my full interview with Ziad Abbas, quoted above, is the second interview in the clip linked to below:
If you care at all about Palestine, please listen to these stories told to me by Palestinians in Bethlehem and Nazareth, and hear people being illegally taken from their land in East Jerusalem, stopped by the presence of myself and International media, briefly … this was 2003 … what eventually happened?
California secedes from the U.S. and joins forces with Japan to become a non-aligned, pacifist, non-nuclear-powered, green, tech-producing powerhouse in global digital and computer science.
Here’s the flag of the new most prosperous nation on Earth.
I hereby announce my Candidacy for General Secretary of The Republic of Calipan to anybody living in Aztlan or the Land of the Rising Sun who agrees Calipan exists.
At 40, in my homeland, I painted, collaged and signed, Vous êtes à Pudduchcheri, M.T. Karthik, on the back of the wood liquor cabinet installed in a wall at Qualithe’s Hotel Bar in Pondicherri, Pudduchcheri, Tamil Nadu, India in three weeks in May, 2007.
The cabinet is 84 x 50 inches, 6.5 inches above the floor, and the wall is perhaps fifteen feet wide. It was immediately interesting to toy with the line dividing the lighter upper from the darker lower layers. The text was decided upon after weeks of discourse with locals and regulars – and translates in English to: “You are in Puduchcheri”
The image of the moon is an actual photograph taken in 1971 by telescope from observatory of the University of Montana.
The oil well is from the back of the old,purple Indian 1-rupee note.
I photographed the haliastur indus (brahminy kite), pair, myself, from my studio for nine months, and then printed and selected the images of the two raptors collaged into frame – male and female.
The palm tree was photographed at a local beach as well.
The postage stamp is the a magazine reproduction of the first stamp issued by independent India.
the detritus on the beach includes a matchbook and wrapper from a package of firecrackers, and the tiger from the tiger balm packaging.
art students from the Chitra Kala Parishath art college in Bangalore, were invited to add depth to the waves and a second heavenly body, a single white point representing Venus, over the sea.
After Po-Mo and Before We Agree
art talk by M.T. Karthik
Auroville, India 2007
Begin with the piece on The End of Post-Modernism, October 1999. (pause)
But I thik that Giulianis comment, as ignorant and political as it may have been, is indicative of the feeling at the end of the 20th century. Arthur Danto had written The Death of Art in 1994, the century was limping to an end.
On , the ( and ) burnt one million in on the island of . This money represented the bulk of the K Foundation’s funds, earned by Drummond and Cauty as , one of the ‘s most successful pop groups of the early 1990s. The duo have never fully explained their motivations for the burning.
The incineration was recorded on a video camera by K Foundation collaborator . In August , the film—Watch the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid—was toured around the , with Drummond and Cauty engaging each audience in debate about the burning and its meaning. In November 1995, the duo pledged to dissolve the K Foundation and to refrain from public discussion of the burning for a period of years.
A book—K Foundation Burn A Million Quid, edited and compiled by collaborator Chris Brook —was published by ellipsis Books in , compiling stills from the film, accounts of events and viewer reactions. The book also contains an image of a single that was manufactured from the fire’s ashes.
last year I was with Matthew Higgs
Matthew Higgs is director of in New York. He is also associate director of exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, England. He has organized more than forty exhibitions, including To Whom It May Concern and Reality Check: Painting in the Exploded Field at the CCA Wattis Institute. A regular contributor to Artforum, Higgs has written for many catalogs and other publications. As an artist, he is represented by Murray Guy in New York and Anthony Wilkinson Gallery in London.
But I think that the socio-political scene drove arts to find new ways to seek new materials and do things that Rudolph Giuliani could do but which are still art. and to communicate ideas through mass media.
I am going to talk about a few different places and people I have met and known in San Francisco, New York, Japan. India and elsewhere and let you see some work here and get an idea of what is being made and by whom.
It is interesting to me that the Venice Bienale opened today is it and I didn’t go to the site to see who is in it or whatever. I wanted to try to construct this talk from – as Auroson suggested – my own experiences of art and artists.
Vik Muniz (, ) is an artist who experiments with novel . For example, he made two detailed replicas of ‘s : one out of and the other out of . He has also worked in sugar, wire, thread, and , out of which he produced a recreation of Leonardo’s . Many of Muniz’s works are new approaches to older pieces; he has reinterpreted a number of ‘s paintings, including paintings of the cathedral at , which Muniz accomplished using small clumps of pignment sprinkled onto a flat surface.
Vik Muniz’s use of materials is more than a result of aesthetic decisions alone. In his picture of Sigmund Freud, for example, he uses chococlate to render the image. The photograph is printed in such high resolution that one can almost taste the material from which the image is made. In this sense, Muniz is refering to Freud’s theory of the oral stage. Likewise, because of the chocolate’s viscosity and visual similarity to excrement there is an allusion to Freud’s anal stage as well. This conceptual framing of matter is also apparent in his Sugar Children series. In this body of work, Muniz went to a sugar plantation in Brazil to photograph children of laborers who work there. He made the images from the sugar at the plantation. The differential in value between the wages of the laborers, and the fluctuating cost of sugar in the international market as well the price for the photograph, reveal much about geopoltics, global/local economics, and the art world.
Vik Muniz works with the syntax of photography, hut his images are not simply photographic. As Vince Aletti pointed out in the Village Voice, “[Muniz] has teased the medium mercilessly and with an infectious glee. He makes pictures of pictures — sly, punning documents that subvert photography by forcing it to record not the natural world but a fiction, a simulation.” (left: Action Photo (After Hans Namuth), 1997, 60 x 48 inches, Collection of Eileen and Peter Norton, Los Angeles)
Born in 1961, Muniz grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil where he studied advertising, a field which he acknowledges,”made me aware of the dichotomy between an object and its images.” After he moved to New York in 1983, Muniz made sculptures which he documented in photographs, then began incorporating photographs in his sculptural installations. He discovered that what interested him most was the representation of objects rather than the objects themselves, the dislocation between expectation and fact, representation and reality.
Muniz’s pictures are illusions that draw from the language of visual culture, but they twist and redefine our perception of both the commonplace and the fantastical. His images humorously, as well as critically challenge our ability to discern fact from fiction, reality from appearance. Utilizing a range of unorthodox materials — granulated sugar, chocolate syrup, tomato sauce, thread, wire, cotton, soil — Muniz first creates an image, sculpturally manipulates it, then photographs it. Whether a portrait, landscape, still life, or iconic image from history, Muniz’s works are never what they seem.
More recently he has been creating larger-scale works, such as pictures carved into the earth () or made of huge piles of junk. His sense of humor comes through in his “Pictures of Clouds” series, in which he had a draw cartoon outlines of clouds in the sky.
born in 1965 in Ayutthaya, Thailand. In 1987 he received his BFA from Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, and in 1993 he received his MFA from Hochshule für Bildender Künst, Braunshweig, Germany. Kusolwong’s artistic practice includes installation and performance-based work and, since 1996, he has concocted variations on market settings where inexpensive, mass-produced, Thai-manufactured goods are sold for a nominal fee.
The artist has shown widely in Europe, America, Asia, and Australia. Solo exhibitions include Institute of Visual Arts (INOVA), Milwaukee, WI; Arte all’Arte (Arte Continua project), Casole d’Elsa, Italy; Fri-Art Centre D’Art Contemporain Kunsthalle, Fribourg, and Art & Public Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland. Group exhibitions include P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY; Hayward Gallery, London, England; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; Academia de Francia/Villa Médicis, Rome, Italy; 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan; Pusan Metropolitan Museum of Art, Samsung Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Korea; Edsvik Art & Culture Center, Sollentuna, Sweden. Kusolwong has exhibited in many biennales including the 2001 Berlin Biennale, Germany; Transfert, 2001 Swiss Sculpture Exhibition, Biel, Switzerland; Kwangju Biennale 2000, Korea; Taipei Biennale 2000, Taiwan; Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, 11th Biennale of Sydney, Australia; and the 1997 Vienna Secession, Austria
Lu Jie was born in Fujian, China in 1964. He holds a BFA from the China Academy of Arts in Hangzhou and an MA from the Creative Curating Program in Goldsmiths College, University of London. Lu Jie has curated numerous contemporary art exhibitions internationally including the Chinese presentation at the 2005 Prague Biennale and the 2005 Yokohama Triennale. He is the founder of the Long March Foundation in New York, and the 25000 Cultural Transmission Center in Beijing. Over the past six years, Lu Jie has been concentrating his efforts to produce The Long March – a Walking Visual Display which was exhibited in National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon, 2004 Shanghai Biennale, 2004 Taipei Biennale and will be exhibited in 2005 Yokohama Triennale, Vancouver Art Gallery and the next Asia Pacific Triennale.
Long March Capital – Visual Economies of TransMedia
Initiated in 1999, carried out on the historical Long March route in 2002, and returning to Beijing from where we are still marching locally and internationally today, the Long March is a multifaceted and complex art project in which the journeys through the realities of different social locations, contexts, and dimensions are part of a process of artistic experience and creation. The Long March’s approach to new media, therefore, extends beyond the faculties of technology, rather looking at the metaphor of the Long March as a medium and methodology in which creative expression can arise. In this regard, the Long March acts not only as an art project but as a “transmediator,” a form of capital which offers a platform, context, and professional service for the realization and display of new media works, as well as a “glocalely” situated “social” as a new media. Participants work together, turning local resources into the international language of contemporary art, and conversely imbuing international art with a local context and significance. As such, the Long March journey becomes a collective knowledge production and performance where both audiences and artists alike become participant observers constantly negotiating the boundaries and relationships of the various visual economies bounded within artistic production.
Lu Jie is the founder and director of the Long March Foundation, New York and the 25,000 Cultural Transmission Center, Beijing. Over the past six years, Lu Jie has been concentrating his efforts to produce the Long March Project, portions of which have been exhibited internationally including in the 2004 Shanghai Biennale, the 2004 Taipei Biennale, at the Vancouver Art Gallery 2005 and The Yokohama Triennale 2005 and Sao Paulo Biennale in 2006.
The Long March Project: : Lu Jie in Conversation with Hsingyuan Tsao and Shengtian Zheng
On the evening of October 12, 2005 the Vancouver Art Gallery presented “Dialogues on Art: Lu Jie in Conversation with Shengtian Zheng and Hsingyuan Tsao.” The presentation was organized in conjunction with the exhibition Classified Materials: Accumulations, Archives, Artists.
Lu Jie: The Long March Project was initiated in 1999 when I was a curatorial studies student at London University. During that time I developed a critique of the representation of politics in the context of international Chinese art exhibitions. I was thinking about the ways that contemporary art practice could connect with social development and social change. I developed the Long March Project as an organic structure that could parallel the grand narrative of the historical Long March initiated by Mao Zedong. I developed the idea that a number of sites could be created according to this historical Long March—this search for utopia, this sharing of resources, this going beyond the limits of body and ideology.
After several years of preparation, the Long March Foundation was established in New York in 2000. I spent two years visiting the six thousand miles historical Long March route. In 2002, we established the 25,000 Cultural Transmission Center in Beijing before launching the project that summer. After a three-month journey, twelve of the twenty planned sites were completed. We already had the contribution of two-hundred-and-fifty local and international artists. People thought that the government would stop us, but there were no political problems.
In the Yanchuan papercutting survey—which we believe is a milestone of the whole Long March up until today—we asked questions such as: what do we do with the so-called folk artists who live in China, whose life and profession is all based on an aesthetic that we do not value? This work is something that other curators and institutions do not deal with. But for the Long March Project—a project that wants to face reality—the different social hierarchies and historical frameworks all connect together to create a new understanding of contemporary Chinese art. So we believed from the very beginning that folk art, such as paper-cutting, is something that should be re-examined.
If you keep making lefts
You go in a circle
If you keep making rights
you wind up where you began
If you just go straight ahead
you’ll wind up where your headed
but going straight ahead’s the fastest way to dead.
MTK, Pudducherri, Tamil Nadu, India March 23, 2007
Over the last few nights, lit by an obese moon, the local animals have been fighting; first the dogs went at it ferociously; then loud, wailing cats; hissing, crying, haunting sounds. Then a crazed bird-fight, filled with screeching – all this in the two nights of the moon’s fullest face.
The village is a breathing thing, a living ecosystem of many species of insects, reptiles, mammals and birds living adjacently. The village mood is governed communally, first by the most powerful forces of nature, primarily the sun and moon – and, here, the sea – and secondly, by humanity in concert with nature.
In working with nature, humanity is further subdivided, along a continuum from those who will care for animals and plants, to those who would not tolerate them, but as food. Most follow a gentle co-existence.
A properly functioning village can be considered among the most sane and balanced social ecosystems ever created by human beings. Interspecies tolerance, collegiality and an awareness of the fundamental interconnectedness among all living things exists.
Here, vegetarianism is considered a social enlightenment for most people. Trash is often laid out on low thistle or brush to allow ants and other insects to pick it clean. I have watched a village woman wash the anus of her cow with her bare hand and water with such care as she would give her own child.
The village is asleep shortly after sundown. It gets dark quickly. Public lighting is elegantly limited to one or two long, narrow, tube lights, atop wooden posts placed at the intersection of paths or at the gate of one of the wealthier homeowners. But power outages are common, eliminating even this small amount of soft, light pollution. The night sky is clear, the stars, sharp.
Dawn is the loudest time of day, from cock’s crow, through crow’s caw and eventually multiple, staticky, jam-boxes, and at least one television set, projecting bhajans and popular songs. This comes to an end abruptly, when there is a brief silence into which the cow next door lows – an enormous sound – at least once each morning. Today, all sound was overcome by a single, overpowering noise, a retort, by human design, repeated at regular intervals. Someone was lighting and dropping grenade-like bombas.
This same, single, very powerful firecracker, set off very near to this house every half hour or so, was irregular enough to feel sudden each time – 9:30, 9:55, 10:27. The noise hit me in the gut. The dog was terrified.
It is an intense sound in this place – and now the cat fight continues, screeching and hissing, tearing-around sounds between booms.
Bombas all day long: “someone died” is the best we have. Sekar says it was two people, one on either side of us, in recent days. The villagers gathered with firecrackers, drums and flags – multiple very loud retorts all day long; many right now.
The dog stayed under the bed for hours, until sundown when the bombas finally ceased – we all sat in silence. Then, through the night, under the flat, bright light of the fat waning moon – really three days full – came the horrible, sad, wailing of a woman who sounded like a widow, or a mother, begging God or anyone to explain “Why?” between heavy, interminable sobs. She finally fell asleep, but her cries were the loudest sound in the night for an hour. The death must have been literally just beyond the wall to our West.
The entire village is a part of the death – even the crows were vacated by the noise. They say that when a king dies, crows fly and caw – maybe it’s because of the fireworks. This full moon there was an important death, likely two, in our village. The crows and dogs and cats know it … and I know it, too.
4 January, 2007
Periyamudaliar Chavady, TN, India
[discovered that one of the two deaths was L’s grandmother – the mother of the man from whom I’ve been leasing a motorbike. We learned, too, that there was another death, just next door to us – very close to us, on the same day – likely someone we had seen daily in the last few months – but we don’t know whom. I would know the face … but which face, of the last few months, is missing now? that I cannot say. So it was Usha, the daughter- in-law of one of the deceased, who told us, three weeks after Pongal, that the villagers did not celebrate Pongal this year because of these deaths, a full moon before].
In autumn of 2006, for a traveling project by Rigo 23 that he calls Tricycle Museum, I researched and purchased three-wheeled vehicles from South India and shipped them to Madeira Island, Portugal. Here are some of the best of the many auto-ricks I photographed.
They are arranged in reverse chronological order for the most part and the last one is a 1958 model that was still running on the roads in Coimbatore in 2006!
November 22nd didn’t happen for me.
It disappeared in the space-time void caused by crossing the dateline and traveling for 20 hours on a 777 from SFO to Seoul.
Now it’s the 23rd, Thursday at 315am in Singapore where the airport is pretty quiet. But for teenagers with semiautomatics, managers with clipboards and baristas, pie-eyed at their coffee stands.
A girl slept at one of these – I could have taken anything … from her coffeeshop and she would never have known.
I was tempted. But didn’t.
Landed and watched “Live and Let Die”
In the free movie theater they have here .. what a weird zone.
I can sleep for six hours in a hotel for $40 I have $255. I slept well on the plane and so figure I’ll stay up as long as possible so I can get the most of my six hours sleep time when I finally take the room – if I take the room
I don’t really feel tired. A little hungry … but not for something gross.
Enough about what I am feeling all the fucking time. I feel like Nathaniel Hawthorne.
edits are the slicing away of all that shit toward a clean expression.
Off to munch.
Next entry will be November 23.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Hard-Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World, Wild Sheep Chase, Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore [Umibe no Kafuka]
The Woman in the Dunes
Friend of the Earth
The General of the Dead Army
Harry Potter(s) and The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Order of the Phoenix
The Setting Sun and No Longer Human, Blue Bamboo short stories
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night
A Mature Woman
Rashomon and other stories
significant parts of Harry Braverman’s Labor and Monopoly Capital
and the eco-biography Planetwalker, John Francis
This story begins lying on its back in a small, one- bedroom hole in a creaking, dripping, grey, 18-story building in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.
There, on a morning that would turn into a beautiful spring day, I wake up and hear the sound of rats scurrying around in the dark, and the sounds of wheels turning and gears clicking. I hear unnamed sounds.
I get up, pack my stuff, throw it on my back and go down to the first floor of the Chung King Mansions. This volatile, multicultural conglomeration of dirt, sweat and international odors stands just off Nathan Road in Kowloon surrounded by rows of pricy hotels: The Peninsula, The Hilton, The Hong Kong Empire.
The Chung King hostels have been the cheap place to stay for the shoestring traveler since the 1970’s. Other than brief alterations due to fires that have erupted in its corridors over the years, it hasn’t changed.
Out front, there are Indians and Iranians, bearded and red-eyed, sitting on the street railing. Foreigners from every corner of the globe are walking by. The little Chinese guy with the $8.00 USA Todays and Penthouses and Time and Newsweek and Rolling Stone, is unrolling his papers and magazines.
At dawn, the crowd are all hanging around wrapped in cotton, ear-ringed, nose-ringed, tattoed, goateed. They are either leaving for work or just getting in from play. Several of the turbaned Sikhs are asking me if I want a good place to stay or great Indian food or to go to the best restaurant in Chung King. The rest of them hover around the moneychangers offering black market rates. A German couple is buying watches, a Canadian is buying Nikes, a Frenchman is selling perfume. It’s early and a lot of people are just getting going.
Traffic is still light. Light for here. The sidewalks are peppered with people. Bright red doubledecker buses and taxis glide by. There are light, low-lying clouds over the bay. It is a bit dewy, but you can smell the sun behind those drops, burning the clouds away. The blue sky is already cracking through. By 10:00 it will be 30 degrees.
And on this morning, as I look across the street at the Hilton, I see an anachronism. He’s an elderly Chinese man with greying temples under a flat, grey, Maoist cap. His rope buttons are worn and his ancient Chinese clothes are from a time before all of this.
The free port of Hong Kong rises around him. Six major hotels. More foreigners than Chinese. So many shops. Everybody here is either buying or selling. And he, clearly, is not.
He stands in the middle of all this looking completely foreign, and he begins to fight it.
Standing on the corner of Nathan road in front of the Hilton, he is screaming at the top of his lungs probably the only two English words he knows. Probably the two words he learned expressly for this purpose. He is standing on the street corner screaming and throwing his hands up, hitting the sky with his fists and begging:
“Go Back! Go Back! Gooooo Baaaaack! Go Back!”
His voice is cracking now. He cannot keep this up. These two words are booming down the street in the quiet morning calm; kicking back and forth off The Peninsula, off Chung King Mansions, through the corridors and dripping alleyways:
“Go Back! Gooooo Baaaaaack!”
His voice is coarse and harsh now breaking and cracking. And still he screams. It’s been about five minutes and now I’m standing beside him.
He isn’t looking at me. He isn’t looking at anyone. Unfocused, his eyes open and close with the jerking of his head and hands as he puts every ounce of energy into his request.
I stay put and now I am looking at everyone else.
They stare at him, they smile and they continue to walk. Another Chinese man is standing a few feet away clicking in Cantonese and laughing at the old man. A young couple respond to him and they all laugh. A group of white businessmen walks, uninterested. Another man videotapes from across the street.
In front of Chung King, the Indians, Iranians and other foreigners look over for a time and then go about their business. Now they are looking at me. They look long and hard. My pack is slipping. I hitch it up and turn and walk away.