Slog: News & Arts

RSS icon Comments on An Art Quiz from Michael James Hawk, Beacon Hill


Blah blah blah -- learn how to capitalize correctly, you jackass!

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | October 9, 2008 2:28 PM

Any relation to Daniel Bennett Kienecker, by chance?

The artist is Curtis, obviously, and the interesting thing about the photograph is that its "indigenousness" is posed and modern, a survival, not an authentic prehistorical glimpse, though it pretends to be one. These Indians are modern people in a modern world, Curtis's world. They're on the cusp; they are carrying on their cultural tradition but they are HERE and they are US, or starting to become us, as much as Curtis himself is us. Of course, we're about to kill them.

Posted by Fnarf | October 9, 2008 2:29 PM

The only branch of philosophy worth a damn is ethics. Aesthetics is a complete intellectual dead end. Let me solve everything for you right now: Did someone call it art?

Yes=It's art.
No=It's not art.

Posted by dwight moody | October 9, 2008 2:34 PM

I thought it DBK Sr., too.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | October 9, 2008 2:36 PM

This person should be punished for using the word adjective as an adverb.

Posted by kid icarus | October 9, 2008 2:48 PM

The dood's blog is here >> and has links n shit. It is Curtis.

Posted by radiobelly | October 9, 2008 3:07 PM

He's taking the piss, right?

Posted by blank12357 | October 9, 2008 3:17 PM

The last of innocent humans. Haunting photography replacing oils, to capture humans as ancients. Nice sepia tones.

Posted by Vince | October 9, 2008 3:39 PM

*masturbatory hand gesture*

Posted by Greg | October 9, 2008 3:50 PM

Fnarf, shush for a second.
I doubt the individuals in this image are pretending to be anything more than what they naturally are for your honky viewing pleasure.
I don't think being an "authentic prehistorical glimpse" for your cultural experience was anywhere in their plans.

Yeah, now we're modern peoples in a modern world, but did you see that this image was taken in 1906? During a ceremony? That these individuals were performing on their own, that this white guy happened in on essentially?

We. Are. Not. Here. For. You.
We. Are. Not. Here. To. Entertain. You.

Now stop trying to sound above your culturally influenced expectations of Native peoples and how they are supposed to appear to you, and just accept that this is a very pretty and very well done photograph. Jeez.

Posted by morgi | October 9, 2008 3:54 PM

its the viewer who turns this into art. curtis was an ethnographer type who often posed his participants. this may have happened here, or not.

to fnarf this is art of humans becoming 'us'.

to me this is art of people modeling how their world used to look. a world that they loved and often did not pass down to their children because they thought it lost, or they feared to. its heartbreaking in some ways. they loved their world and sometimes they would not pass on culture because it couldn't be taken care of in the right way, they loved it to much for it to be gotten wrong. in many ways i think they've passed that longing onto us. we just don't know what it is we're longing for.

Posted by Jiberish | October 9, 2008 4:03 PM

Morgi @10: I did not say they were pretending, nor did I say they were trying to entertain anyone. I didn't say anything about entertainment at all. I was attempting, not clearly enough for you, I see, to explain that this is absolutely NOT "lost innocence" or "last innocence". The picture is, in fact, for whites to see; but the dance is not for whites. But it is informed by contact with whites, and is a cultural production of a group that lives, or is starting to live, in a white world.

The point being that Indian culture did not stop and freeze solid like a photograph the day the white men first showed up in the neighborhood. This was, at the time of the picture, a living culture, not an historical one, not an ethnographic one, though the picture is ethnographic. There are several walls there, between Curtis and them, between them and their own past, between us and this picture.

Posted by Fnarf | October 9, 2008 4:26 PM

The image is beautiful. But it would be much better without the conversation.

Posted by yuiop | October 9, 2008 4:50 PM

You're not supposed to answer, it's a like a zen thing.

Posted by jp | October 9, 2008 7:48 PM


Posted by snarf-snarf | October 9, 2008 11:56 PM

Doesn't it boil down to the question of whether art is in the intention or reception? Is something art because the viewer connects with it in an artful way? Or is it art because the artist intended it to communicate something artful? And, are these two things necessarily separate?

@3, you stink. I like talking about this stuff.

Posted by NG | October 10, 2008 8:43 AM

Arguing about whether or not something is art is probably the worst past-time ever.

Posted by NaFun | October 10, 2008 9:25 AM

ehipfot hntges jtcs efcxmgyub gdruteafl zemof mpqlr

Posted by uxdohcvt scpot | October 14, 2008 3:48 AM

Comments Closed

Comments are closed on this post.