Et pourtant ils créent ! (Syrie : la foi dans l’art)
And yet they create! (Syria faith in the art)
The Institute of Islamic Cultures hosts the works of Syrian contemporary visual practices, expressions and varied writings that have in common the subsequent outbreak of the Syrian revolution. While some artists had to stop creating, others have welcomed into their works so often directly, sometimes obliquely, the violence in their country. Some even show their stubborn refusal to see the horizon of their creation reduced to war again, again and again.
I could’ve been somebody, you know? my mother says and sighs. She has lived in this city her whole life. She can speak two languages. She can sing an opera. She knows how to fix a TV. But she doesn’t know which subway train to take to get downtown. I hold her hand very tight while we wait for the right train to arrive.
She used to draw when she had time. Now she draws with a needle and thread, little knotted rosebuds, tulips made of silk thread. Someday she would like to go to the ballet. Someday she would like to see a play. She borrows opera records from the public library and sings with velvety lungs powerful as morning glories.
Today while cooking oatmeal she is Madame Butterfly until she sighs and points the wooden spoon at me. I could’ve been somebody, you know? Esperanza, you go to school. Study hard. That Madame Butterfly was a fool. She stirs the oatmeal. Look at my comadres. She means Izaura whose husband left and Yolanda whose husband is dead. Got to take care all your own, she says shaking her head.
Then out of nowhere:
Shame is a bad thing, you know. It keeps you down. You want to know why I quit school? Because I didn’t have nice clothes. No clothes, but I had brains.
Yup, she says disgusted, stirring again. I was a smart cookie then.
From ‘The House on Mango Street’ by Sandra Cisneros
Contemporary Art Week!
The series explores a reoccurring gilt-bronze, “Moorish” aesthetic invention oft evidenced in European Medieval and Renaissance art. The arena in which this aesthetic is played in the series removes the ever-present narrative of servitude and alienation (persistent in European depictions) to expand upon how “Black and Gold” as a palette can create a variety of narratives. The storytelling throughout "Of Another Kind" highlights how removing markers in portrayals (based solely on utility) can transform the very notion of what an aesthetic can become.
the moors were predominantly semitic berbers…in before someone says berbers arent semitic [arabs and berbers have the same phylogenical ancestor, Carthage is considered a semitic civilisation etc,]. however they were mixed civilisation with black peoples dont get me wrong. bt to portary a moorish aesthetic as exclusively black is dumb af.
Are you serious? What is it about this photoset that set THIS off???? It’s too early in the morning for this, and moreover, did you not notice that some of the people portrayed here might not even be Black??? They’re all painted using the same black and gold palette to explore a variety of visual narratives.
Anyways…. if anyone’s wondering 1. what kind of aesthetic this artist is talking about, and 2. how little this comment has to do with this photoset, the palette being explored is evident in these works featuring Saint Benedict of Palermo:
And honestly considering my inbox from between yesterday and today, I think I’m just going to delete it this week. What on EARTH is going on.
What is interesting, is that the Frida Kahlo venerated by American feminists is a very different Frida Kahlo to the one people learn about in Mexico, in the Chicano community. In her country, she is recognized as an important artist and a key figure in revolutionary politics of early 20th century Mexico. Her communist affiliations are made very clear. Her relationship with Trotsky is underscored. All her political activities with Diego Rivera are constantly emphasized. The connection between her art and her politics is always made. When Chicana artists became interested in Frida Kahlo in the ‘70s and started organizing homages, they made the connection between her artistic project and theirs because they too were searching for an aesthetic compliment to a political view that was radical and emancipatory. But when the Euro-American feminists latch onto Frida Kahlo in the early ‘80s and when the American mainstream caught on to her, she was transformed into a figure of suffering. I am very critical of that form of appropriation.
Coco Fusco on her Amerindians piece from 1992 with Guillermo Gómez-Peña (via tofunkey)