Barthes Mythologies + the end of master narratives with animated commentary.

The Open Culture website is a fantastic free resource.

In 1979, French theorist Jean-François Lyotard declared the end of all “grand narratives”—every “theory or intellectual system,” as Blackwell’s dictionary defines the term, “which attempts to provide a comprehensive explanation of human experience and knowledge.” The announcement arrived with all the rhetorical bombast of Nietzsche’s “God is Dead,” sweeping not only theology into the dustbin but also overarching scientific theories, Freudian psychology, Marxism, and every other “totalizing” explanation. But as Lyotard himself explained in his book The Postmodern Condition, the loss of universal coherence—or the illusion of coherence—had taken decades, a “transition,” he wrote, “under way since at least the end of the 1950s.”

We might date the onset of Postmodernism and the end of “master narratives” even earlier—to the devastation at the end of World War II and the appearance of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment and of Roland Barthes’ slim volume Mythologies, a collection of essays written between 1954 and 56 in which the French literary theorist and cultural critic put to work his understanding of Ferdinand de Saussure’s semiotics.

here is a link to the complete article and check out the rather brilliant use of animation as an introductory guide.

Dark Matter Activist Art and the Counter-Public Sphere and essay by GREGORY SHOLETTE

“At this moment, the heroic warfare once waged over the symbolic power of artistic practice appears to be finished. Like a scene out of a Russian novel the battlefield is heaped with the remnants of an astonishing array of artistic models, many once aligned with the Left and other progressive forces. The defeated in fact fill the museums
Art Workers Coalition join striking workers at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, pictured hereon the cover of Artforum Magazine,  1973.
This text is being made available for scholarly purposes only. You are free to copy an distribute it, but never for commercial profit. Please attribute the author whenever quoted or cited. All illustrations are included here solely for educational purposes.
2   GREGORY SHOLETTE of Twentieth Century art. Among the fallen are those who sought to represent working class life with compassion and candor as well as more cerebrally oriented practitioners who endeavored to reveal and subvert the ideological tropes of mass culture. ” to read the rest click here

Artists on TV

We have been talking a lot about what it means to become an artist. New Zealand media theorist Zita Joyce has written an excellent article about the way artists are depicted in television, you can read the article  here

Here is the inimitable Hennessy Youngman’s take on how to become an artist.

Hennessy Youngman is a character invented by Jason Musson. Here is his WIKI entry.

This article also gives a bit of history, and reflects on his practice as an exhibiting artist.

Hannah Black – New World Disorder and a controversy unfolding as I write this post.

Who said artists cant write ? Below is a fantastic article written by artist and writer Hannah Black on the current state of the world. She is the protagonist of a protest letter against Dana Schultz’s painting Open Casket, currently being exhibited in the Whitney Biennale which many have accused as being highly problematic, or even down right racist.

Hannah Black – New World Disorder

and the

 The Dana Schutz controversy and the Open Casket painting.

The Fake letter

Aruna D’Souza is a writer at Bennington College and an art critic for In addition, she consults with museums — including the Whitney Museum — on issues of diversity and inclusion. Here is her take, written for a general audience for CNN here.

Meanwhile Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan Sentenced to Prison for Painting of Kurdish Town Attack

The article can be found  here

and the online magazine New Republic provides some additional context

and the article can be found here

and then this article from the artist Coco Fusco her wiki page can be found here

and for those with time on their hands, something in all of this reminded me of the great theorist Paul Virillio’s utterly striking and confronting book,  Art and Fear in which he brings to the table his notion of a “Pitiless Art”  the text of which can be found here on

George Baker on painting, critique, and empathy in the Emmett Till / Whitney Biennial debate

can be read here

Second Year Photomedia 2 Project 1 Week 1. 2017

we talked of breaking glass

Link to original article  ( Thanks to Issy for the link and suggestion )

Robert Cumming: The Secret Life of Objects

February 18–May 28, 2017, Main Galleries

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    Robert Cumming (American, b. 1943). Theater for Two, Easy Analogies, 1978. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the artist. © Robert Cumming

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    Robert Cumming (American, b. 1943). Watermelon and Chair, 1982. Archival pigment ink print. Courtesy of the artist. © Robert Cumming

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    Robert Cumming (American, b. 1943). Mishap of Minor Consequence, 1973. Gelatin silver prints. Courtesy of the artist. © Robert Cumming

Perception, language, and the nuances of photographic vision are common themes in the work of Robert Cumming (American, b. 1943). His method of portraying the physically impossible so that it appears visually accurate has its roots in his early career as a painter, sculptor, performance artist, and mail artist. This exhibition traces the trajectory of Cumming’s work through several decades and focuses on his singular appreciation for the power of objects in art.

In his photographic work—the majority of which he made in Southern California during the 1970s—Cumming embraced the illusion and reality of the medium: that photographs can spin artifice regardless of how true they appear. By intentionally including studio lighting, wires, and messy elements of construction, or “a means by which one can unravel the fabrication,” he creates visual narratives that unfold over time.

With a focus on his work from the 1970s, the exhibition features Cumming’s photographs of ingenious fictions using mundane materials, as well as other non-photographic works: sculpture, mail art, printmaking, painting, and objects from the artist’s ongoing exploration of nautical architecture.

Guest curated by Sarah Bay Gachot, this is the first major museum survey in nearly twenty years dedicated to Robert Cumming’s exceptional photographic projects.

Robert Cumming: The Secret Life of Objects is supported by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation and an anonymous donor.