Re: Yeah, Weird

1

This is a possibility, and you could put your face on everyone here.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:03 PM
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You could photoshop your head onto Michael Vick's dogs' bodies.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:03 PM
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Google image search for "Iraq" should yield an ample supply, if you've got the stomach.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:05 PM
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Do you need to be the victim in all of them, or can you be the perp? I'm thinking of blue glove thumbs up at Abu Ghraib.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:07 PM
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s/weird/distasteful/


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:08 PM
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Foolishmortal, the last time I heard about an ego wall, a superslick TV reporter was telling me about having a larger than lifesize picture of himself in the background of Nelson Mandela's release from prison as the wallpaper on one side of his loft.

I think I like that better than your project, though.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:09 PM
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The hooded guy would be a good one.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:11 PM
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8

I was sort of hoping that this was a trolling request, rather than a real one.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:11 PM
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9

This guy was merely shot and dying, but it's certainly a famous photo.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:12 PM
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Some horrifying visual images: Matthew Brady photographs of Civil War dead, emaciated [insert group of choice] in a concentration camp, similar for POW camps (straight talk), Ida Wells-era lynching photos, the bodies of those killed, but not incinerated, by the bombs at Hiroshima or Nagasaki, Thich Quang Duc on fire (sorry Vietnam) again, Civil Rights activists being attacked by dogs (go Mike Vick!). Okay, getting depressed how. Have fun with your project.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:14 PM
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11

Take your pick.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:16 PM
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Don't neglect a little dust bowl action.

Why stop at photographs, though? No ego wall's complete without photoshopping your face to the body of Mantegna's Christ, say.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:17 PM
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Speaking of the photo in 9, has everyone seen this?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:17 PM
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8: I'm just getting a mental image of someone displaying such an ego wall to company. All the scenarios I can think of end so badly that I just know I want to make this vision a reality. But it's messed up.

Maybe we could define "cruelty and injustice" a little more broadly. Would being forced to watch Ashcroft the crooner qualify?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:20 PM
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Oh, oh, I've got one! There are all those archives from the Khmer Rouge! And the pictures from the various military prisons in Argentina! Or jeez, we've missed out on the most deliciously transgressive idea of all--photoshop yourself into a lynching--there are plenty of pictures of those. After all, if no image is sacred, why not push things to the extreme and see what happens? Intensify, as I believe Deleuze said somewhere.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:22 PM
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16

Or from 11, Photoshopping yourself onto Anne Frank would be almost sort of witty.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:22 PM
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17

The fuck?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:23 PM
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18

I was also thinking that a lynching would be the extreme. Hey, in for a penny, in for a pound. You can't photoshop your face on to some guy getting a bullet in the head and then say you don't want to go too far.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:25 PM
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19

The Marine Wedding portrait, to mix it up a little.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:28 PM
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20

Either version of this famous photo?


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:28 PM
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21

Haven't you people ever read Three Versions of Judas?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:32 PM
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I'd say just photoshop your face onto the bodies of some of the real Jews of our time -- white Christian males. Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and of course Jonah. Every day of their lives these guys go through a hell we couldn't even imagine.

Jonah doesn't need a last name any more, does he? He's like Twiggy and Kobe and Pele and Prince and Elvis and so on, right?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:32 PM
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20: Well if you are going to Ruby/Oswald, maybe this one as well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:34 PM
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24

Call me a pussy if you must, but I will not do lynching. What I'm really looking for is not images of misery or injustice, but images emblematic thereof. Thus, to my baltic grandmother, a photoshopping of Yalta would work. To the generic American, the imposition of my face over Lyndie England's would do the same.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:36 PM
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Che Guevara.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:36 PM
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26

Excuse me. "Three Versions of Judas".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:36 PM
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Franklin, I'd also suggest photoshopping your face on the bodies of some of the classic nude models instead. You could show originality and individuality by your choice of models and poses.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:37 PM
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28

Hey, go for it. How about this one and this one. It'll totally be cool and ironic and shit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:37 PM
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29

24: Why won't you do lynching?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:38 PM
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30

This one from some Boston race riot is (in)famous and rather fucked-up.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:39 PM
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31

I don't understand why lynching is disqualified but graphic violence from 'Nam makes the cut. If you want to stay away from graphic violence altogether that would make sense... might even make it a more interesting project.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:39 PM
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32

DS: racist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:40 PM
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33

Yeah, I'm not sure after #24 that I understand what FM is going for here.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:41 PM
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32: I just want My People represented, is all.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:41 PM
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35

Should I just go ahead and google "ego wall"? Because if someone described this project to me I think I'd just back away slowly.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:42 PM
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I understand the reluctance to do lynching; it's a lot more emotionally loaded for Americans than anything else. I thought of it, found a picture, and then didn't say anything until a couple of other people brought it up. Of course, this is just a long way of saying that foolish is a pussy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:43 PM
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I'm familiar with a Wall of Shame, in which you and your housemates post all your rejections and failed tests and scolding letters from your parents. This is an unfamiliar variant, though.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:44 PM
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38

lynching, bad. napalmed children, teh funny. ok.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:44 PM
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39

It seems to me that the reluctance to do lynching might be a sign that appropriating images of other people's incredible suffering to make some kind of Statement about Oneself is kind of tacky, and that one might want to rethink the project altogether.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:45 PM
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40

Ego wall: you know, your degrees, pictures of you shaking hands with various personages, etc.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:45 PM
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41

lynching, bad. napalmed children, teh funny. ok.

This stuff should be on the citizenship test.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:46 PM
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24: And a picture of a lynching isn't emblematic of injustice? I mean, there are several which are actually famous--perhaps not in certain circles, I admit--but famous enough to be emblem-ish.

This must be some kind of meta---people are no doubt intended to walk into your apartment and think "my god, images of suffering are just manipulable kitsch to us postmoderns; perhaps I'll go kill myself now". I'm not sure whether I mean to be unpleasant or not, foolish, but if I saw something like this my immediate reading would be "here is someone who is so anxious to be hip that he's done the most X-treme thing he can so that everyone will be so anxious not to be shocked that they won't criticize". Now, that may not be what you're aiming for, and I'm sure I'm not your intended audience, but, er, well.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:46 PM
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43

Ignore the judgmental ones, foolish, we're here for you.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:46 PM
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44

Ego wall: you know, your degrees, pictures of you shaking hands with various personages, etc.

Oh, OK. The sort of thing that would appeal to a parvenu.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:47 PM
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45

29: Two reasons: a) Because the extant photographs of lynchings are celebrations rather than straight recordings, and I don't want to further this goal by reproducing them. b)I am a coward. All the lynching photos are of the lynched, and without the lynchers present I would feel weird fucking with them. I know this clashes with my earlier ethos, but I won't do it (I don't have the balls).


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:48 PM
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46

I have pretty intense emotions about napalmed children. I'm not trying to be sanctimonious, here. Like, clicking through these links is making me ill and angry. Some people are really sensitive to violence, in a visceral way, and these things never become merely symbolic. I wouldn't be able to think about whatever your point was, FM; I'd just feel sick. Not judgmental, but sick.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:48 PM
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47

Pace 42, if I saw something like this my immediate reaction would be "I bet he reads Soldier of Fortune." But ours is not to reason why.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:49 PM
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44 - That's funny, because while I do know people with Walls of Shame, I don't know anyone with a sincere ego wall.

Foolish mortal, I have to confess that the wall would make me cringe, then turn very concerned eyes on you and hopefully say nothing because I have manners.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:49 PM
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49

The FUCK?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:50 PM
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50

(That said, I got physically ill at the Andy Warhol Museum in the room with all the pictures of car accidents, so I'm not your target audience, either.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:50 PM
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All the lynching photos are of the lynched, and without the lynchers present I would feel weird fucking with them.

There are actually photos of lynchings with the lynchers in them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:52 PM
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My reaction would be, oh yes, we are all the victims here. Christ, what an asshole.

Sorry, FM, I like you and all, but Cala's right.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:52 PM
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53

Maybe he's trying to ensure that no one ever comes over to his place. To preserve his privacy or something.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:53 PM
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54

It is pretty cockeyed to be doing this at all but then also have some random line you're not going to cross. The whole thing sounds like asshattery of a quite high order, really.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:53 PM
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45: I don't want to further this goal by reproducing them.

Abu Ghraib photos would be out then, too, since most of those were celebrations.

Come to think of it, relatively few such images would be straight recordings. The real purpose of lynching photos was terrorism. So, too, with filmed executions in 'Nam.

(My honest sympathies are with 39 and 46. But I dislike the whole idea enough to get some Schadenfreude from the thought of somebody actually carrying it out.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:54 PM
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Perhaps you could expand on that, Cala?

I mean, I'll come right out and say it: I think this is an appalling idea. I cannot imagine saying to my old Vietnamese buddy from teaching, "Oh, hey, come to this party at foolish's place, he's got this really awesome art that he does that totally interrogates the very idea of political images". And I know that's soft, and carries with it all kinds of outmoded ideas about identity, but that's just how I feel.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:55 PM
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56: And I know that's soft, and carries with it all kinds of outmoded ideas about identity

Unnecessary self-deprecation. Understanding how images signify socially (as in this case, "douchebag who thinks playing with images of graphic death is fun") is neither soft nor outmoded.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:57 PM
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b)I am a coward. All the lynching photos are of the lynched, and without the lynchers present I would feel weird fucking with them.

A lot of those images in that show of lynching postcards that toured museums about five years ago had the triumphant lynchers standing around and smiling.

Also, this idea is insane and idiotic.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 9:58 PM
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This is so very, very appalling. It would make a good character note in a novel, though. I'm surprised there's no minor character in a Don DeLillo novel with the exact same wall.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:00 PM
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60

I knew it was a trolling comment.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:01 PM
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61

God, artists you people ain't. Sure, it sounds appalling, but we don't really know what he's after (and I'm not sure he's required to know), and I don't think you'd know exactly how you'd feel until you saw this up in its totality. I say do it, fm, and if, when it's up, it appalls you and people whose opinion you trust, take it down. But you should include the lynching; don't make it easy on yourself.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:01 PM
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Huh, looks like it is possible to shock the Unfoggedtariat.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:01 PM
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63

The Bosch/martyr-paintings idea, however, is still funny, and (I contend) far more interesting.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:02 PM
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But then, I'm not Catholic, so what do I know?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:02 PM
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65

God, artists you people ain't.

Mullah, please.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:03 PM
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I'll condone the Bosch/martyer-paintings idea.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:04 PM
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I'm with Ogged. This is a great idea.

Suffering in Catalina.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:04 PM
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That reminds me, there are some pictures of homosexuals being hung in Iran that you could include.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:04 PM
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69

Just find a photo of someone having sex with w-lfs-n. That's fucking gotta be traumatic. For both.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:06 PM
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70

God, artists you people ain't.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:06 PM
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Foolish, I suggest a slight de-literalisation might help your project. I've enjoyed making giant, horrible oil paintings to express my angst; at one time I had a ghastly blue and brown abstract above my bed that spoke to my sorrow and soulfulness, for example. Kandinsky opines that yellow is the cruelest color (and green the color of bourgeois self-satisfaction(?)). Also, painting is fun!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:06 PM
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Oh, we aren't going to say that everything is okay if only it's art, are we? And with it the corollary that anything less than this position is an unacceptable compromise with Stalinism? If art can be political, it can also have dumb or bad politics. If you're arguing that these images need not be construed as political, well, I suspect that there's some serious paradigm-incompatibility standing between us.

Most of those images we're talking about are about race (and colonialism of one kind or another), and I'm really uneasy about how readily American/middle class/usually-white-ish art about race tips over into "it's all about me!"


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:08 PM
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The link in 70 crashes my browser very wittily.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:10 PM
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I'm pretty serious about the artist comment. I mean, I also find this appalling, but I'm a moralizer, like the rest of you. High self-monitors like us, academics and corporate types, are always basically painting inside the lines and if someone wants to do something that seems batshit but is more or less victimless (it's in his house, after all), I say go for it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:10 PM
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Don't listen to them, fm. It is a brilliant idea.

If you need a bunch of rape/torture/murder photos, email me. You can use the negatives for enlarging as long as you return them, and I am trusting you to cover the faces of the victims.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:11 PM
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76

61: The feminists are crazy, but this project is worth reserving judgment on?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:11 PM
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77

Frowner, what's worse is that now I think it's pretty common for white bourgeois types to do projects ostensibly mocking white people's tendency to co-opt racist suffering for their own ends, as if taking it one more level meta-ward makes it somehow less troubling. I find this tendency even more troubling, but it's everywhere and there's nothing I can do about it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:12 PM
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Anything I say beyond, "the fuck?" is going to be needlessly rude. Count me as somewhere beyond appalled and somewhere into "neighbors report he was a quiet young man who kept to himself. 'We din't expect this atall,' said Mrs. Simsbury, 56' "


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:12 PM
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79

You could photoshop your face onto this chicken.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:12 PM
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The obvious follow-up project is to dig out news photos of congressional floor debates over NEA funding or other culture wars stuff, and photoshop your head onto senators holding up pictures of Mapplethorpe or Serrano photographs, except with your own earlier work photoshopped in over those works.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:12 PM
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I'm really uneasy about how readily American/middle class/usually-white-ish art about race tips over into "it's all about me!"

It's entirely possible that this is part of the point. Nonetheless.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:13 PM
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82

Or maybe you should photoshop your mom's head onto the senators heads.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:15 PM
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79: Jesus, who are those commenters? I try to forget those people exist.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:15 PM
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79: or on to this crustacean.

This really is a monumentally stupid idea, fm.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:16 PM
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Or you could just cut out the middleman and jerk off to the violent images. Or the police blotter. That would be super-duper ironic!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:16 PM
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79: The comments (and headline) on that link are just. Really. Appalling. I feel ashamed for having clicked through and read them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:17 PM
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77: Maybe out east it's more common. I don't think we've reached that level of sophistication here in flyover country.

Down amongst the dirty hippies there is much discussion about race and politics, and the only conclusion I've been able to come to is that dealing with race and racism in American just can't be done effectively if it's done only at the level of art/image/writing. So much of what white dirty hippies do on this matter is about avoiding anything scarier or more confusing than producing art or a journal article.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:17 PM
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Remember the rule: never read comments anywhere else.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:19 PM
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Remember the rule: never read comments anywhere else.

Those people are artists, Ogged.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:20 PM
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Yeah, I'm sure they mean their idiocy ironically and its interrogating, like, the human experience.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:21 PM
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Hmm. I know of an artist who was using the hooded man at Abu Ghraib in prints, which I don't like very much at all, but he sort of realized that & started doing respectful portraits of victims later on, with their permission. I've thought of doing stuff on this, too, though in an abstract mixed media sort of way certainly not involving photographs, & then just decided against it. I also like Steve Mumford's drawings from Iraq. There is no art that you can't accuse of being "all about me," at some level, & it's hard to evaluate whether your own stuff is valuable. And I'm not going to say people shouldn't make art depicting awful things, because, Guernica, etc. But I would certainly be very wary of being exploitative, transgressive-for-its-own-sake, etc. & if you're calling it an "ego wall"--frankly this sounds like something I'd hate.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:21 PM
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They're totally painting outside the lines.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:22 PM
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I knew someone would say that. Nevertheless, if someone wants to try something crazy in his own house, I think it's worthwhile. My guess is that he won't be able to stand it, but it's worth doing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:22 PM
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Why do you think it's worthwhile, ogged?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:24 PM
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Personal growth project, sure, why not.

But there are much cooler ways to re-appropriate the tools/imagery of death.

What's the Bosch/martyrs thing that people keep mentioning?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:25 PM
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Haven't you people ever read "Three Versions of Judas"?

OK Ben. I bit. I have read it now, but other than the part where Runeberg has God photoshop his face onto Judas, a connection to the post and thread elude me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:26 PM
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Bosch was a painter, DS.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:26 PM
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I don't think it's particularly crazy or an awful idea, but I do think that it wouldn't be particularly good or interesting as art, as a political statement, or anything else.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:26 PM
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99

Ogged should send along a photo of himself at his pool, wearing his rashguard and snorkel.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:26 PM
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Because I think it will be very, very uncomfortable to look at, which is a reaction that's (not for all of us, apparently) missing from looking at those pictures now and in isolation, and because I think we can't predict what fm will think when he sees his own face on all those pictures, and I'm curious about what he'll feel.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:27 PM
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100 to 94.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:27 PM
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102

You know, I think I'm changing my mind. Here's a gallery of a similar project, and it seems quite meaningful and responsible to me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:29 PM
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97: Not a greengrocer? Are you sure?

I'm actually going to have to dig through other threads to find the answer, aren't I.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:29 PM
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104

Philip II had "The Garden of Earthly Delights" mounted above his bed at El Escorial. Speaking of weird dudes and Bosch.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:29 PM
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100: That reaction is missing from looking at those pictures now and in isolation? What do you base this statement on? I'm pretty sure they're iconic and important because that's not true.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:30 PM
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102: Sometimes the fashion world really Makes Me Think.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:31 PM
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107

Here, DS.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:31 PM
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108

Also, the little girl in the Vietnam photo is still alive. For god's sake, if you're going to do this, do it with photos of people who are, in fact, dead already. Preferably without survivors.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:32 PM
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102: you have got to be fucking kidding me.

Though, it's odd that that a fashion show makes more surprised & indignant than Mukasey's making it official today about the Nuremberg Defense working a-okay for the U.S. executive.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:32 PM
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Jeebus. It sounds weird and creepy and wrong to me, foolish, but you should do it. Who the fuck knows where it ends up? Maybe it's gross and entirely without redeeming value. That, of course, would be a first as far artistic experiments go. And, anyway, such failures never lead anywhere interesting, or to better realized projects.

If you're pretty sure you're not being a dick, do it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:33 PM
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107: Thanks. I guess I was envisioning something more involved.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:33 PM
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111: Maybe this?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:34 PM
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100: I am in agreement with ogged. I did find the idea unsettling, especially when I first started looking through candidates per my comment in the original thread, but I don't think it should be deprecated out of hand. And besides, it will add that extra little oomph to "game night".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:36 PM
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Anyway, back to the spirit of helpfulness: I highly recommend these PhotoShop tutorials by "Donny". Later.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:37 PM
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It just occurred to me that it would be totally rad to put my own face as every face in Breugel's Peasant Wedding. I'd be all, "Ooh, look, pie!" and "I want some pie too!" and "Here comes pie!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:37 PM
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112: That is indeed more involved!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:37 PM
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Pie!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:38 PM
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I'd never wandered around the site where w-lfs-n's crabfucking pictures came from, but now that have I'd like to announce that this penis pump demonstration video is just about the funniest thing ever.

"It does feel fuckin' hot, man. But, uh, I think the real difference with the way it feels is, it feels different in my hand because it's bigger and my hand only knows one size. So now that it's pumped up to a larger size, it really feels different in my hand. At the same time, my dick feels bigger with my hand on it. It really feels fucking hot, fucking thick. It's like somebody else's dick. But I know it's mine."

Not even a little bit safe for work, of course.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:42 PM
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This room where I have spent much time for 17 years has one wall of books, and three walls, oh 8 x 12 floor to ceiling absolutely blank. I repaint them some off-white every couple years.

I call them my "ego walls"

Goodnight


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:43 PM
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118: "I've got some buddies; we all get together and pump together."

Come again?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:47 PM
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Come again?

I'm sure they've got that base covered.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:49 PM
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118: TWO HOURS? And he does not look like a healthy man for all that pumping.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:50 PM
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There's just so much great dialogue (technically monologue, I guess) through the whole clip, I had trouble only quoting one part.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:51 PM
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Scott Taylor is a comedic genius.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:51 PM
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"There's an old saying about the pump: it'll stretch a mile but it won't rip an inch."

I wonder how old that saying is.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:53 PM
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Dude, is he not totally putting one over on the people watching? He literally puts his tongue in his cheek when he says he gets together with friends to pump.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:55 PM
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What's awesome about this video is how difficult it is for the man to even get a half erection. That plus the continual stroking of *the pump*. Oh yeah, baby, I believe you that this is a totally hot activity.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:55 PM
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"It makes me so fuckin' horny I gotta put this pump back on."

This is where he reveals what the pump is all about: facilitating more pumping.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:58 PM
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126: That's the "ooh, baby, so hot" tongue-in-cheek, not the "I'm totally bullshitting you, ha ha" tongue-in-cheek.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:58 PM
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This is where he reveals what the pump is all about: facilitating more pumping.

A tragic cycle of dependency.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 10:59 PM
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"It helps you overcome pain in other aspects of your life."

Total sales pitch. The downside comes after the benefit and is given a silver lining. Dude's selling pumps, not faking.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:01 PM
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11 minutes in and he's totally about to blow himself.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:01 PM
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And at the end, the money line: "Accepting that is part of it, part of accepting the whole 'pump scene,' is accepting part of the pain, and it helps you overcome pain in other aspects of your life."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:02 PM
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Pwned by 131.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:02 PM
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It was a good line, AWB, and worth repeating.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:02 PM
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"Girlfriend, boyfriend, buddy, wife." Come on.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:04 PM
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I am entertained by the possibility of a "pump scene," which I presume is basically Scott Taylor surrounded by a bunch of embarrassed awkward dudes all wearing leather newsboy caps.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:04 PM
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all wearing leather newsboy caps

AND NOTHING ELSE


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:05 PM
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That was a really strange video.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:06 PM
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So how'd the hiatus go?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:08 PM
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Wikipedia.

Scott Taylor ... is a porn star mainly appearing in homosexual pornographic films. One of his most "Famous" videos is the porno titled My Masters, in which he takes his finger and inserts it into his urethra while dirty talking those watching, giving a vivid description of his scrotum, penis and the act he is performing.

...

Perhaps the most well known quote from My Masters is "Did you see that? Did you see what I just did? I just stuck my little finger in my fucking dickhole, man. Feels fuckin' fantastic!".


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:08 PM
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"Slimy and sleazy and greasy and slick," oh my!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:09 PM
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Indecent exposure conviction of judge who used penis pump under his bench upheld.

"sufficient chain of custody was established for admission of a penis pump" the judge had been accused of using behind the bench.
He said the pump was severely damaged and should not have been allowed to be demonstrated in court "as if it did work."

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:09 PM
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141: I was just about to post that wiki entry, with a comment that, yeah, he's a salesman. Selling sex and sex toys. His acting is schlocky, maybe, but he means it. I don't think it's intended as a joke.

[/intentional fallacy, yadda yadda]


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:10 PM
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a porn star mainly appearing in homosexual pornographic films

And yet: What do you do in your spare time? "Family time. I'm married with kids. I'll put in long days at the office five days a week, but on the weekend, it is time to go to the toy store, construction site, the park..."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:11 PM
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Mikael Åkerfeldt, on introducing one of the members of Opeth: "I think we formed the band in a sauna ... drunk on beer ... and naked".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:12 PM
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On the new drummer: "he's kind of pretty and looks like Legolas".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:13 PM
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His acting is schlocky, maybe, but he means it.

You might be right; seems to be his schtick.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:15 PM
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What this thread really needs is Linda Hirshman's thoughts on Clinton vs. Obama.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:19 PM
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I'd love to hear the dirty talk he does with his wife.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:19 PM
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If foolishmortal's original "ego wall" idea doesn't work out, maybe he could try projecting multiple videos of himself using a penis pump.

It's art grandma! It's art. Now calm down and eat your turkey.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:24 PM
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149: she is just a dumb lady.

So by this logic, Obama is going to lose NYC to McCain, & Hillary's going to lose Chicago? the hell?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:28 PM
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Sorry, that was naughty of me. Didn't mean to annoy you, Katherine.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:30 PM
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That was a really strange video.

Here are some more really strange videos. No penises, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 11:35 PM
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I commissioned a text-based piece of wall art that suggests I sit around, masturbate and cry. Pics if ya email me.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:01 AM
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Ah, the unfogged experience in microcosm: I read a post, feel compelled to say something, find that Cala has already said it, and then I get to read tens of comments about a penis pump.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:29 AM
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It's late, but...

I didn't feel the slightest bit uncomfortable reading about the idea here. I felt a mixture of annoyance and boredom. It's bad politics and overwhelmingly likely to be bad art to boot. The notion of being squeamish about it along the way is just icing on the cadenza, or something.

Above all, it's a cheap form of escape. C.S. Lewis writes well on the subject in "On the Dangers of National Repentance". Briefly, it's an abuse of "we". We in the sense of people posting to this thread have not, so nearly as I know, been out shooting people in other lands, lynching blacks or gays back home, or any of that. Putting oneself into such scenes is a kind of self-glorification. "Look at me, so good-hearted as to feel some involvement." But this is a distraction from what we are actually doing (or failing to do) each day in our real lives: the charities not undertaken, the pointless cruelties perpetrated, the support not given to people fighting this or that good fight and the support given to people doing bad things with the resources entrusted to them. What we do in the voting booth, for instance, is very seldom as exciting as what other people do in battle, but we are present at the vote and not present at the gunfight, and our guilt or innocence is determined by what we do, not what others do.

Might the effort spent looking for just the right aesthetic in war atrocity photos have done some good, if used another way? Likely...just as the effort spent ranting about it in this comment box might well have. But in any case, trying to expropriate other people's guilt doesn't do anything to make you more innocent of your own failings.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:45 AM
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Of course, the face of greatest evil is very often an average person doing nothing remarkable at all, while the evil happens somewhere out of their sight. It's revolution not happening, shit not burning down. How suitable this is for a monument of self-pity is, alas, left as an exercise for the reader, as the proof is too long to fit in this comment box.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:50 AM
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Also, this idea is insane and idiotic.

Yes. Unfogged, meet Nathan Barley. Nathan Barley, meet Unfogged.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 4:23 AM
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Family time.

I believe he found his vocation early in life, hanging out with his landlord.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 4:50 AM
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It seems to me that the reluctance to do lynching might be a sign that appropriating images of other people's incredible suffering to make some kind of Statement about Oneself is kind of tacky, and that one might want to rethink the project altogether.

I have never been more firmly in agreement with BitchPhD.

I might have substituted several other adjectives for "tacky", but that one does all the work that needs to be done.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 5:32 AM
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158: the face of greatest evil is very often an average person doing nothing remarkable at all,

Yeah, are there any pictures of Eichmann up late at night, swigging ersatz coffee, with a big pile of papers threatening to topple out of his "In" box?

I dunno if I'm appalled by this, but doesn't the whole idea, especially in our internet age of casual horrors, seem just a little bit dreary?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 5:49 AM
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Doing this sort of thing to see how one feels, i.e. more in touch with victimization or with one's complicity, blah blah, is faintly compelling. But having it up as a wall that presumably you want other people to see or making a lot of conversation about it is gross and exploitative and crass.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 6:00 AM
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And I'm not going to say people shouldn't make art depicting awful things, because, Guernica, etc.

A fantastic example of agit-prop using contemporary images of torture and injustice. The photos alone are startling; I can't imagine my reaction upon encountering one IRL.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 6:12 AM
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So what about the people who took those photographs in the first place, and sold them for money? Witnesses to suffering or parasitic exploiters of same? How about Leon Golub? Or this? Is FM's project less okay than for Caravaggio to paint himself as John the Baptist (the head of John the Baptist, that is) in a believing time?

And I'm not saying FM = Golub or Caravaggio, but the degree of tastelessness is no more extreme. It depends what he does with it.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 6:57 AM
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165: Yeah, I must admit I'm more than a little surprised at all the tender sensibilities here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 6:59 AM
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mcmc raises excellent questions in 165. There is a fine line between making sure that the world knows what terrible events are happening and the glee that the media gets when it learns of huge events of death and destruction.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 6:59 AM
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OK how about another compromise: pasting FM's face onto the faces of the great mass murderers of history. A mix of famous recent amateur murderers (Gacy, Dahmer, Manson) and the big political pros like Stalin, Hitler, Vlad Dracula, etc. No problem with exploitation, adequate yuk factor.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:03 AM
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164: Those are incredible, Knecht.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:04 AM
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mcmc, I think those of use who recoil at this project got a sense that there is a self-indulgent impulse behind it ("ego wall") that trivializes the suffering of the victims. FM's reluctance to go all the way and use lynching images reinforces the sense that there might something akin to cheap hipster irony involved.

Documenting and/or aestheticizing the suffering of others is a fraught (though sometimes fruitful) undertaking, and I would counsel anyone contemplating it to satisfy himself that he is approaching it with no trace of glibness.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:07 AM
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I must admit I'm more than a little surprised at all the tender sensibilities here

My position on making light of physical suffering is amply documented.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:09 AM
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I've been trying to figure out fm's narrative and found this by him earlier

What I'm really looking for is not images of misery or injustice, but images emblematic thereof.

I'm not sure what that means, but the picture of the napalmed naked girl doesn't sync up with it.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:21 AM
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I had thought of 168 last night. Want an ego wall? Make yourself the agent of evil, rather than the victim.

And 170 captures my thoughts. (And it can't be excused on the grounds that it's art.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:23 AM
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Documenting and/or aestheticizing the suffering of others is a fraught (though sometimes fruitful) undertaking, and I would counsel anyone contemplating it to satisfy himself that he is approaching it with no trace of glibness.

Yes, I agree. But how how is one to make that determination? For a personal instance, what about this? the degree of suffering is less than in the photos fm is using--but would you say there's something wrong with it? (apart from its success or failure as a painting, I mean. Would it be less wrong with an AI caption? I painted it because the photograph on which it's based said something to me about what America seems to be turning into, and my doubts about it were entirely about how it would be interpreted. A person hostile to me could see it as glib, no doubt.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:31 AM
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I may be repeating myself, but, mcmc, I really like your stuff.


No, Apo and Knecht. By "stuff," I mean her artistic work.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:35 AM
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A person hostile to me could see it as glib, no doubt

Only with a degree of bad faith so egregious as to disqualify any opinion from consideration.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:36 AM
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Picasso's Guernica is an interesting case. Nothing that I know about Picasso tells me that he had any political awareness or commitment to speak of. As far as I know he wasn't even terribly humane in a non-political way either. If I'm not mistaken, his life under Nazi occupation was uproblematic.

Maybe he had a twinge of indignation when Guernica happened, or maybe he was playing to his audience, or mayvbe he just recognized a dramatic subject when he saw it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:37 AM
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109: I was thinking of Mukasey's opinion as being "Ignorance of the law is now an excuse." But Nuremberg works too.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:38 AM
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the degree of tastelessness is no more extreme.

Well, the tastelessness of this project comes as much from the context as content: the purpose of FM's wall isn't spiritual, or memorial, or documentary, it's decorative. Covering a wall with pictures of yourself is tasteless. Covering a wall with of pictures of yourself as the victim throughout history is merely tasteless + SHOCKING! What's weird here is the narcissisicm and solipsism implicit in this idea, not the offensiveness of the imagery, IMO.

That said, you know, FM, it's your house and time, so knock yourself out. God knows worse things have been done in the name of art.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:39 AM
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And my only reaction to the art project is that it creeps me the hell out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:39 AM
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And my only reaction to the art project is that it creeps me the hell out.

Populuxe's description of it as decorative hits home with me. I do not have a problem with it as an artistic expression, but as a decorative one, I feel like LB.

Can you imagine the woman coming back to FM's place and seeing that?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:42 AM
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Picasso was a leftist of a type we all recognise, with a marked reluctance to burn shit down, but happy to support progressive causes to the extent that they didn't seriously inconvenience him. He joined the Communist Party at the end of WWII out of admiration for the communists' activities in the resistance (in which he had not been active), and though he was never a militant, he never gave up his party card.

The most commitment he ever showed to a single cause, though, was in his refusal to compromise with Franco, or to return to Spain. Under the terms of his will Guernica was not allowed to be shown in Spain during Franco's lifetime.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:48 AM
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182 => 177


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:49 AM
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Thanks Will. I'm just wondering about the "glibness" thing. Does the intentional fallacy come into this somewhere?

Also, that's Goliath in the Caravaggio, not J the B, so the painting is more Emersonian than FMian, but other painters have done themselves as J the B, although Redon is the only one I can think of offhand.

Emerson, didn't you know Picasso was a Commie? Up until the Russians started criticizing his painting as insufficiently realistic. He hated Franco, did a series of etchings called "The Dream and Lie of Franco" and refused to let Guernica go to Spain until Franco was dead. That nobody but art historians knows this might say something about the impotence of art in the face of power, although I believe it actually is well known in Spain.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:55 AM
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Oh hi, OFE. Pwned.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:56 AM
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Yeah, I must admit I'm more than a little surprised at all the tender sensibilities here.

I think you mistake the audience.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:57 AM
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182: Although it's unfair to criticize Picasso for not being active in the resistance. As the painter of Guernica he was radioactive. It would have been dangerous for members of the resistance to have contact with him.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:05 AM
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People, has everybody forgotten that fm briefly rocked a Hitler moustache? If the guy wants to turn into a creepy, suffering obsessed shut-in, who are we to deny him?

I vote for a picture of Christ on the cross. Can't get much more emblematic of suffering than that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:07 AM
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Can't get much more emblematic of suffering than that.

Anyone have a picture of Fleur handy?

I kid. I kid.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:08 AM
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Picasso became a Commie when most of France did, or when everyone he knew in Spain did, but the thing I read indicated that he lived quite comfortably during the occupation. (He and Cocteau had a protector close to Hitler, Arno Breker).

Here's a link.

I can't remember which book it was that debunked Picasso for me, but it made him look like a self-centered opportunist. Not a horrible person, but not one ever to make a sacrifice. Going from Spain to Paris was not an enormous sacrifice for an artist.

I've overstated the case, but the use of images of suffering in art is pretty common and can always be thought of as opportunistic. On the other hand, too strict a standard would be know-nothing and repressive.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:09 AM
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Also this one.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:09 AM
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182- As far as the reaction of this group in particular, we recognize the pain and suffering of the oppressed and tortured. As we are privileged in comparison, we recoil in the thought of applying our own condition to theirs. Since these photographs aren't just portrayals of pain and suffering, we believe extreme care should be taken so as not to exploit their conditions or deaths.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:10 AM
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I vote for a picture of Christ on the cross

I thought that too.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:12 AM
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Yeah, me too.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:14 AM
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Shoulda clicked your links, apo, but, y'know, at work.

I'll tell you what would be fresh: an ego wall of pictures emblematic of surfing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:15 AM
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Apo, is that from that Mel Gibson movie? Because eeew.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:15 AM
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187. I wasn't criticising, but I think it was probably a factor in his thinking he should join the party. There's a lovely apocryphal story about a German officer with aspirations to culture coming to his studio and seeing Guernica, asking "Did you do that?" To which Picasso replied, "No, you did".


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:18 AM
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we recognize the pain and suffering of the oppressed and tortured [...] extreme care should be taken so as not to exploit their conditions or deaths

Yes, we all recognize that, even blackhearted, evil me. However, these are iconic images that have assumed positions in our collective consciousness beyond the actual events being captured. And if pf is using them for a wall in his house (as opposed to, say, pitching beer commercials to Fox), it isn't clear to me how that reaches a level of exploitation that would warrant denunciation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:19 AM
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Shoulda clicked your links, apo, but, y'know, at work.

Nothing work-unfriendly.
191: The eyeball scene from A Clockwork Orange.
193: The crucifixion scene from The Passion of the Chist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:20 AM
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198: Alternatively, we all have a little algorithm in us that says, "Gawd, this would really not go over well at the PTA meeting." Because we're not, on the whole, art types, and those are our reference points.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:22 AM
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Obviously, that should have been The Passion of the Maso Chist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:23 AM
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Know what would kind of clever? Photoshopping your face on to the covers of old Life magazines. Starting with this one.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:24 AM
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Y'know, though, it's the fact that these pictures are iconic that makes it kind of weakly ego stroking, rather than more meaningful, to me. "I, victim" is rather weak sauce, artistic pretensions-wise.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:24 AM
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203: So what? I'm not sure that "good" art springs well-made immediately from an artist's mind. I suspect there's experimentation and a lot of crap art to get through first.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:27 AM
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kind of weakly ego stroking

Ahem. "I am constructing in my apartment an ego wall"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:27 AM
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Is the two-headed pig going to be on it?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:30 AM
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Oh, misread that.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:31 AM
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205: yeah, I know. But if that's all it is I just feel vaguely embarrassed for him.

Which... okay, sold.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:32 AM
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Photoshopping a happy and a sad pf face on the two-headed piglet would be good.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:33 AM
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198- Yeah, I just realized that I forgot to take my pill this morning.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:38 AM
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And if pf is using them for a wall in his house

Who is pf?

As a youngster, this pf once got a Stalin poster from a friend who picked it up in China. I was delighted with it, in an ironic sort of way, and hung it on my wall. After a few weeks, I decided to take it down, on the grounds that one ought not hang pictures of mass murderers on one's wall, even ironically. I don't think this issue would have even arisen if it had been, say, a Hitler poster.

So I object to fm's project on the grounds stated by everybody else. But because of my own experience, I am sympathetic to a clueless Westerner thoughtlessly adopting a symbol of horror. Been there myself.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:04 AM
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211: Oops.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:06 AM
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I don't see why lynching is given special treatment either ...

but on a not really related note, there's an interesting photography project here ; basically a bunch of lynching photos with the victim removed from them, so instead of your concentrating on that, you are forced to look at the poses and expressions of the lynchers themselves.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:13 AM
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First of all, I'd like to thank ogged, without whose support I would not have been denounced by (almost) all of unfogged.

Your arguments have persuaded me: lynching is in. Not that I'm likely to get it up on the wall, as my brother objects to it (strongly), and has demanded concessions that I am not inclined to grant.

I'm amused by the general reading of this as an attempt at hipsterism. Is this what hip people do? If so, I take new comfort in my ninety degree angles and identical sides. I thought they spent their time wearing pre-faded jeans and drinking pabst. I suppose someone has to.

Now: substance! I am not proposing to photoshop my face only in the victims, but also the perpetrators. I do not presume the title of "art". And this is most def not about ego. I am further amused by the universality of your collective scorn. I can't remember the last time you all agreed so closely on anything.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:14 AM
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Other people have already said this, but the problem with this project isn't that it's merely distateful or gross, but that it's a fairly juvenile and self-satisfied kind of artistic statement. It's not really saying anything about political violence or our relationship to political violence; it's just a great fat "look at me!" I suspect FM knows this on some level, which is why he's reluctant to use images like lynching photos, which, while also depicting inhuman levels of injustice and political violence, haven't quite achieved the iconic status the Vietnam pictures have in American culture, and might risk offending people who don't get the "joke."

There are interesting photo projects you could do along these lines, but the line between the interesting and the stupid is a pretty blurry one. In college I started up a photoshop project involving commodified icons of revolution (Lenin waving a bottle of Coke, Che Guevara wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt, etc.) but scrapped it when I realized how tedious the final result was going to be.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:15 AM
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pf != fm.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:21 AM
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I can't remember the last time you all agreed so closely on anything.

I am teh outlier!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:23 AM
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fm, i've missed this thread --- but if I recall correctly someone did a careful job of this idea with models faces, I can't rember who, and google has let me down so far.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:28 AM
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213: I saw that artist speak once. Very interesting and depressing, and very confusingly located in Laguna Beach.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:37 AM
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It's interesting stuff, Sifu.

Without getting into the pros or cons of fm's project, there is something else to think about --- many of these photographs are iconic, and they are iconic in part because they work well as photographs. Unless you put an awful lot of work into the photoshopping, chances are it will look goofy. I don't know if this works with what you are trying to do, or detracts.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:48 AM
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The Laguna Beach Art Museum has done some cool stuff in the last decade. They were early champions of Sandow Birk, the surfer-painter who did the ersatz-historical War of the Californias. The head curator, Tyler Stallings, is an artist in his own right.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:57 AM
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Yeah, it's a neat museum; it's just weird to walk out of a lecture on lynching in early California and find yourself in the middle of Laguna Beach.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:01 AM
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what about the people who took those photographs in the first place, and sold them for money? Witnesses to suffering or parasitic exploiters of same? How about Leon Golub? Or this? Is FM's project less okay than for Caravaggio to paint himself as John the Baptist (the head of John the Baptist, that is) in a believing time?

Witnesses; exploiters only in the sense that selling them for money is *what one does*--that is, they're exploiters in the structural, collective sense in which one might say "the system exploits suffering," rather than in the personal "that person is a jerk" sense.

And yes, it's less okay than Caravaggio. Painting requires models; C wasn't altering an existing image of the actual John the Baptist. Also--even in a believing time--John the Baptist was something of a mythological figure in a way that individuals depicted in photographs of things that have happened within living memory are not.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:07 AM
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I still think that putting his face on (female) nude models would have been more fun.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:25 AM
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It is perversely enjoyable to say that ogged is totally right. It's hard to say what the effect of being in the presence of something will be before it's created. Maybe it will be turn out creepy in a non-valuable way, but if it is, it's not some undoable desecration of the images; he can just take it down. I think it's likely to turn out boring and ugly, myself--or rather, I predict that's how I'd react to it, since I don't frequently have strong reactions to violent images I've already been habituated to. And if you're using iconic images that have already entered the public consciousness, I think it's futile to think of them as somehow belonging more to the represented subject than a painting of the same subject would. The idea that a photo is a representation that belongs to the subject in a way a painting is not (leaving aside from privacy concerns when photographs aren't already in the public sphere) is itself obviously an impulse that deserves examination, because it seems to rest at least in part on the sense that photography is faithful to reality, that the artist does not interpose. (I used "sense" rather than "belief" advisedly there; I don't think anyone believes that.) Maybe that examination would be facilitated by this wall (or maybe not). I agree that the decorative context of the home makes it potentially creepier, but that could be some other interesting (or not) aspect of the experience of seeing it. If pf doesn't think it's valuable, or if, as ogged said, people he trusts don't think it's valuable, it will be easy enough to take down. I think there may be some notion at work in this thread that the pictures can be violated, like female or het male sexuality, and need to be protected.

Anyway, not everything is okay because it's art, but the better time to ask yourself whether some creation is doing something valuable or is merely tacky and exploitative is after you've made it, so self-censorship about what will shock and offend doesn't prevent you from making something good. (Unless you want to save yourself some time. I actually think "not worth the time" arguments are the best against undertaking it.) If it turns out shitty, pf won't be the first person in the world to have made some shitty art. BFD. And maybe it will somehow be a step toward doing something less shitty. My ex does a lot of photography and computer art, and sometimes he makes things that are strange and beautiful but he also has made some images of wounded women that are appealing but arguably trade schlockily on the sexual and emotional appeal of pretty women in psychic of emotional distress (he's aware of the issues involved). Maybe you have to vent your schlock to clear your mind to make something better.

Mostly I just wanted to say that ogged was right on an issue where the consensus was the other way. It gives me a wee thrill.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:08 AM
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I just realized: I think FM is making fanfic out of the images.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:09 AM
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grr. "psychic or physical"


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:12 AM
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Mostly I just wanted to say that ogged was right on an issue where the consensus was the other way. It gives me a wee thrill.

Ogged, I thought it was agreed that impersonating other commentors was not allowed?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:14 AM
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I do recognize the value in experimenting that turns out to suck, but which may teach the artist a lesson. I will also admit that my preference for doing some experiments privately is itself a cultural thing from the pre-net age. I do think it's better to get some things done where nobody else deals with them nonetheless.

And I have a higher regard for self-censorship as I go. Some things are worth tossing early on.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:27 AM
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225: It's hard to say what the effect of being in the presence of something will be before it's created.

Sifu, in 188, proposes that fm "rocked" a Hitler moustache (as opposed to "wore" a Hitler moustache).

I will not rule out this as a possibility, but I have significant doubts.

If pf doesn't think it's valuable ... If it turns out shitty, pf won't be the first person ...

Who is this pf everyone is talking about?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:30 AM
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Peter Frampton.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:31 AM
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Comes Alive.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:34 AM
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Do you suffer like I do?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:35 AM
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231: Damn. I was trying to keep my real identity secret, but I suppose the alias was bound to give me away. How many pf's are out there, after all? What did y'all think of me in that GEICO commercial?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:40 AM
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they're exploiters in the structural, collective sense in which one might say "the system exploits suffering," rather than in the personal "that person is a jerk" sense.

I fail to see why this can't be an excuse for absolutely anything.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:16 PM
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Fwiw, my objections are superstition. Putting your face on images of terrible suffering sounds like tempting fate and foreshadowing and stuff. Don't do that! Be glad you are safe and warm and whole!

(I got the same feeling when my friends were horsing around with a wheelchair. I could barely stand to watch them.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:36 PM
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Now: substance! I am not proposing to photoshop my face only in the victims, but also the perpetrators. I do not presume the title of "art". And this is most def not about ego. I am further amused by the universality of your collective scorn. I can't remember the last time you all agreed so closely on anything.

If it's not about ego, then why did you call it an "ego wall"? Regardless, why not tell us what it's about instead of continuing to cheerfully inform us what it's not about? You brought it up, so why so coy now?

And I'm glad you're amused by our "scorn", but seriously, if you can't defend or even discuss your aesthetic choices, feigning amusement and assuming any disagreement or questioning amounts simply to scorn is some pretty weak-ass shit.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:06 PM
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Anyway, not everything is okay because it's art, but the better time to ask yourself whether some creation is doing something valuable or is merely tacky and exploitative is after you've made it, so self-censorship about what will shock and offend doesn't prevent you from making something good.

Except that fm didn't ask himself after he made it, he asked the Mineshaft before he made it.

And then both fm (who posted it in the first place) and ogged (who elevated it to full post status) were somehow surprised that it got a reaction.

Not that I have any beef against drama queens per se, mind you.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:15 PM
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I'm about to go to bed, but M/tch, I have to disagree there, or rather with the comment you quote: there's certainly some value in floating an idea before execution. The notion that in doing so you might prevent yourself from making something good (or valuable) only applies if you're taking the made thing to be art in some way, rather than, say, a personal project the execution of which might be fraught in various ways.

None of this necessarily has any bearing on foolishmortal's project, should he choose to pursue it. For one thing, he wasn't originally asking for feedback, just for suggestions for images, if I remember correctly.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:36 PM
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164 is powerful. Kind of like those idyllic poster scenes that guy painted on the West Bank wall, only in reverse.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:51 PM
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For one thing, he wasn't originally asking for feedback, just for suggestions for images, if I remember correctly.

Perhaps you're right, but it sure read as a "Hey, look at my neat project! Edgy, huh?" to me.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:21 PM
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M/tch, what happened to your detached sense of humor?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:22 PM
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242: Some things just punch mynbuttons is all. Same as everybody else.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 9-08 3:25 PM
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