Gramsci & Cultural Hegemony, Portraits by Francis Picabia, Portrait of Strindberg by Munch

January 21st, 2017
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    Portrait of Gramsci by Leopold Mendez

    Antonio Gramsci (Italian Ales (Sardinia), 22 January 1891 – Rome, 27 April 1937) was an Italian writer, politician, political theorist, philosopher, sociologist, and linguist. He was a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini’s Fascist regime.
    Gramsci was one of the most important Marxist thinkers in the 20th century. He is a notable figure within modern European thought and his writings analyze culture and political leadership. He is known for his theory of cultural hegemony, which describes how states use cultural institutions to maintain power in capitalist societies. (wiki)

    Cultural Hegemony

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    Francis Picabia – 22 January 1879 – November 30

    See more Picabia Perpetual Movement (previous post)

  • Gertrude gertrude-stein Stein by Francis Picabia

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  • August Strindberg / Gem. v. Munch
    Portrait of August Strindberg by Edward Munch

  • Ingmar Bergman on August Strindberg (see a video)

    Ingmar and Lena Olin Fršken Julie av Agust Strindberg
    Miss Julie – Ingmar directing Lena Olin

    August Strindberg was born on Jan 22 1849.

  • August Strindberg by Schonberg

    Habitat – Monika Sosnowska (Polish Artist) + Refractions by Robert Morris

    January 13th, 2017
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  • Monika Sosnowska (born 1972 in Ryki, Poland)

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    Monika Sosnowska: Habitat at Contemporary Austin, Jones Center
    November 22, 2016 – February 26, 2017

    A fallen oak thrusts branches to the sky,
    Like a huge building, from which overgrown
    Protrude the broken shafts and walls o’erthrown.
    —Adam Mickiewicz1

    There is perhaps no stronger iconography of the Polish landscape than its forests, laden with beauty and witness to great atrocities. The ruinous trees illustrated by the Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz refer to the Białowieża Forest, a vast, dark, and mythical forest, or puszcza, on the border between Poland and Belarus. As Mickiewicz’s words portray images of curved, bent, and broken branches—whose entangled forms evoke crumbling buildings and memories of past battles—so trees become metaphorical carriers of memory in the landscape. But Mickiewicz’s words could just as easily describe the work of Monika Sosnowska (Polish, born 1972 in Ryki, Poland). Based in Warsaw since 2000, Sosnowska lives across the street from another forest, this one home to a Jewish cemetery that was destroyed during the Second World War, as the Germans used its headstones for construction works. Shortly thereafter, the Polish people planted many of the trees that compose the current woods and began an initiative to restore the cemetery to its previous state, a project that continues today.

  • See more via Aspen art museum

  • Pinterest

  • Here is another Polish artist Monika Gryzmala who works in Germany.
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    Previous post Monika Gryzmala Spatial drawing

  • Robert Morris ‘Refractions’
    at Sprüth Magers Berlin
    22 November 16 – 14 January 17

    (Merci Pascal Blanchard )

    The Next Day, Bowie,Marion Cotillard,Gary Oldman and Peter Cook with Bowie

    January 10th, 2017
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    The Next Day – Marion Cortillard played a sexworker for priests – read more here.

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    Bowie at Berlin Wall – 1987
    Take peek, David Bowie’s art collection.

  • David Bowie showing off his knowledge of contemporary art with Julian Schnabel here on Charlie Rose. (youtube)

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    Peter Cook, Bowie and Dudley Moore – via

    David Bowie returned to space at 69 (Jan 10,2016 Bowie passed away 2 days after his birthday)
    See more photos and links here.

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    The Cop, The Nun and Peter Cook – the Comic Genius
    Jan 9 1995, Peter Cook died

    An extremely influential figure in modern British comedy, he is regarded as the leading light of the British satire boom of the 1960s. Cook was closely associated with anti-establishment comedy that emerged in Britain and the United States in the late 1950s.

    OM Puri -A Magnificent Actor of East/West Dies at 66

    January 6th, 2017
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    Guardian Obit here.

    Om Puri

    Om Prakesh Puri OBE (18 October 1950 – 6 January 2017) was an Indian actor who appeared in mainstream commercial Indian, British, and American films, as well as independent films and art films.

    Is Om Puri our greatest living actor? on
    April, 2000 Michael Spagow asked – h/t Terrence Rafferty via FB.

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    Lasse Hallstrom directing Om Puri –

    Om Puri knelt before Helen Mirren -

    MYSTIC MASSEUR, Ayesha Dharker, Om Puri, 2001(c) Think Film. . Merchant Ivory production..
    story by V.S. Naipal.

  • The Intense Serenity of Om Puri, Citizen of the World
    By TERRENCE RAFFERTY APRIL 9, 2000 (NYtimes)

    ALTHOUGH Om Puri has appeared, by his own estimate, in something like 140 films in his 24-year screen career and has been characterized by one expert on Indian cinema as ”the finest actor of the post-independence generation,” he does not expect to be recognized on the streets of New York.

    But when he and I step out for a cigarette in front of the SoHo Grand Hotel, a middle-aged man and woman strolling up West Broadway look startled, walk a few steps farther up the street, and then, after a fast conference, return to tell Mr. Puri how impressed they had been by his performance in ”East Is East,” which they had seen in Israel. He accepts their praise graciously and modestly, and after they have moved on he puffs contentedly and beams. ”That’s absolutely made my day.”

    His delight is so contagious that I instantly banish my suspicion that this improbable encounter has been staged by the wily publicists of Miramax, which is releasing ”East Is East” here on Friday. To be recognized, on a nearly deserted street, for a performance in a British art-house picture that has not even opened in the States? Not bloody likely. And yet: Mr. Puri’s portrayal of George Khan — a Pakistani Muslim married to an Englishwoman (Linda Bassett) and trying to raise seven children in a racially mixed neighborhood near Manchester in the 1970’s — is unforgettable, the sort of performance that should stop traffic. (Light pedestrian traffic, at least.) So I want this scene to be real: It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, or a better actor.

    Back in the hotel’s smoke-free lounge, Mr. Puri, clearly stimulated by the heady combination of recognition and nicotine, expands on his approach to the domestic tyrant George Khan, who could easily have been played as a monster. ”I look for subtext,” he says, ”the hidden script within the script. Here’s a working-class man who comes to England and finds himself in circumstances that are too huge for him to handle. It’s 1971. In Parliament there are people shouting about repatriation. This man who is so rigid on the surface has agreed to stay with his wife in a non-Muslim area and send his children to modern schools. Even his daughter, and for a Muslim it’s very tough to send a girl child to a modern school. I knew I had to find a space for this in my portrayal, without departing from the script or changing the scenes. So when he hits a child it should be with pain. The anguish on his face should give a little balance to his monstrousness.”

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    My Son the Fanatic (script by Hanif Kureishi)
    Hanif and Omu Puri
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    Photo via

    (via Interview of Om Puri by Terrence Rafferty.)

    In ”My Son the Fanatic,” written by Hanif Kureishi (”My Beautiful Laundrette”), Mr. Puri plays another working-class immigrant father, who is also a Muslim by birth and who also lives in the industrial north, but whose parenting difficulties are precisely the opposite of Khan’s: Parvez, an easygoing cabdriver who loves jazz, drinks a little too much and has for a best friend and confidante a young prostitute, is alarmed that his son has become a militant Islamic fundamentalist.

    The actor considers Parvez the richest role that he has had in the English-speaking cinema. And besides, he says, ”I can more easily identify with that character. I consider him to be a citizen of the world. You could send him to Italy, you could send him to Spain, you could send him to Japan and the man would adjust. There is no place where there is not a collage of people, so there are frictions everywhere. Unless people have a sense of tolerance towards each other’s beliefs, life is not going to be easy.”

    Mr. Puri describes himself as ”very, very liberal,” which is perhaps why most of his work in his native land has been in ”what we call the art cinema, where the assumption is that cinema or theater is a medium of social commitment,” he says. As he sees it, ”My whole training has set me up for that.”

    Born in a rural area of northern India in 1950, Mr. Puri worked his way through a Punjabi university where he joined a theater group and ”drifted” from his youthful ambition to be a military man like his father. The family did not object. ”My father could see that I was economically responsible and really hard-working, so he never questioned my activities. And I never embarrassed him.” He then spent three years at the National School of Drama in New Delhi, where he received what he describes, with some understatement, as a ”very well-rounded” education in the theater: he played Hamlet in Hindi at age 23 and also performed (in that language) Brecht, Shaw, Ibsen, Indian folk plays and even a Kabuki drama.

    After a couple of years at the Indian Film Institute in Poona, Mr. Puri lit out for the film-industry capital, Bombay. He anticipated having a hard time breaking into the movies, because he did not have ”an obvious personality” — which means, in part, that he was not handsome enough to attract immediate attention. But his theater work got him noticed and once he had begun making movies his versatility kept him in demand. By 1981, he was well known enough to get a call from India’s greatest director, Satyajit Ray, who was casting ”Sadgati” (”Deliverance”), which was to be the Bengali filmmaker’s first production in Hindi; Mr. Puri was his choice to play the lead, an untouchable.

    In a way, the actor says, his career in the West is repeating the pattern of his career in India. He has had small parts in the major studio films ”Gandhi (1982), ”Wolf” (1994) and ”The Ghost and the Darkness” (1996), as well as a substantial supporting role in ”City of Joy” (1992). But his meatiest parts have been in serious, low-budget pictures. That’s fine with him, because he has a good life and a thriving career in Bombay, where he can practice his art in accordance with his bedrock principle: never let yourself be typecast. (His hero is Alec Guinness). ”Om has unusual range for an actor,” Mr. Prasad says. ”He seems equally natural playing an illiterate villager or a powerful intellectual.’

    And equally content. Like Parvez — and unlike George Khan — the man adjusts. ”I am happy to be recognized here in New York,” Mr. Puri says near the end of our conversation. ”But it was only two people, and I will not work just so that next time it will be 10 people.” And then he says something that, coming from an actor, strikes me as astonishing, and that may at least partly account for the extraordinary mixture of intensity and serenity that informs an Om Puri performance. ”I, frankly, don’t dream, because I want to remain happy. When you dream too much and the dream doesn’t come true, you hurt yourself. And I don’t want to hurt myself. So I don’t dream. I take things as they are.”

    John Berger dies at 90 & Tilda’s film on John Berger

    January 2nd, 2017
  • JohnBerger

    John Berger dies aged 90.

  • Bento (Berger) 1abentoberger

    A meditation, in words and images, on the practice of drawing, by the author of Ways of Seeing
    The seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza—also known as Benedict or Bento de Spinoza—spent the most intense years of his short life writing. He also carried with him a sketchbook. After his sudden death, his friends rescued letters, manuscripts, notes—but no drawings.

    For years, without knowing what its pages might hold, John Berger has imagined finding Bento’s sketchbook, wanting to see the drawings alongside his surviving words. When one day a friend gave him a beautiful virgin sketchbook, Berger said, “This is Bento’s!” and he began to draw, taking his inspiration from the philosopher’s vision.

    In this illustrated color book John Berger uses the imaginative space he creates to explore the process of drawing, politics, storytelling and Spinoza’s life and times.

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    Tilda Swinton on making ‘The Seasons in Quincy’, four short films about maverick artist and thinker John Berger.

    For Swinton, making the film was a chance to spend time with someone who had become a firm friend. “I wanted a glimpse of his gimlet eye and a blast of his company,” is how she puts it. “I went to find him in Quincy for a check-in, for a catch-up, for a chinwag.”

  • Previous post – Way of Seeubg – John Bergmer.

    “Never again will a single story be told as though it were the only one.” John Berger.. (Michael Ondaatjie quoted J.B. in his forward of his novel In the Skin of a Lion)

  • John Berger collaborated with Swiss filmmaker Alain Tanner who made inspiring films in the 70’s – (Tanner’s Messidor was remade as Thelma and Louise in Hollywood).

    Revisionsing Europe the films of John Berger and Alain Tanner

    is among the few existing English-language discussions of the films made by British novelist John Berger and Swiss film director Alain Tanner. It brings to light a political cinema that was unsentimental about the possibilities of revolutionary struggle and unsparing in its critique of the European left, and at the same time optimistic about the ability of radicalism and radical art to transform the world

    New Year’s Day Poem by Joseph Brodsky – Happy New Year 2017

    January 2nd, 2017
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  • Joseph Brodsky 1aBrodsky and Baryshnikov

    New Year’s Day poem by Joseph Brodsky

    1 January 1965

    The Wise Men will unlearn your name.
    Above your head no star will flame.
    One weary sound will be the same—
    the hoarse roar of the gale.
    The shadows fall from your tired eyes
    as your lone bedside candle dies,
    for here the calendar breeds nights
    till stores of candles fail.

    What prompts this melancholy key?
    A long familiar melody.
    It sounds again. So let it be.
    Let it sound from this night.
    Let it sound in my hour of death—
    as gratefulness of eyes and lips
    for that which sometimes makes us lift
    our gaze to the far sky.

    You glare in silence at the wall.
    Your stocking gapes: no gifts at all.
    It’s clear that you are now too old
    to trust in good Saint Nick;
    that it’s too late for miracles.
    —But suddenly, lifting your eyes
    to heaven’s light, you realize:
    your life is a sheer gift.

    Film Adaptations of Parades’ End by Ford Madoxx Ford & Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

    December 16th, 2016
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    Benedict Cumberbatch was terrific in Parades’ End. (On Parades’ End Cumberbatch on youtube here)

    Parades’ End is a Novel by Ford Madoxx Ford, script by Tom Stoppard.

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    James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Ford Maddox Ford and John Quinn

    Dec 17 birthday of Ford Madox Ford.

    via Wiki.. Hemingway devoted a chapter of his Parisian memoir A Moveable Feast to an encounter with Ford at a café in Paris during the early 1920s. He describes Ford “as upright as an ambulatory, well clothed, up-ended hogshead.”
    Ford had an affair with Jean Rhys . it ended badly..

    Ford Madoxx Ford

  • J. M. Coetzee1acoetzeebooks
    Coetzee completed a Master’s thesis on Ford Madox Ford

    John Malkovich 1acoetzeedisgrace

    Review of Disgrace by Roger Ebert

    I awaited the closing scenes of “Disgrace” with a special urgency, because the story had gripped me deeply but left me with no idea how it would end. None — and I really cared. This is such a rare movie.

    Fotos of Jane Birkin with Agnes Varda, Rivette & Tavernier + J.Birkin Painting by Julian Schnabel

    December 14th, 2016
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    Jane Birkin with Agnes Varda

    Happy birthay Jane Birkin!

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    Dirk Bogarde, Tavernier and Jane Birkin

  • Julian Schnabel Jane Birkin

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    With Rivette

    Museum Hours, Two Impromptu Performances – 2016

    December 7th, 2016
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    Title: Singer of Tales
    Scultpure installation by Jon Isherwood

  • Woody would meet Dick Cavett at the Met - read Museum Hours by David Ehrenstein.

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    Photos by Fung Lin Hall

  • Museum Hours by Jem Cohen – Art, Life & Mystery (previous post)

    “Un Homme de Fragment”, The Last Laugh of the Melancholy Philosopher Emil Cioran

    December 1st, 2016
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    The Philosopher of Failure: Emil Cioran’s Heights of Despair
    -By Costica Bradatan

    On Two types of societies –

    All societies are bad; but there are degrees, I admit, and if I have chosen this one, it is because I can distinguish among the nuances of trumpery” .

    Emil Cioran (1911–1995) was a Romanian-born French philosopher and author of some two dozen books of savage, unsettling beauty. He is an essayist in the best French tradition, and even though French was not his native tongue, many think him among the finest writers in that language. His writing style is whimsical, unsystematic, fragmentary; he is celebrated as one of the great masters of aphorism. But the “fragment” was for Cioran more than a writing style: it was a vocation and a way of life; he called himself “un homme de fragment.”

  • Cioran

    Emil Cioran (wiki) The Melancholy thinker..

    Regarding God, Cioran has noted that “without Bach, God would be a complete second rate figure” and that “Bach’s music is the only argument proving the creation of the Universe cannot be regarded a complete failure”.

    William H. Gass called Cioran’s work “a philosophical romance on the modern themes of alienation, absurdity, boredom, futility, decay, the tyranny of history, the vulgarities of change, awareness as agony, reason as disease”. (via wki)

    (repost, see other philosophers)

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    10 Delightfully Surly Books for the Relentless Pessimist


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    A further glimpse into Cioran’s peculiar manner of political thinking, in a letter he sent to Mircea Eliade in 1935: “My formula for all things political,” he writes, “is the following: fight wholeheartedly for things in which you do not believe.” Not that such a confession brings much clarity to Cioran’s involvement, but it places his “ravings” within a certain psychological perspective. This split personality characterized the later Cioran, and it makes sense, for a philosopher who sees the world as a failure of grand proportions, to mock the cosmic order (and himself in the process) by pretending that there is some meaning where there is none. You know that everything is pointless, but by behaving as if it wasn’t, you manage to articulate your dissent and undermine the designs of the “evil demiurge.” And you do that with boundless irony and humor, which is rigorously meant to counter the divine farce. He who laughs last laughs hardest.

    Prankster Poet Painter Picabia’s Perpetual Movement – Francis Picabia at MoMa

    November 22nd, 2016
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    Picabia at MoMa..

  • Francis Picabia – 22 January 1879 – November 30, 1953

    Poet, painter, self-described funny guy, idiot, failure, pickpocket, and anti-artist par excellence, Francis Picabia was a defining figure in the Dada movement; indeed, André Breton called Picabia one of the only “true” Dadas.

  • Picabia

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    Daughter Born without Mother

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    L’oeil Cacodylate, 1921

    Google Picabia

    I Am A Beautiful Monster
    Who is with me is against me.

  • Duchamp, Beatrice Wood 1adadabeatricewconeyisland at Coney Island

    “Entr’acte,” the avant-garde film he made in 1924 with René Clair, and his contentious series of figurative paintings from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. Borrowing from art history, soft-core pornography and commercial art, they presage Pop Art, appropriation art and Neo-Expressionism.

  • Perpetual Movement 1adadapi

    “Our Heads Are Round So Our Thoughts Can Change Direction” is a Picabia aphorism consistent with another one: “The only movement is perpetual movement.” The show has a propulsive, joyous energy. Something new, different and often challenging waits in nearly every gallery.

    Dada is like your hopes: nothing like your paradise: nothing like your idols: nothing like your heroes: nothing like your artists: nothing like your religions: nothing

    Previous post

    Boneyard and Butterfly – Nabokov/November 2016

    November 16th, 2016
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    Boneyard, 1990 by Christian Marclay
    hydrostone casts of telephone receivers, in 750 parts
    dimensions variable

    Nabakov -vladimir-nabokov_3

    Here something interesting to read about Nabokov -

    Name these children album..