2013-03-30

Oil War Crucifixion

The crosses of our time are driven in petroleum hells. The crosses of our time are made of indolent beings, of office sacrifices and beach pleasures. The crosses of our time point to the heaven with technological towers which watch and command everything.

Image after Christo's Oil Barrels Column (1961, photo: Raymond de Seynes) [fu/fd], aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (1976) and George H. W. Bush (1977) [fu/fd], Adel al Yousifi's Iraq war [fu/fd] and Massimo Vitali' beach [fu/fd].

2013-03-29

Garden of Chess

All myths lie; they tell only part of the truth, the one which benefits the ruling classes. Thus, the Garden of Eden could more be appropriately called garden of chess. As related myths, three Evas confront three powerful patriarchs. The rules of the game are not the same for the two sides. It is about intelligence and strategy, and ultimately aims for the domination of nature.

Image after Pietro Perugino's Pope Antero (1483) [pd] and Pope Fabiano (1483) [pd], Mabuse's Adam and Eve (c. 1510) [pd], Albrecht Durer's Adam and Eve (1507) [pd], Hans Baldung's Adam and Eve (1524) [pd], Francisco de Zurbarán's Portrait of Pope Gregory I (c. 1626-27) [pd], Jaques London's chess board [fu/fd] and deforestation of the Amazon [ua].

2013-03-27

Mass Media Stylites

Mass media could be interpreted as a form of stylitism. As Saint Simeon Stylites, they sacrifice with their attitude the worldly dimension of existence, but end up giving in to the most perverse temptations. As Saint Simeon, they preach a sermon from the heights which, by virtue of its privileged situation, is incarnated with the sacredness of truth.

Image after Plaque of Saint Simeon (6th century AD) [pd], E. Pawtucket's orthodox icon of Saint Simeon Stylites [fu/fd] and David Yates' Berlin Television Tower [fu/fd].

2013-03-26

Vertical Orders

In the same way that the reason arose as a sublimated form of eroticism (Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, 1976-1984), classical orders derived from body instincts and a desire for perfection. But what has not been emphasized enough is something that may seem obvious: the importance given to the vertical. Thus, although the reasons for that should be mainly sought in a religious worldview, the truth is that the result would be closer to circus acrobatics than what had been originally thought.

Image after Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola's Regola delli cinque ordini d'architettura (1635) [pd], Joseph Mallord William Turner's Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth (1842) [pd] and Helmut Newton's They’re Coming (naked, 1981) [fu/fd].

Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in his New National Gallery

The interest of modern architecture in transparency was born corrupted because of the excessive Western attachment to the visual. Thus, the hypothesis of the invisible museum as transparent frame for the artwork became paradoxically its opposite. The container, now empty, could take the place of the content. Transparency became a more subtle form of opacity. 

Image after David Teniers' Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in his Picture Gallery in Brussels (c. 1651) [pd] and Mies van der Rohe's Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin (1968, photo: Christian Beirle González) [fu/fd].

2013-03-25

The Disguise of Science


"In hasty ill humor, I have ripped the fig leaves from some naked thoughts" (Heinrich Heine, Germany, a Winter's Tale, 1844)

Western science inherited from the myth of the Fall the importance of the visual representation as form of knowledge. Since then, "nakedness" was no longer possible and became "nudity" (John Berger, Ways of Seeing, 1972), the disguise of a role according to public morality. Thus, the knowledge of nature implied this emphasis on the representation as a way to control instincts. Science adopted the appearance of good and refused evil behaviors as integral part of reality.

Image after Lucas Cranach the Elder's Adam and Eve (1526) [pd] and Andreas Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body, 1543) [pd].

2013-03-20

Oaths

If, as some thinkers claim, mimesis plays a key role in dominating behaviors, beyond reasons or intentions, then certain apparently playful activities might be actually imbued with the gravity which in the past characterized oaths.

Image after Jacques-Louis David's Oath of the Horatii (1786) [pd] and beach aerobics [ua].

2013-03-19

Heil Aerobics

The fact that certain activities, even if they present themselves as healthy, proliferate at certain times is not a coincidence. The fact that these activities and other apparently different have much in common, cannot be anything but alarming. Another reason to believe that fascism and capitalism are in fact two avatars of the same movement. 

Image after AC's Adolf Hitler saluting troops parade in Vienna (1938) [fu/fd] and water aerobics [ua].

2013-03-14

Supermarket Stigmatization

Chemistry allowed the war not only to move outside the home but also, because of its discretion, to be practiced at homeWhat has not changed, at least from Francis of Assisi on, is that stigmatization and poverty go hand in hand.

Image after Giotto di Bondone's Stigmatization of St. Francis (1325) [pd], Nick Ut/The Associated Press's Napalm Girl (1972) [fu/fd] and Andreas Gursky's 99 Cent (1999) [fu/fd].

2013-03-12

Humanitarian Pantalone

Humanitarian aid is the mask behind which conceals itself the empire of capital and war, the Pantalone performing the commedia of the mass media.

Image after Nick Ut/The Associated Press's Napalm Girl (1972) [fu/fd] and others [ua].

Eros vs. Reason

We believe that the real antagonism of Greek philosophy wasn't idealism vs. realism, but another more far-reaching and until today agonizing over: eros vs. reason; the real agony wasn't that of Plato and Aristotle, but that of the eromenos and the erastes.

Image after Kritios and Nesiotes' Kritios Boy (c. 480 b.C.) [pd] and Raphael's The School of Athens (1509-10) [pd].

Blackout of Senses

In a civilization so devoted to the visual, is it not strange that the progress of technology contribute to the privileging of this dimension and to the misappropriation of what belongs to other senses.

Image after Bob Gomel's Blackout of New York (1965) [fu/fd] and Google's Glass glasses (2013) [fu/fd].

Cast Ground Meat

Every epoch has its symbols. There was a time when cast metal equestrian statues symbolized a hierarchical society whose powers were based on the conquest of territory. Our time could be well that of the burger; our labyrinth that of the distribution of ground meat.

Image after Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert's Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (Encyclopaedia or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts and Crafts, 1751-72) [pd] and others [ua-fu/fd].

2013-03-10

Ephebos, P.O.V.

While the reason arose in Greece in good part through the erotic relationship of master and disciple, along progressive sublimation of instincts, twenty-five centuries later the body is not anymore a matter of spiritual development, but something to be concealed, and in fact, a proof of the decadence of certain institutions.

Image after Kritios and Nesiotes' Kritios Boy (c. 480 b.C.) [pd] and others [ua-fu/fd].

The Prison of Representation

Amid all the prisons built by man the most subtle, but also the most indestructible, is the prison of representation. Since the beginning of time, culture and representation have moded hand in hand, and any re-presentation is nothing but a new presentation of a previous representation, in an endless chain.

Image after photo cameras by Canon, Casio, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus and Sony [fu/fd].

2013-03-01

Horse Totem

From mythological centaurs to the Trojan Horse, from medieval knights to cavalry regiments, from cowboys to the crisis of meat, the horse totem still rules many rituals of man's domination of nature, that is to say, of man's domination of man.

Image after various equestrian statues [pd] and others [ua-fu/fd].