Sunday, September 23, 2007

The eagle and some fool (aka meneer Janssen)

This drawing by R.E.Hartanto (aka Tanto) was used as an illustration for a short story in last week's edition of Kompas, which is a major Indonesian newspaper. The drawing was earlier exhibited at the Amor Fati exhibition at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space in Bandung. (For those readers who do not know me: yes indeed, Tanto used me as a model.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Empathy outlawed

Jakarta followed recently Denpasar (capital of Bali) and Medan (capital of North Sumatra) with the decision to penalize giving alms to the needy. An enormous fine of Rp 50 million awaits you upon showing empathy. Empathy becomes a crime in this period of the year - Ramadhan - that Muslims are obliged to give - the so called zaqat. This decision will not elevate poverty in Indonesia, but it will push the poorest of the poor outside the city borders as they are perceived within the city ethically as surplus humanity, aesthetically as eyesores.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Visa d'or pour Kadir van Lohuizen

Dutch photographer Kadir van Lohuizen (August 6, 1963) won this week the Visa d'or for his photo series on Chad for French newspaper Le Monde made in 2006.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Aesthetic Ethics/Ethical Aesthetics

If we keep Wittgenstein’s adagio in mind that an aesthetic form or style shows an ethical perspective on the world then how should we look at art? (A different perspective needs to be shown through a different form or style.) How then should we judge Damien Hirst’s art piece titled For the Love of God? It is a skull from the 18th century in platinum and encrusted with 8601 diamonds; this work has been sold for 100 million US dollars. But what does it all come to? What sense does it have (or give)? (The use of a form or style without the will to show a perspective on one's world is nihilistic.)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Bearable lightness

To photograph is to draw with light. Photography is limited by light conditions. Every photo is therefore also a study on light. Every photograph draws attention to the condition of light.