The Act of Not Seeing

F.C. Gundlach, photography. Berlin Hilton, 1958

"..the fundamental meaning of symbols in which the earliest human beings customarily deposited their views of the nature of the world around them is purely physical and material. Symbolism, like language, sat in nature's lap." Johann Jakob Bachofen "Departure in dreams means dying." Freud, Introductory Lectures "Seems, madam? Nay, it is. I know not seems." Shakespeare Hamlet I think that the critical response to the premiere of the second season of HBO's True Detective reveals a lot about mass culture at the moment. Not just that they were negative, but were near unanimously violently negative and snarky. Now, many critics had watched the three episodes provided to … [Read more...]

Fugitive and Fleeting

Luigi Ghirri, photography.

"...the gesture of forgiveness expresses the sovereignty of the self, which, in its full autonomy, faces off against another self. In fact, when we begin to practice forgiveness, one of the first things that often surprises us is that others do not understand. "But how could you forgive that?" we often hear. At such moments we begin to see the difference in perspectives: those third parties view reproach from a point of view (i.e. that of a legitimate right we held and are now giving up) that has little or nothing to do with the nature of forgiveness." Manuel Cruz "An author's words are deeds." Sigmund Freud "The Vietnam War was for many a black and white war. People could not bear … [Read more...]

The Pink Wall

Jiro Yoshiharo

"Secularization is a nice technical word for this blankness. It means specialization and abstraction, social life driven by a calculus of large scale statistical chances, with everyone accepting or resenting a high level of risk; time and space turned into variables in that same calculus, both of them saturated by information and played with endlessly, monotonously on nets and screens..." T.J. Clark "Parametricism cannot become the long-term successor to Modernism because, like nearly all starchitecture, it ignores and exacerbates the urgent challenges of our time, such as the environmental crisis and the need to reintegrate ruptured urban fabric. Instead it is a perfect example of what … [Read more...]

Looking Down from Above

Idris Khan

"Of course, most people don’t really have to come to grips with pride and fear. But artists do, because as soon as they’re alone and solitary, they feel fear." Agnes Martin "At least since the Enlightenment, and in some cases before, modernity has signified a process of ‘bringing to light’. The dark spaces of superstition and prejudice must be made to quail before the light, just as the wolves must be made to stand back from fear of the fire. No secrets are to be left untold; transparency is all. If you take to hiding in a cave, your motives are no longer to be seen as an understandable defence against incursion; rather, you are choosing, unacceptably, to renounce the onslaught of … [Read more...]