Thursday, June 07, 2007

Identity crisis

A wall full of photographs of two girls does nothing to “interrogate” (a favorite term of art- and lit-crit-speak) identity any more than a mutilated doll forces us to reconsider our usual notions of whatever-it-is those odious objects are supposed to make us reconsider.
In the New Criterion, Roger Kimball gets grouchy about contemporary art. I wish I could disagree with him, really I do, but I have seen far too many exhibitions of this sort.

Bard college, with its President, its patroness and its Chair named for Alger Hiss, could have been invented by Evelyn Waugh. The WaPo reviews a memoir of the Waughs, a review which fails to menton that Alec Waugh invented the cocktail hour.

I need a Martini; gin, of course; stirred, not shaken.

Here are the New Pornographers.


harvestbird said...

The Custodian of the Junipers says: Free martinis for all council members between Pentecost and Advent.

It is not often I get to be part of an in-joke. I trust it will not seem outré in a serious-minded blog.

Paul said...

This, a serious-minded blog? What am I doing wrong? By all means continue our in-joke on these pages.

Perhaps I should start using emoticons to clear up any ambiguities.

I am serious :-[

Anonymous said...

Not sure if these two examples of contested identity in the arts world are relevant to this thread, but I found them fascinating. They are both about people who built their literary/academic careers on the basis of their Aboriginal ancestry, which turned out to have been questionable, if not fake. The two (postmodernist?) authors of these accounts about the pair seem unwilling to hold them responsible. For example, one describes lying by omission as "a kind of resistance". While it is clear that these artists suffered dreadfully from growing up in a racist society, their lies and omissions have led to doubt being cast on the work of authentic indigenous writers and for that, as well as for profiting from lying, I think they should be call rip-off artists, just like any other.

Bobbi Sykes

Colin Johnson/Mudrooroo