i'm sloane & i like to look at things and read things and go places that may or may not exist.
10:07 am 55 notes
I highly recommend Bhakti Shringarpure’s review of Concerning Violence (2014) on Warscapes:
Concerning Violence, a documentary by Swedish filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson, opened to a packed theatre at the Sydney Film Festival last week, and despite being a powerful film, it did not close to the enthusiastic cheers and applause that other films had. Gayatri Chakravarty Spivak, scholar of postcolonial studies and a legend in her own right, offers a monotone introduction to the film. Spivak’s short lecture on Martinican psychiatrist and anticolonial thinker Frantz Fanon appropriately ushers viewers into the universe of this documentary, which is decidedly academic, theoretical, pedagogical and, to some degree, experimental.
Concerning Violence ends on a powerful note bound to leave you with a knot in your stomach. Lest our daily brush with the news, with the forces of globalization, consumerism and capital, with all this new interconnectedness and our (undoubtedly valid) criticism of the imperial United States distract us, Fanon reminds us that Europe is at the root of all our problems today, and it is Europe to which we are ideologically and materially enslaved. The camera moves swiftly through the center of a massive gathering of people in tattered clothing, emaciated, looking expectantly into the camera—the wretched of the earth, literally—as Fanon’s most damning words appear on screen:
From all these continents, under whose eyes Europe today raises up her tower of opulence, there has flowed out for centuries toward that same Europe diamonds and oil, silk and cotton, wood and exotic products. Europe is literally the creation of the Third World. The wealth which smothers her is that which was stolen from the underdeveloped peoples. The ports of Holland, the docks of Bordeaux and Liverpool were specialized in the Negro slave trade, and owe their renown to millions of deported slaves. So when we hear the head of a European state declare with his hand on his heart that he must come to the aid of the poor underdeveloped peoples, we do not tremble with gratitude. Quite the contrary; we say to ourselves: “It’s a just reparation which will be paid to us.”
1:31 pm 142 notes
A Visitor to a Museum / Posetitel Muzeya ( Konstantin Lopushansky, 1989)
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Piet Mondrian used reds, yellows, blues, and blacks. Donald Judd’s palette has included green, pink, and orange. Carl Andre relied on the colors of specific materials like wood and metals. And yet somehow, the term “minimalism” today calls to mind an image of a pure, clean, and orderly space with white as the dominant color. Why, despite seeing color everywhere, do we still tend to associate the minimal and the modern with whiteness?
David Batchelor has argued that “in the West, since Antiquity, colour has been systematically marginalized, reviled, diminished, and degraded.” This chromophobia, or fear of color, manifests as the valorization of white as the color of rational, clean, controlled spaces, while color is seen as dangerous, superficial, and potentially contaminating.
Obviously, white is a color, so the opposition of these terms might, at first, seem a bit simplistic. But what Batchelor and other scholars like him are interested in is the idea of “generalized white,” or what Batchelor has called the “negative hallucination” of white— the fact that even when color is present, as in the minimalist works above, we still tend to be blind to that color, thinking only of the white space, tending to privilege form over color.
Your initial objection might be that it’s quite simple to look around us and see plenty of color: green trees, blue sky, vibrant flowers. But consider this: in the things that we make or buy, color tends to be reined in. While there are some rule-breakers out there, generally speaking, we think that bright colors are acceptable in limited doses, but too much vivid color can seem like an assault on the senses, or we just dismiss it as tacky. For instance, it would be considered fashionable to wear a bright pink tie, so long as the suit is gray, but in general, we would find it eccentric or odd to wear a bright pink suit with a gray tie. And in terms of home decor, we’ve had plenty of heated debates about how tacky orinconsiderate it is to paint one’s home in a “loud” color, and it’s been reported that the most popular color for home exteriors is white.
Chromophobia is marked, not just by the desire to eradicate color, but also to control and to master its forces. When we do use color, there’s some sense that it needs to be controlled; that there are rules to its use, either in terms of its quantity or its symbolic applications (e.g., don’t paint your dining room blue because it suppresses appetite). Please note that I’m not arguing against color psychology; it’s undeniable that certain colors carry certain cultural assumptions and associations, a fact that has led anthropologist Michael Taussig to argue that color should be considered a manifestation of the sacred. But what I am arguing is that there is a pervasive idea that color gets us in the gut: it’s seductive, emotional, compelling. Color, in the words of nineteenth-century art theorist Charles Blanc, often “turns the mind from its course, changes the sentiment, swallows the thought.”
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10:28 pm 22 notes
Revenge (Mest), 1989
directed by Ermek Shinarbaev, written by Anatoli Kim
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Director, Writer, Producer, [Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāi Te Rangi]
A passionate advocate for Māori creative control, late director Merata Mita documented some of the most controversial events of Aotearoa’s last fifty years. Mita’s work includes Patu!, a documentary on the 1981 Springbok tour. Her 1988 drama Mauri remains only the second fiction feature directed by a Māori woman.
This women should be a role model for all pacific islander women. Go read her biography. Such a badass.
12:33 am 97 notes
N.C. Wyeth’s fox in winter “Men of Concord” endpaper illustration 1935
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illustration for The Black Arrow,
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Eyes Without a Face (1960) Georges Franju