Friday, September 6, 2013

Cheap shots and expensive visuals

In the People's Republic of Montréal taking a quick post–Labor Day break, visited the Musée de l'Art Contemporain (MAC!) to become acquainted with an art scene in North America of which I was wholly unaware, extraordinarily fine and lively, especially in 50s and 60s modernism. Illustrations here from the more or less present, in the brilliant and hilarious work of Michel de Broin (b.1970).
Hole, 2002
Modified trailer, wood, plaster and plastic
360 x 240 x 240 cm
Collection du Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
A hole barely large enough for one person to enter was pierced through the back of a trailer. The hole was  installed temporarily in various Montreal neighborhoods.
"Modified trailer"!

Asking for it. Lansing News:
A roughly nine-minute video posted to YouTube shows MSU professor William Penn calling Republicans racist and saying they "raped this country" before nearly 400 students in his Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities class on Thursday, which was the first day the class met this semester. The video made national headlines Wednesday, even appearing on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor."
The country was drunk, and dressed all slutty, said Republicans in self-defense.

Étant Donnés, 2013
Sink, tubing, water, propane
166 x 92 x 46cm
A mixture of water and fire flows from a sink lying on its side. The co-existence of opposing elements manifests itself in a familiar object rendered uncanny.
Slow news day at Politico. The reliably obtuse Dylan Byers reports that a reporter asked a belligerent-sounding though meaningless question:
Seemingly perplexed over how Sec. of State John Kerry could call Obama's move "courageous," the AP's Matt Lee asked State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki, "What is courageous about asking permission for something that you say you don’t need [to ask permission for]?"
Psaki replied with a pro-forma answer, reiterating Secretary Kerry's support for the president's decision, before being interrupted by Lee.
"Was there a group spine-removal procedure at the White House over the weekend?" Lee asked. "I don't understand. How is this courageous?"
Not at all clear what Dylan thought was interesting about this incident other than that it sounded like people were being sort of nasty. Clear that Psaki has no clue what was courageous about the president's action, nor does Byers. To spell it out: The "most powerful man in the world" offered to sacrifice some of his de facto power and risk public humiliation in favor of the rule of law. It's the most courageous thing I've seen a president do since Nixon acknowledged he was a crook. Oh, wait. I guess it's the most courageous thing I've seen a president do period. Of course if you're Dylan Byers Nixon denying he was a crook was probably courageous.
Braking matter, 2006
5 kilos of modelling clay
Variable dimensions
The small balls, between 5 and 50 mm, are made of tightly pressed modelling clay.  The pellets are thrown forcefully so that they stick to the surface of the wall, in total disregard to museum hanging conventions. Formal interest resides in the “braking” of matter in motion—how its spatial trajectory is stopped when it hits the wall.  Each event creates a residual spot and the accumulated events produce a free and informal whole.  The projectiles, randomly assembled on the surface, offer a vision of constellated objects moving in space.  The pellets’ distinct colours create different spatial layers due to their chromatic radiation.
Country where Glenn Greenwald could get a job as reporter:
Show some gratitude, Glenn.

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