted to document her life and her friends. So that’s what we did. There was nothing planned about it. Of course, Hannah did a lot of performing – informal stuff, mugging and performing for the camera. Many of our friends and relatives are in the tapes, and we shot a lot of footage in the hospital. I remember when we went into the hospital for her bone-marrow transplant. I didn’t videotape the visit, but that’s when we started taking still photographs. Hannah was supposed to put on all these things that connected to her body for some kind of test, a cardiogram or something. The connectors were red with many wires and clips. Hannah thought they were wonderful against her skin and the blue-green gown and got very excited about the visual possibilities. That was one of the first pictures we took for the Intra-Venus still photographs.


(…)

Takemoto: Making work about illness sometimes produces the feeling of agency, as if you are somehow fighting illness by transforming it into something else. Do you think this resonated for Hannah? Was there a sense of urgency around making these pictures or documenting as much as possible as a way of slowing down time?

Goddard: I suppose. It was a way of measuring time. The idea was that Hannah was going to show all this work, and the name of the exhibition was going to be “Cured.” So she was always thinking about the work that way. We also looked into therapeutic possibilities: macrobiotic diet, nutritional regimens of various kinds, and alternative doctors and treatments. She read a lot and exercised a lot. Perhaps, all of that is a way of trying to slow down the inevitable. You are doing things that fill your life. It’s as desperate as life is. Life is always desperate. But it was a matter of living rather than dying. Making art was really about living.

excerpt of Looking through Hannah’s Eyes: Interview with Donald Goddard, conducted by Tina Takemoto, in Art Journal, Vol. 67, No. 2, 2008

┐ we’re all in deep shit VI └

as published in the front cover of the Portuguese newspaper I.

video of the happening here: “Celebrations to mark Portugal’s Republic Day took on an extra symbolic relevance when President Cavaco Silva unknowingly raised the country’s flag upside down. The internationally recognised signal of distress came on the last time October 5 will be deemed a public holiday having been abolished in an austerity measure.”

┐ Martin Seeds └

© Martin Seeds, from the project I have troubles[…]

© Martin Seeds, from the project I have troubles[…]

© Martin Seeds, from the project I have troubles[…]

“I never set out to document anything. It was more of a search, an investigation. I wanted to understand more of myself. To find others like me. I needed to be sure that I wasn’t the only one.

In 1986 I left Northern Ireland for London and for work. I brought me a diploma in computer studies, a strong accent and £50 that I think my father gave me at the ferry terminal. When questioned about my origins in London I rarely had much more than a terse answer. I didn’t have a strong sense of what culturally defined me as being from the North of Ireland. If I did venture into that definition a violent history emerged. And it was difficult to reject that violent element of my heritage without rejecting much of the culture and history. Over the years I returned ‘home’ to Northern Ireland many times and felt with each return increasingly alienated, to the point where I now view my home country as a detached outsider.

But there must be others. I’m sure we, the ones from over there, all get asked the same questions; of origin and of history. And therefore some of those others, like me, must also doubt their answers. Of belonging? There are those, the numbers of whom are unknown to me, although I suspect there are many, that do not answer or give a faux “…it doesn’t matter…”. So much is buried in such a dismiss. For many don’t want to embark down the tiresome road of “…going into that nonsense…”.

I reached the seminal point of detachment in 2010, when I returned to Belfast for a family Christmas. Arriving in the morning and tired from my journey, I slept until mid afternoon. During my sleep there was a heavy snowfall and on waking I stared at this new white landscape from the bedroom window. It felt, for a moment, that a troubled history had been wiped clean but I realised that the snow, although deep and heavy, lay lightly on the surface and was like myself without roots. At that point I knew I did not belong here and because I didn’t feel I belonged elsewhere I needed to understand my sense of displacement.

I am convinced however that there exists within us all a deep sense of origin. It is stronger in some cultures, less deeply buried perhaps. To be clear I’m not talking about nationalism, no, that is something else. That’s wrapped up in political ideals and tied to legal boundary posts. What I’m referring to is more a primeval notion of origin. An unconscious apolitical reference point, which influences much of our choices.

On my recent trips to Northern Ireland I visited familiar places. I was trying to find some resonance of myself engrained in the substance of these known locales. I looked in museums, the repositories of local history and culture, hoping to find some clarity as to my origins. I visited the border country between the north and south of Ireland. Thinking that by looking across that troublesome boundary line to another supposedly different place it might jolt a notion of longing through knowing I didn’t belong there; but in fact it was hard to see where one country ended and the other began. I journeyed to Stormont the seat of political power and once there, I walked the peaceful woods surrounding that contested white building. Throughout all of this, I explored the faces of my fellow countrymen. These faces would surely harbour some common trait, characteristic or expression that I could recognise as my own.

For we as humans have need of a reference point – a beginning? We require that ‘A’ to start from and ‘B’ to arrive at. You see I think we like straight lines, they are easy to negotiate and are convincing in their simplicity. History has, for example, a habit of being drawn as a straight line for that very reason. Well, I read the history; several versions of it. And yes, each drew its own straight line. And I got sick of the sight of it to be honest. It wasn’t telling me anything I wanted to know. It told me someone else’s story. So I went back there. I went back to find my own ‘A’.”

Martin’s statement

More of his work can be seen here

┐ Ting Cheng └


@ Ting Cheng, Icy Yoga Lesson, 2012

@ Ting Cheng, Where is my home, 2009

excerpt from an interview by Alexandra Plesner, from Dazed Digital

Dazed Digital: Your images give the impression of a dreamer, trying to escape this asylum called life. Why does this concept fascinate you so much?
Ting Cheng: As human beings, we learn from playing, we gain experience through trying. While I am not particularly good at planning, I am the queen of playing and trying. Inside the game, we are the controller. We press and release. We continuously select and restart, trying to break through the barriers that we encounter. The game will never be over, because despite all the set-backs that we’re facing, we will always continue playing and seeking those little victories. I indeed wish I could transform myself from a traveller, an outsider and a dreamer into a present experience maker.

DD: What was your first passion and how does this passion manifest itself today?
Ting Cheng: Being an outsider is really essential for me. It is the main inspiration for my work. The feeling of alienation urges me to step aside from my own body. It drives me to express this inner desire of exploring and discovering.

DD: What does photography mean to you?
Ting Cheng: I am a day dreamer and a visual thinker, so I turn to photography to communicate my feelings, thoughts, dreams and desires. I use photography to expose and document the absurdity and oddness of everyday life. Photography for me, is almost a way to prove my very existence. It is a way to escape from an ordinary and mundane reality, replacing it with a new reality.

DD: To look at your picture gives hope that the door to fairyland actually exists. How important is escaping reality for you personally and as a professional?
Ting Cheng: The image of the world has existed within our consciousness and cognition. If I am not satisfied with the reality I find myself in, I can reorder and reshape the map of the world through my imagination. Even more, I can build up a new reality. My work gives me an alternative to rethink and question the possibility of space and the relationship between our bodies and the objects that surround me.

More of Ting’s work here

┐ Neeta Madahar └

@ Neeta Madahar, Sustenance #95, 2003

@ Neeta Madahar, Sustenance #97, 2003

“Neeta Madahar’s subjects in Sustenance are quite ordinary—ordinary birds like finches, cardinals and blue jays. Her setting, too, is ordinary—her Boston backyard. But what makes this British artist’s work extraordinary is the sense of wonder and magic she
creates despite these unexceptional circumstances. It was this push-pull of opposing forces—the ordinary and the extraordinary, the quotidian and the fantastic—that drew me into this stunning collection of fourteen photographs.
(…)
Birds are the perfect symbol for duality. They simultaneously belong to two worlds: Air and Land (and sometimes Water). In mythology, they are at times harbingers of evil and death—woodpecker tapping on a house brings bad news, peacock feathers prevent babies from being born—and at other times, they are signs of good luck and renewal—a wren building a nest near your house brings good luck, birds’ arrival marks the beginning of Spring.
(…)
Birds are a brilliant metaphor for our new world, a new way to define home: birds fly and migrate yet they also nest and are from a certain region. Neeta Madahar’s Sustenance embodies a world that is located neither here nor there, but one that exists in a hyphenated space—one that allows for multiplicities, one in which we can perhaps all feel at home. I know I did.”

excerpt from the article Hyphen-Nation: The Search for Home in Neeta Madahar’s Sustenance, by Anar Ali. Continue reading here

More of Neeta’s work here and here

┐ Jakob Hunosøe └

@ Jakob Hunosøe, Thermos placed on lamp , from the series Out of Order, 2012

framed, 46,5 x 46,5 cm, Archival Fiber Print, edition of 5

@ Jakob Hunosøe, Tin pot and ceramic pot touching electric kettle on plate , from the series On Things Ordinary, 2010

framed, 46,5 x 46,5 cm, Archival Fiber Print, edition of 5

Rather than objectively exposing the surroundings, Hunosøe uses the photograph as a means of rewriting reality. With simple artifices such as reflections, additions and unexpected combinations, he adds a poetic, surreal dimension to his motifs. The photograph becomes an instrument enabling us to look at the world with different eyes and to uncover new meanings in our immediate surroundings.


Each photograph is based on a clear idea explained in prosaic titles such as “2 x 2 meters of garage objects” or “Mirrored glass of water, coins and used napkin on table.” The intention of the stagings is neither to seduce nor to convince the viewers, seeing that the titles expose the often simple artifices on which each picture is based. Hunosøe’s pictures can be seen as one long series of attempts. The “pseudoscientific”
attempts are not meant to lead to a certain result; rather, they are created in their own
right.(…)

excerpt from text by Marie Laurberg; continue reading here

His work here

┐ Davide Maione └

© Davide Maione, Reaching

© Davide Maione, Beaten (left) and Appeal (right), from Outlines and Annotations

© Davide Maione, What it takes to keep a young girl alive

“What It Takes to Keep a Young Girl Alive is a diptych of photographs that takes its title from a short story by Jayne Anne Phillips. Whilst being the departing point for creating a link between portraiture, narrative and performance, Phillips’ short story functions as fictional milieu for exploring notions of selfhood and subjectivity.


The diptych seizes on the very essence of Phillips’ story: the repetitive gestures of menial labour, the dead end job when there should be a future and the withdrawal from public space to avoid being looked at.


The juxtaposition of the title of the story with the spare photographs succinctly suggests a life of meagre means and a metaphorical expression of a banal and yet tragic predicament. The young girl in the photograph counts and marks the days in the manner of a prisoner. And yet as she does so, she also creates a picture out of the blank wall -perhaps an answer to what could be a question: ‘What does it take to keep a young girl alive?”

More of David’s work here

┐ Muga Miyahara └

© Yuki Onodera, Muga Miyahara, Increase, from the series Tokonoma

© Yuki Onodera, Muga Miyahara, Fear, from the series Tokonoma

“Japan photographer Muga Miyahara’s interpretation of tradition is most noteworthy in his works titled “Tokonoma”. The term refers to a built-in recessed space in a typical Japanese house, usually decorated with a calligraphic or pictorial scroll and an Ikebana flower arrangement. In Miyahara’s vision the Tokonoma becomes a stage presenting a cornucopia of different objects, inviting the viewer to explore a variety of ideas and thoughts. Although the arrangements are zen-like, very pure and simple, they have the effect of disturbing the viewer rather than expressing serenity and tranquillity. A lonely artificial leg, an empty shirt on strings, or knives hanging from the ceiling. Everyone can discover the invisible layers behind the objects for himself. The picture of three bombers and an ascending explosion cloud can – apart from obvious associations with war, air raids and nuclear attacks – be the starting point for various reflections about violence.”

source: voicer

More of Muga’s work here

┐ Yuki Onodera └

© Yuki Onodera, untitled, from the series Portrait of Second Hand Clothes, 1994

© Yuki Onodera, untitled, from the series Portrait of Second Hand Clothes, 1994

“La série, Portraits de fripes, marque une étape dans le travail de Yuki Onodera. Profondément autobiographique, cette œuvre correspond à son installation à Paris en 1993 où elle photographie des vêtements d’occasion par la fenêtre de son studio. Ils apparaissent suspendus, avec pour chacun un fond de ciel nuageux différent. Ce sont des vêtements ordinaires, attributs de ceux qui les ont portés. Placées sous l’objectif de Yuki Onodera, ces fripes révèlent une identité différente, témoins de la mémoire du temps qui passe dont le ciel est une évocation poétique. La rigueur de la mise en scène, le format et le cadrage en font de véritables portraits sociologiques où l’artiste s’intéresse non seulement à l’identité de la culture occidentale mais s’approprie la mémoire de cette société qui lui est étrangère et insaisissable. Ces vêtements portent les traces et les plis d’un vécu, d’une histoire identifiable et autorise une interprétation subjective.”

More of Yuki’s work here

┐ Sasha Kurmaz └

© Sasha Kurmaz, Untitled

© Sasha Kurmaz, Untitled

© Sasha Kurmaz, Untitled

“I consciously seek to avoid the trap of the “author’s style.” The world of art requires us to underscore originality and authorship, a certain manner that will distinguish you from all and make you unique. Today, I think authorship and style are boundaries for any artist. I strive constantly to look for something new – don’t stop anywhere, constantly experiment. This refers for all that I do: photographs, collage, graffiti, objects… Maybe it’s just searching for myself, I don’t know.”

excerpt from an interview led by Christopher Schreck, that can be read at All of this is rocket science

Sasha´s web place, full of what seems to me a very honest portray of how he sees the world and those close to him.

┐ Wyne Veen └

© Wyne Veen, Modern Art

© Wyne Veen, Plant Hair

“My central theme is uselessness. I feel that life is ridiculous. The products and arrangements I show are a reflection of investments of time and effort by men. They show the development of our society just like the old 17th century famous Dutch still lives did. But I don’t see this development as something to be proud of, I think it is way over the top. So I criticise it. I often wonder what on earth people are occupied with while there are so many better things to do. I don’t want to define these better things, because it’s up to people themselves. But I am quite sure it won’t be creating another plastic peach.”

source: Triangulation blog

Wyne’s site, full of beautiful and creative imagery (on the topic, of course)