looking up some artists mentioned in Tom McCarthy interview

There’s probably going to be all kinds of stuff to be messing with in this Tom McCarthy interview with Believer magazine over the next few days, but this is the first thing that i want to explore:

Look at all the people like Jeremy Deller, Rod Dickinson, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, whose work consists of staging reenactments, like a historical society, of events and showing an awareness of the kind of inauthenticity and mediation within that.

If you’re anything like me, you’re asking who the hell are these people? Again, it’s that art thing that i’m very weak in. McCarthy follows up with a project that Rod Dickinson did, but i need more.

  • Jeremy Deller. “His work has a strong political aspect, in the subjects dealt with and also the devaluation of artistic ego through the involvement of other people in the creative process.” Uh huh.
  • Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. (Apparently they work as a team.) They seem kinda musically oriented in their recreations, which is an aspect of their work that i can get a handle on rather easily. I’ve always loathed tribute acts, but it seems that they are doing something more peculiar. The Cramps recreation is something i had read of previously. Hey! They did the video for “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!”

Remainder is beginning to make altogether too much sense to me now.


Dumb, possibly superficial question…

In reading this post on Dominique Fabre’s The Waitress Was New, something clicked in my head while looking at the cover art.

Is that a painting by Amedeo Modigliani? The only reason why i’m dimly aware of him is because in reading the Wikipedia entry for Blaise Cendrars, the image for Cendrars is a portrait of him by Modigliani.

Art is one of my many weak areas, but if i’m to blog more fluidly, and use this medium like a notebook, working on making sense of images seems like a good use. It would be odd if the painting on the book is indeed by Modigliani, because everything seems to be flowing together these days. At the very least, both works seem to be influenced by the Cambodian and African masks that Modigliani was apparently influenced by.

85,000 year old shell jewelry in Moroccan cave

The story is a few weeks old, but it fell through the cracks when i bookmarked it. The time period and the place is particularly of interest.

RABAT – Archaeologists have uncovered shells used for finery by prehistoric man 85,000 years ago in a cave in eastern Morocco, the country’s heritage institute said today.

A research team led by archaeology and heritage institute (INSAP) member Abdeljalil Bouzouggar and Nick Barton from Oxford University found the 20 perforated shells in a cave near Taforalt between March and April this year.

The Nassarius gibbosulus shells are the type prehistoric man would have worn, according to a statement from the Moroccan Ministry for Culture.

In 2007, Bouzouggar and Barton discovered 14 perforated shells in the same cave.

“This discovery shows that the making and use of objects of finery is very anchored in the traditions of Morocco’s prehistoric people,” said Bouzouggar, in whose opinion the country is the original centre of artistic and symbolic creation.

Objects of finery discovered in Morocco are “now considered to be even more ancient than those discovered in Algeria, South Africa and in Palestine”, said the culture ministry.

Known as the “cave of pigeons”, the 30-metre deep and 10-metre high cave is situated 50km from Morocco’s Mediterranean coast.

Morocco is also where the Venus of Tan-Tan was found, and it’s dated between 300,000 and 500,000 BC. Morocco is going to producing some interesting finds for a long time to come.

Göbleki Tepe revisited (and sphinxes)

There is a nice little overview of Göbleki Tepe over on the Guardian. It would be fruitful to raise its profile in the consciousness of the public. Stonehenge is a wondrous site, but in pop culture, it and the Egyptian Pyramids dominate the landscape of great antiquity, leading to the false assumption that there are mysteries about early man that are no quite the mysteries that they seem. Civilization and culture have been around a long time, and there were a lot of false dawns through the ages.

There is piece in there that i need to follow up on:

Vecihi Ozkaya, the director of a dig at Kortiktepe, 120 miles east of Urfa, doubts the thousands of stone pots he has found since 2001 in hundreds of 11,500-year-old graves quite qualify as that. But his excitement fills his austere office at Dicle University in Diyarbakir.

“Look at this”, he said, pointing at a photo of an exquisitely carved sculpture showing an animal, half-human, half-lion. “It’s a sphinx, thousands of years before Egypt. South-eastern Turkey, northern Syria – this region saw the wedding night of our civilisation.”

I wish that i knew exactly how old the sculpture that he is describing is. (11,500 years? Or is that just the oldest grave of the site?) Looking up sphinx on Wikipedia was no help, as they date the image of the sphinx to the fourth dynasty of Egypt (2723 BC to 2563 BC.) That just seems wrong. However, my old Dungeons & Dragons background points to shedu and lama. Somewhere out there, someone has to have created a convenient timeline of the human-animal hybrid imagery used in art in that area. Now i gotta track it down.

earliest known oil paintings discovered in Afghanistan

Remember where the Buddhas of Bamyan once stood in Afghanistan? In the caves behind where the statues once stood, oil paintings dating from the fifth to ninth century have been discovered, with Buddhist imagery. It will be cool if it can one day be proven that the oil painting techniques used in the Renaissance were introduced to Europe via trade from the Silk Road.

The Emperor’s Club & contemporary art

Picked up the link to Artforum story from O Mundo de Claudia:

What do artist Jeff Koons and prostitute Ashley Alexandra Dupré have in common? Both can be had for a hefty price through the Emperors Club. Citing a report on Artnet, Le Monde‘s Harry Bellet discovers that the escort service, which counted the former New York governor Spitzer among its clients, also offered contemporary artworks through its online site. “Emperors Club was not satisfied with providing women to our financial elites but also took an interest in contemporary art,” writes Bellet. “Their business, Emperors Publishing Media Group, owns a site called Emperors Club Contemporary Art, which is responsible for providing its clients with works by renowned artists like Jeff Koons, David Salle, and Richard Prince.” Emperor’s Club describes itself as “a highly informative venue through which you may acquire exceptional contemporary art directly from a group of highly selected artists, dealers, galleries, and members.” Members are required to earn at least $450,000 per year. Sotheby’s and Christie’s logos appear on the site’s page, although, according to Bellet, the auction houses insist that they were not informed about the posting. But auction houses are not the only ones to be roped in to the Emperor’s Club experience. “The site offers images of artworks, each accompanied by a notice usually taken from the best sources,” writes Bellet. “A painting by Jeff Koons is accompanied by a review by critic Jerry Saltz.”

This story entertains me far, far more than any common story about a politician being brought low by his sexual escapades.

The Musical Illusionist: And Other Tales

The Musical Illusionist: And Other Tales. Just read this review on the Brooklyn Rail, referencing Borges, Calvino, and Pavi?. Yeah, i want it. I’m sure that i’ve read Alex Rose in McSweeney’s before. It’s on Hotel St. George Press. Odd site, and it’s making me curious about its other authors.

It introduces me to a new term that i like the sound of… “rhizomatic fiction”… what the hell is that?

This seems to be the essay about rhizome fiction by Deleuze and Guattari. Trying to figure out the nature and purpose of this capitalismandschizophrenia.org site, and it’s not helping that i’m feeling a little tripped out from two very long Spacemen 3 b-sides, “Soul 1” and “That’s Just Fine”.