December 20, 2010

An Innocent Sense of Self

OLD MOLE, 1985
Red cedar, 61 x 61, 32 in.
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Excerpt from Martin Puryear by Neal Benezra, first published 1991 by The Art Institute of Chicago and Thames and Hudson:

"Puryear understands the disillusion that has bred a current wave of critical attitudes toward modern art and contemporary culture, yet he does not consider an often nostalgic reinterpretation of past styles, nor a cynical analysis of contemporary cultural forms, to be viable approaches to making art. Although Puryear is himself critical of much in contemporary society, he believes that this only underscores the need for an art that is original and undogmatic. That is, while Puryear recognizes the postmodernist loss of faith, this only enlarges his faith in himself and his art as a way of transcending traditions of all sorts. Rather than pessimism, Puryear exudes an enthusiasm for life, experience, and the next sculpture in the studio. In conversation, he likens his belief in art to that of Jof, the simple juggler in the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's film The Seventh Seal. While the knight struggles valiantly to confound death and the devil in a futile game of chess, Jof remains possessed of thoughts and visions, of an innocent sense of self, and of a future beyond."   

Martin Puryear in his studio, Chicago, 1987

Red cedar and aluminum paint
97 x 58 x 46 in.
Dallas Museum of Art

December 6, 2010

Emancipate Yourselves From Mental Slavery

Western countries profess freedom and pass "moral" judgment daily on other nations and governments, but they also have much to answer for. The powers that be want to stay in total power and they're going hard after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (one can obviously reason for the release of classified U.S. diplomatic cables). As reported by Ravi Somaiya in an article titled Assange to Meet with British Police, Lawyer Says in today's New York Times:

"Mr. Assange is facing extradition to Sweden, prompted by Swedish prosecutors seeking information on allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion made by two women in Stockholm this summer.

According to accounts the women gave the police and friends, they each had consensual sexual encounters with Mr. Assange that became nonconsensual. One woman said that Mr. Assange had ignored her appeals to stop after a condom broke. The other woman said that she and Mr. Assange had begun a sexual encounter using a condom, but that Mr. Assange did not comply with her appeals to stop when it was no longer in use. Mr. Assange has denied any wrongdoing and has questioned the veracity of those accounts."

. . . . . . . . 

Follow this link to a blog post by Dave Lindorff titled Support WikiLeaks and Julian Assange!  Mr. Lindorff writes:

"WikiLeaks is under concerted attack from the US government. Also under attack by the US government is the whole idea of freedom of thought and of information."

. . . . . . . .  

Excerpt from Redemption Song written by Bob Marley:

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fulfill the book.

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have 
Redemption songs

. . . . . . . . 

Follow this link to an article by the CNN Wire Staff titled Assange responds to readers online. In Julian Assange's words:

"The west has fiscalised its basic power relationships through a web of contracts, loans, shareholdings, bank holdings and so on. In such an environment it is easy for speech to be "free" because a change in political will rarely leads to any change in these basic instruments. Western speech, as something that rarely has an effect on power, is, like badgers and birds, free. In states like China, there is pervasive censorship, because speech still has power and power is scared of it. We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction. The attacks against us by the US point to a great hope, speech powerful enough to break the fiscal blockage." 

. . . . . . . . 

Follow this link to an article by Ravi Somaiya titled Hundreds of WikiLeaks Mirror Sites Appear published in the December 5, 2010 edition of the New York Times. The author notes:

"The reason is amazingly simple," Mr. Housh (Gregg Housh) said of the campaign. "We all believe that information should be free, and the Internet should be free."