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Art Wandering, 24 February

Having a slow day is nice sometimes on vacation. Having had a crush of a weekend, with our trip up to Manchester and a fabulous visit and dinner with friends in Hemel Hempstead on return, today we took some time to relax before heading out to the nearby Hayward Gallery and the National Theatre gallery.

Martin Creed at Hayward Gallery, London.  Photo by Linda Nylind. 26/1/2014.

Martin Creed at Hayward Gallery, London.

What’s The Point Of It All?, is a Martin Creed retrospective at Hayward. Creed is a prolific and witty conceptual artist, and had a fine romp with Hayward on this show, much of which was created in-situ for the exhibition. Someone once said “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” and writing about Creed feels like that, too. It was all quite good, and some of it even made sense!

50% Of The Available Atmosphere

50% Of The Available Atmosphere

There are several parts of the exhibit out of doors, or otherwise at a remove from the main galleries.  For example, “50% of the available atmosphere”, above, is a room filled with balloons, into which visitors may wade.  Pawn found this great fun, but X panicked and fled at once.

Models on scaffolding, London 1977

Models on scaffolding, London 1977

In the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Exhibition Space was Photo Noir: The Art of Cornel Lucas. Cornel Lucas was a photographer during the golden years of British theatre and Hollywood film, and was the first photographer to win a BAFTA award for his work. This expansive exhibition features dozens of his finest photographs, beautifully printed in silver-gelatin, and well displayed. We really enjoyed this gem of a free exhibit.

Leslie Caron

Leslie Caron, 1964


Bridgitte Bardot, 1955

Bridgitte Bardot, 1955

Uphill in Wisconsin

The New York Times has a thoughtful editorial about my Senator, Russ Feingold:

Many Democrats are running away from their solid accomplishments of the
last two years, apologizing for their association with President Obama.
Mr. Feingold is one of the very few with the self-confidence to offer a
full-throated defense of his votes.

But the Wisconsin electorate he faces seems to have lost its progressive
streak and become more like other Midwestern states. Several polls have
shown that the number of likely voters who consider themselves
conservative has risen from a quarter of the electorate to nearly half.
The misinformation and simplistic solutions propounded by talk radio and
the Republican Party are having an effect even in a state that
preferred Mr. Obama by 14 points two years ago.

Around the country, the Obama voters who were so energized in 2008 are
rueful and dispirited, taking their cue from the timid races run by so
many fearful Democratic candidates. Mr. Feingold is making the case that
there is a choice to make on Nov. 2 and that there is a need for
thoughtful voices in Washington.

Uphill in Wisconsin |

Here’s hoping that ultimately, reason prevails.


An angry man dismissed his muse
as nothing more than an elaborate ruse
and shoved her out the door
but despite this act which left him alone
he found he still couldn’t write a good poem.

GWOT — What WOT?

Back in March of 2004, Pawn quoted Christopher Patten on the “War On Terror” (the WOT in the Bush administrations Global War On Terror – GWOT – acronym).  Now another British luminary has forcefully joined the fray over this misbegotten fighting label.  David Miliband, the British foreign secretary, starts off with references to the recent attacks in Mumbai, then says, “The idea of a “war on terror” gave the impression of a unified, transnational enemy, embodied in the figure of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.”  Here is a further excerpt:

The more we lump terrorist groups together and draw the battle lines as a simple binary struggle between moderates and extremists, or good and evil, the more we play into the hands of those seeking to unify groups with little in common. Terrorist groups need to be tackled at root, interdicting flows of weapons and finance, exposing the shallowness of their claims, channelling their followers into democratic politics.

The “war on terror” also implied that the correct response was primarily military. But as General Petraeus said to me and others in Iraq, the coalition there could not kill its way out of the problems of insurgency and civil strife.
David Miliband: ‘War on terror’ was wrong | Comment is free | The Guardian

Here’s hoping that our soon to be President, Barack Obama, is quick to quit that locution and instead distill GWOT in the Iraq War and the Afganistan War and treat them separately as they should have been all along.

Bogeyman Is Suicide

Wow – two whole weeks without a post! What kind of slothery is this? No, I have not forsaken thee – merely busy and distracted. Let’s review some recent events…

Been watching a lot of Dexter lately – What a good show!! Two energetic limbs up!

What a rollicking good time we have been having with the primaries and all? Wright or wrong, those newsdroids just can’t help but love their puns. The events of last night, wherein Obama swept NC and was nearly IN was all the buzz. Now it’s kind of a death watch. Last time I wrote about a death watch, however, it was for Mr. McCain, so I’ll just leave that alone.

One of the great things about having a MythTV box is recording shows to watch later. One of the bad things is that you’re watching them after everyone else has. I watched last week’s episode of Law & Order tonight, Bogeyman, and within the first few seconds realized that it was “Ripped From The Headlines” of the unfortunate suicides, last year, of my old online chum Theresa Duncan and her hubby Jeremy Blake. I paused the playback to quickly Google “theresa duncan law & order” and was rewarded with a mixture of hyperbole and spoilers. Thanks for that last. Seems that my online cohort is shocked, simply shocked, that the media offspring of General Electric Corp. would exploit the seemingly benign (!) suicides of a couple of conspiracy minded bohemian artists for a good story. Here’s an example of the outrage:

Law and Order has violated the memory of Theresa Duncan and slandered Jeremy…

Which seems like the perfect follow-up to this prophetic post from August 20 of last year:

Sounds like a potential episode for Law & Order.

Oh well –
what can we do… No sense crying over spent artists…

Avian Fratricide

European Starling

On the way to work this morning, saw a small flock of starlings playing in a cyclone fence. One bird, near the top, shat upon one near the bottom. The shat upon bird squocked in protest. Avian fratricide!