Sunday, September 8, 2013

Lest You Believe That One Person Cannot Make a Difference

...listen to these words in excerpt from Robert F. Kennedy's 1966 "Day of Affirmation" speech to South African students:

"Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, these ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

The full transcript of Kennedy's speech can be found at this link:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Matuschka and Cindy Sherman Retrospectively: From Dolls to Women

A labyrinthine collection of female images in various photographic styles does not quite capture Matuschka's autobiographical retrospective. The walls of the pocket Sohn Fine Art Gallery pack iconic photos across the 40-year span of her career. Light filters from the picture windows and the open door into the two white rooms, lending a clinical feel to the place. Tucked into a corner next to some jewelry cases hangs the famous Beauty out of Damage, as though it were just another photograph in the series, one amongst her many important works.

Looking back at these highlights from her career, it becomes apparent that Matuschka's portraiture begins to show agency, only after she gained notoriety for the photograph of her breast cancer scar. In so many of her photos, her self-image is passive. Even in Beauty out of Damage, the artist's face is turned away from the camera, as though she hides from both the camera's gaze and her wounding. As cover of the New York Times Sunday Magazine, the somber image becomes a political statement, and its critical reception read the image as representing “agency.” Although a passive positioning of the body, Matuschka's image ironically shifts from her identity as model, photography assistant, and object, to one that actively expresses with the intent to raise cancer awareness.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hunger and "Law"

Kafka’s parable “Before the Law” can be read as metonymic, metaphoric, and symbolic. In this, the writing is a fiction or an allegory for something ineffable, this experience of “Law,” expressly the “Law” that exists only for the individual to understand. The doorkeeper says, “No one but you could have been admitted here, since this entrance was meant for you alone.” The doorkeeper indicates that the door is a gateway to an entrance that the “country man” ultimately possesses: his entrance meant for himself alone.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Truth and Writing

A series on thinking through Brenda Ueland's If You Want to Write

We have developed ways of coping with our oppression in society. We cover up our true self with things that do not truly reveal our thoughts and beliefs, unless we are in the presence of like-minded individuals or persons we can truly trust.