Saturday, May 21, 2022

Bell Hooks

The New York Times reported on 28th September 2006, "But the Chicago Manual says it is not all right to capitalize the name of the writer bell hooks because she insists that it be lower case." The Manual noted, “This makes life difficult, however, for those of us who cannot bear to begin a sentence with a lowercase letter. We advise you to rewrite.” 

But why should the Manual, and all who adhere to it, be cowed by the whim of a writer? And now she is dead (15th December 2021), shouldn't the Manual abandon this exception to its rule? Bell Hooks is in no position to insist on anything now.



The John Schofield Quartet, 1992:



Joe Lovano, Dennis Irwin and Bill Stewart.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Specimen

When women like Fran O'Sullivan speak about girls, men like these tossers are waiting.








Saturday, April 30, 2022

Bell, Len

From the thesis:



Straightforwardness returned again in the early nineties. It came back with the Auckland City Art Gallery’s 1950s Show, the largest and most popular exhibition the Gallery had yet hosted, in 1992. To mark the occasion, Landfall, which had thrived in the fifties, published an edition devoted to the decade, although it appeared in April of the following year. Francis Pound, one of the Guest Curators of the show, was Guest Editor of the edition.  He saw the decade as a thing of the past: 


The art and literature of the 1950s are today of largely archaeological interest. They have become an ancient artifact, and with something of such an artifact’s fascination, its exotic glamour of otherness. Yet it is today’s very distance from that decade—its very otherness—which makes it available to historical consciousness. We see it now as if in Albertian perspective, diminished in size and detail, in inverse ratio to its distance from the observing eye. Its distance from today—from New Zealand art and writing’s present concerns—makes of it an intelligible object of study, with its devices and suppositions become visible, discernible now as pattern—a curious and archaic pattern, splendidly wrought.


Pound’s edition included essays on various aspects of the culture of the decade but these did not include architecture. This is curious, given Landfall’s previous contributions to architectural debate and the strength of architectural display in the exhibition. The architect Tim Nees, writing in the art magazine Glory Glory, was particularly taken with the architecture: “The Group Architects form a strong focus, and rightly so, for they have been influential and inspirational for subsequent generations….The full scale reconstruction, however, of the living room of the Group Architect’s First House, complete with repainted mural, is a delight to encounter.”

There was none of this in Landfall. However, Tomory’s ideas about colonial brutalism did make a return, in the guise of art. Leonard Bell, writing of “Landfall, the ‘primitive’ and the Visual Arts”, quoted Tomory’s phrase “colonial brutalism”, but as Clark and Walker note “any reference to architecture is excised.” Bell, writing about Tomory’s lecture, cut the phrase out of its architectural setting and relocated it to an earlier part, so making it appear Tomory had used this phrase to describe the work of the painter Petrus Van der Velden. Thus, colonial brutalism becomes a quality of art, in the absence of any appropriate art theory. Clark and Walker had observed of Bell’s misappropriation, “a post holding up a carport has evolved into a cultural condition”, but it seems more to have been forced into a role for which it was never intended. 

Some fifteen years later, and nine years after the publication of Looking for the Local, Pound himself used “colonial brutalism” thrice in The Invention of New Zealand, his study of New Zealand’s modern art. Like Bell, Pound gives the impression Tomory coined the phrase to describe painting, although in his second footnote he does disclose that Tomory was referring to architecture. It remains to be seen whether these are isolated incidents or whether a struggle between art historians and architectural historians for colonial brutalism is playing out over decades.




Henry Cow