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Friday, October 19, 2007

Your Sadness Is Drunk

posted by on October 19 at 11:58 AM

By the Ugandan-born artist Zarina Bhimji.


In other words, the Turner Prize show is up.

In related international-slash-award news:

1. I just finished Simon Schama’s 8-hour BBC documentary series The Power of Art.

Considering his scenery-chewing, his embarrassing pronouncements (of the bombing of the Spanish town, he declared dramatically, “Guernica had gone Cubist”), and the skin-crawling cheesiness of some of his historical recreations (a sweaty Caravaggio thrusting his sword into empty air comes to mind), the following should not be possible: I love Simon Schama. My feelings are not entirely in my control. Check it out for yourself: The series goes Caravaggio, Bernini, Rembrandt, David, Turner, Van Gogh, Picasso, Rothko. (Schama is especially fun in the pre-modern period, so if you must choose, skip Van Gogh, Picasso, and Rothko.) (Note: The Netflix “long wait” is really only a couple of weeks.)

2. Wednesday the 52nd Venice Biennale announced its awards for this year’s show, which is ongoing into November. The only one I want to call out here is the Golden Lion given to an artist under age 40, which went to Palestinian-born Emily Jacir for her installation Material for a Film.

The work was an archive of an assassination—the assassination of Wael Zuaiter in 1972, one in a series of killings by Israeli agents of Palestinian intellectuals, artists, and writers. Included were letters, books, media accounts, and photographs, including the image below, of the copy of The Thousand and One Nights that Zuaiter had on him when he was killed; it was pierced by a bullet.



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Jen, you must share the reasons for your love of Simon Schama with me sometime. I tried to watch an installment of The Power of Art, and within the first ten minutes, he'd made enough painful statements to repel me forever.

Posted by David Schmader | October 19, 2007 12:17 PM

Haven't seen The Power of Art, but I have enjoyed some of Schama's stuff in The New Yorker. I loved his treatise of the French Revolution, Citizens.

Posted by Bauhaus | October 19, 2007 2:34 PM

I enjoy Schama's books, especially The Embarassment of Riches (on the Dutch golden age) and Rembrandt's Eyes, but I had to turn off The Power of Art after about 2 minutes. It reminded me of a glossed-up version of the horrible, cheesy BBC history of art programs my high school art history teacher made us watch when he didn't want to teach.

Posted by Megan | October 19, 2007 7:31 PM

Thats because Jen only likes glossed-up versions of horrible cheesy art!

Posted by dsproperty | October 20, 2007 2:53 AM

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