minima whatever

Living the bohèmian cliché. London, Berlin. Content warnings: art, capitalism, feminism, (kinky) sex, abuse, misogyny, drawing.

Category: minima moralia

rubens’ ‘rape of the sabines’

I am captivated and repulsed by this painting at the same time, but nobody else seems to be disturbed by it. That quiet says so much about our perception of art, and who gets to interpret it. Whose perception counts.

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trigger warnings for the national gallery

Doesn’t anyone mind the elementary school children being taken in here and exposed to depictions of murder, rape, torture, child abuse and bestiality (warning, links to images) in very pretty pictures?

Don’t any of the grownups mind looking at those things?

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the problem with self-portraits

The problem with (drawn, painted) self-portraits: they are all of artists. Worst of all: ‘the artist as artist.’ Portraits of the artist as person, lover, parent, scholar, gardener, anything else are really more interesting. The artist-as-artist may just be the most boring subject in the world. They all look the same.

Selfies are a relief.

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not again (not yet)

That dread I feel now at the thought of rereading Hillesum. Based on the feeling that that is what I (and everybody) should be like. Awesome and aweful to read at the same time. To read her, watch her let go of piece by piece. Reminds me how I don’t want to let go of anything.

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quantified me

I am amused to notice the close relation of my sketching projects and my journaling, my obsession with habits, checklists & tracking all kinds of things. The daily sketching projects are always tugging at me to become more, to do them morning, noon and evening instead of just once a day, or to do them always when I do x. The urge to document, to understand, to improve. But also the richness and variability and preciousness of moments, each so different.

There must be a lot of vanity in this as well, but I don’t notice it. Quite the contrary, it feels like humility and devotion. Serving the drawings. Yet putting these words down on paper feels like hubris.

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gentrification III

I wonder what it will do to them when grown-ups sharing converted living rooms because they cannot afford a room, much less an apartment of their own, will become the new normal around these parts. What neuroses & illnesses it will breed. Because these are not just people living together because that’s just how things are; these are people remembering different times, and feeling it ‘should’ be different. Which does not make it objectively worse (we don’t deserve more or less of anything just because we are used to more or less of it)  – just them more likely to react badly to it.

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cozy old avant-garde

Ulysses feels so slow, behaglich to me I wonder whether it felt fast when it was published. The trains of thought seem weirdly coherent. Self-contained. You can feel the absence of modern advertising and the slowness of traffic. 2015-09-15 17.43.14

imagine! or: gentrification II

Walking through Soho today the city felt sharp-eyed. Every relaxed face suspicious: you must be either a banker or a similarly highly paid person, or, not mutually exclusive, have rich parents. But there were not many smiling faces anyway. Scary thought: try to imagine the city once all the current construction sites have finished their constructing, and we are stuck with the things they will leave behind. Construction workers suddenly feel to me like idyllic apparitions, like farm boys might have to the bourgeois imagination of the 19th century. ‘Real people,’ ‘human touch,’ ‘real work,’ etc.2015-09-07 11.11.07

nested thoughts

All the different strands of thinking I am interested in relate to each other, but precisely because of that I will probably never get the idea of the big picture I would like to have (however outdated it seems to be, I still want to). But each part of the puzzle contradicts or explains (away) some of the others. An amorphous web of contradictions and dependencies.2015-09-12 14.29.54

well-meaning questions in front of a work of art

All of them good questions. Or useless. Or both? If the point of a piece of art can be put into words completely, without residue, it has failed as art and become propaganda. I suspect that artists often succeed in doing something while still ending up far away from what they were intending to do. A work of art worth the name will be bigger and better than the artist’s intentions and the question “Was it worth doing?” will appear to be entirely missing the point when standing in front of it.

The mistake in those questions is to assume that artists now what they are doing.2015-09-09 11.41.58