Saturday, June 28, 2014

Selections @Berfrois to read while waiting for 2014 #PWPicnicReunion

Russell Bennetts and Daniel Tutt interview Simon Critchley
Shakespeare isn't a philosopher. Shakespeare is someone who leaves us in the dark as to what reality might be. What we get instead is an experience of ambiguity and opacity. Love is where we end up and it's this activity that Hamlet doesn't possess.  More

Suzanne Ruta: Check the Wall for Thilde Stein
The only one we've got
A reply came at once from the Jewish Museum Frankfurt. Mathilde Stein, born March 22, 1882, has her own tablet in the memory wall. (Not a monument, mind you, we're not scolding here, we're remembering.) The museum is gathering biographies for a database and asked if our family wouldn't like to contribute something about Thilde. Perhaps a photo of her, they asked, since they had no knowledge of her beyond her name and date of birth.  More

Nicholas Rombes: 70-Minute Mark
The workers shield their eyes
There are five frames with no human figure, bringing to mind all those moments in film where the space is filled with nature or buildings or empty rooms or fields or hallways or stairwells or the sky or the ocean or empty streets or streets at night.  More
K. Thomas Kahn: Generation Gap
Reading Doris Lessing while watching my father die
Is there any way of still speaking to you, of still reaching you, when you are like this? In films, there are those moments just before death. I cannot envision such a scene with you. My husk, my shadow on the wall, I hope, says all that I cannot.  More
B. Alexandra Szerlip: Sonata for the Dispossessed
Mexicans in 1930s San Francisco
Industry welcomes cheap immigrant workers, but there's little respect for those who answer the call. Diego Rivera's glorification of the working class in his murals was the exception, not the rule. Though they worked the land and layered the bricks of its buildings, they were, in some deep sense, homeless, and so forced to create a 'country' of their own. More
Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi: Tattarrattat
A walk through Joyce's Zurich
Young and trailed already by a history of brawling and drink, Joyce left Dublin for Zurich in 1904 and spent the following four decades between Switzerland, Austria-Hungary and France. He arrived with his lover, Nora Barnacle, along with word of a possible job opening at the Berlitz Language School.   More
John Beckman: Fun-Loving Criminals
A kinder, gentler Blackbeard
A shining example of pirate civility took place in late September 1718, on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. Edward Teach, the fearsome Blackbeard, a flamboyant criminal who entered battle with matches flaming in his hair and whiskers, was lying low with his multi-racial crew after having held the town of Charleston for ransom.  More
Daniel Bosch: Made Man
Time is a transposition
Peter Cole almost always writes beautifully and I never feel in his lines any touch of Midas. His work never lapses in the warmth of its humanity, whether he is anchoring a concise elliptical narrative with excerpts from historical documents he's re-written in verse lines or he is infusing an ancillary set of images with complex music.  More
Bobbi Lurie: N.E.U.W.D.E.Z.Z.
Watching Girls
Marcel Duchamp blew smoke in my face, bringing my focus back to him. He stood up slowly and started to walk ahead of me. I was afraid I'd never see him again. Thinking quickly, I asked him if he'd like to go with me to the Museum of Modern Art for an opening that night. "I have a horror of openings. Exhibitions are frightful…"   More
Legacy Russell: The Female Foil
Standing by your man
Both Mayor Kilpatrick and Carlita Kilpatrick are dressed in suits. The mayor wears a black suit and yellow tie, while his wife is in a boxy suit and pale blue shirt, unbuttoned at the neck. Whereas Wendy Vitter captures attention by way of visual hierarchy with her height and her figure-hugging wrap dress, Carlita Kilpatrick complements her husband's attire with a near-exact replica of his power suit.   More
John Gaffney: Europe's Fascists in Suits
Europe, I don't love you anymore
The far-right – oblige of fierce nationalism– find it very difficult to work together. They are worse than Trotskyists for fissions, splits, schisms and general punch-ups as soon as they try to co-operate with one another. It is like bringing together the rowdiest supporters of all the national football teams and asking them to form a reading group.   More
Margarita Tupitsyn: The Art of Style
An interview by Masha Tupitsyn
There was a mindful austerity and asceticism to these clothes; no accessories, visible make-up or fashion scenes. Everything had been stripped down to the bare essentials, while in today's cultural economy aesthetics function as pure excess. There is also the fact that people essentially stopped paying attention to avant-garde clothing.   More
Rauan Klassnik: True Brit
An interview by Russell Bennetts
All I know about Britain comes from Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances. So I can only assume that Boadicea is one of Hyacinth's sisters and while I love Hyacinth's sisters they are absolutely not Hyacinth: a star, a Goddess, an ethos.  More
David Palumbo-Liu: Listening to Achebe
A realistic image of Africa
Many years ago, in an interview with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, "What would you want the West to do?" Achebe replied, "Listen, just listen." I would like to add that there is listening, and there is really listening.  More
Sumana Roy: Didi
Are we a palindrome people?
My conscious awareness of having a palindrome fetish however came only in 1991, the year I took my school leaving examination. It was the first palindrome year I would encounter, the other being 2002. 2112 is quite obviously beyond my reach.   More
Adam Staley Groves: Money
Fight night
Floyd 'Money' Mayweather represents American decline, where the gospel of wealth's invisible hand has written the lion's share of fiscal policy just as Mayweather has chosen all his opposition. Mayweather's unsportsmanlike conduct is analogous to disrespecting the Geneva Convention, the shady record of A-Rod or the occasional neo-fascist football player.  More
Elias Tezapsidis: Nyquil or Benadryl
On Grant Maierhofer's fiction
The notion of an art world devoid of dark subjects is dangerous. Art needs sinister themes to continue being a catalyst for meaningful discourse. The tediousness of depression is perhaps inherent in the creative force of artists who have struggled with it.   More
Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: No Stopping
The unofficial view of Tirana (79)
As I worked on the legislation myself last year I would really like to see it pass, but in general I've grown more sceptical about the practical value of the Human Rights discourse in the new phase that Albanian LGBT activism seems to have arrived at.   More

Is she implying that in the EU you always have to state your sexual orientation because otherwise you might confuse the state? Is that what they mean with European love?  More
Victoria Brockmeier: Spinning Somewhere
The fallen world
Matthew Cooperman and Marius Lehene seek to elucidate an image of the world we have, for the world we have; they base their critical interventions in an ethics of affirmation: poetry and art matter. The senses matter. Kindness matters. Politics matters. Human action, for good or ill, matters.   More

Vernon Lee: Against Talking
Thinking is reputed to impede action, to make hay of instincts and of standards, to fritter reality into doubt; and the career of Hamlet is frequently pointed out as a proof of its unhappy effects. But one has not very often an opportunity of verifying these drawbacks of thinking. And I am tempted to believe that much of the mischief is really due to its ubiquitous twin-brother, Talking.   More
Paolo Gerbaudo: Occupybook
Rather than creating an alternative internet (one that is free, self-managed and non-commercial), contemporary tech activists seem far more concerned with harnessing the potential of the capitalistic internet, making use of the capabilities of gigantic corporate social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Activists invade spaces they know do not belong to them and over which they have little control. More
Lauren Berlant: Love Theory
I am a love theorist. I sometimes feel dissociated from all my loves. I sometimes ask them to hold more of an image of me than I can hold. The love and the images available for it are in a Thunderdome death-love match, yet we act as though affect could be held within a steady-state space like meat on a hook, or the image of meat on a hook, since actual meat turns green.  More

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