23 August 2016

"The Artistic Temperament"

Verdict of the Peter Doig case that I posted about earlier. As well as a befuddlingly hilarious recap of the closing argumennts.

16 August 2016


RIP, Bobby Hutcherson

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

{ Post-posting afternote: Yeah, I know, I exclusively drew from Hutcherson's early career. Shrug. There are a number (low number) of other notable vibraphonists throughout the history of jazz. But as far as depth, range, and flexibility, Hutcherson may've been the one who best demonstrated it's full potential as a non-novelty/surplus component of a jazz ensemble. Especially the way he used the instrument to bridge the melodic/percussive vs strictly-percussive properties of the piano and drums...best exhibited when he was working between an eccentric pianist/composer like Andrew Hill, and a drummer/composer (yes, that's "a thing," although very rarely) like Joe Chambers. Wonderfully guiding things in the right stretches and spaces; at others times -- espec as a sideman -- adding accentuations and highlights, or (as on the Henderson and Patton pieces above) helping drive the whole joint into rhythmic overdrive. }

07 August 2016


"Last summer Woodridge resident Doug Fletcher was visiting his older brother, Bob, in Canada, when Bob mentioned that an artist he'd purchased a painting from in 1976 might now be 'kind of famous.' At least, that's what a friend had told him. [...] 
Bob now does construction work; Doug is a health-care recruiter and interfaith pastor. Neither of them is schooled in art, but upon viewing the painting Doug said he'd do some googling when he got home. A search for 'Pete Doige' came up empty. But as Bob's friend had suggested, Peter Doig—who was born in Scotland, lived in Canada as a teen in the 70s, made his name as an artist in London, and now lives in Trinidad —- was in fact very successful. Among other things, he'd broken the auction record for a living European artist when his painting White Canoe sold for $11.3 million at Sotheby's in 2007." [ from ]
* * * *
“Mr. Doig and his lawyers say they have identified the real artist, a man named Peter Edward Doige. He died in 2012, but his sister said he had attended Lakehead University, served time in Thunder Bay and painted. 
‘I believe that Mr. Fletcher is mistaken and that he actually met my brother, Peter, who I believe did this painting,’ the sister, Marilyn Doige Bovard, said in a court declaration. She said the work’s desert scene appeared to show the area in Arizona where her mother moved after a divorce and where her brother spent some time. She recognized, she said, the saguaro cactus in the painting. 
The prison’s former art teacher recognized a photograph of Ms. Bovard’s brother as a man who had been in his class and said he had watched him paint the painting, according to the teacher’s affidavit.”    [ from ]
* * * * 
"[Co-plaintiff/art dealer Peter] Bartlow, who helped bring the case against the artist, told artnet News in a phone interview that he believed Doig’s motive in disavowing the work is not to deny a criminal past but to disguise the fact that 'he can’t draw.' 
The Chicago dealer insists that Doig relies on using projections on the canvas. 'No critic has ever written this about it,' he acknowledged. 'The only reason I did is that I have this book of his by Phaidon of the painting in the Canadian National Gallery, and I was looking at it upside down. There’s a couple of shapes in it that are the same shapes located in our painting. I could see what he did.'"    
"Bartlow told artnet News in a phone conversation that Doig’s legal team has 'produced nothing of substance' since they first filed the suit in 2013. He continued, 'After all is said and done, we’d like to be awarded damages of at least $7 million and we want the painting declared a genuine Peter Doig painting. We have a very fair and smart judge.'" [ from  1 / 2 ].

Equalling: The potential of a bafflingly absurd legal precedent  being set in a Chicago courtroom on Monday.

03 August 2016

New Maps of Purgatory

Archival post: First published at ...And What 
Will Be Left of Them?, August 2011

A partial, off-the-cuff survey of middling 'Seventies science fiction films, in no particular order...

Logan's Run (1976)

We've seen the future and it's a shopping mall in Dallas, Texas. And yeah yeah -- it's better to burn up than to fade away. Effectively what we have here is the previous decade's generational war slogan of "Never trust anyone over thirty" extrapolated in to an extreme, resulting in the dystopic dénouement of the premise for Wild in the Streets.

Yet how humbling, how Romantically fatalistic -- in this, the year of the American bicentennial -- to see the nation's capitol as ruins, strewn with vines and all sorts of flora, patinaed by the elements to which they've returned. And Sir Peter Ustinov's wrinkles are a marvel to behold and to touch; the very embodiment of nature itself, if not of the authority and experience so thoughtlessly discarded by the cult of youth.

But nevermind the ageism angle, because Richard Pryor has the last word: "Looks like white people aren't counting on us being around."

Rollerball (1975)

The excesses of empire, sans vomitoriums. Key concept: Bread and blood circuses (by way of a popular bloodsport). Considered by some to be very thematically profound and excessively violent at the time, but funny how relative such things are rendered within a few years. What it gets wrong about the future: International corporation have abolished war, poverty, hunger, disease, and all other curses on humanity. And that the year 2018 will see that early '70s-style leisure-wear and manly chest hair will never go out of fashion. And that the cradle of futuristic architecture (via shooting locations) will look like Munich. What it kinda gets right about the future: The black-white ratio of cast members/Houston rollerball team kinda-sorta suggests what the future demographics of Houston, TX will be like.

As far as it's "social critique" angle in concerned: The thing as a whole is tedious, hazily simplistic,  often ludicrous, and a waste of time even as limited-options drunk-watch. Massively upstaged by Death Race 2000; which, as irony would have it, came out the same year.

Westworld (1973)

The excesses of empire, alternate take; but perhaps this with vomitoriums (since the robot-populated adult amusement park had an Ancient Rome division). One of the advantages of this empire being that -- artificially, and merely for the sake of leisure -- one can colonize the past. Key concept: Hostile objects.

Phase IV (1974)

Effectively this borrows a premise that was put forth some years earlier in 2001: A Space Odyssey, that the human race is overdue to make an developmental leap, and that it need help from an outside party -- of extraterrestrial origin -- in order to take that next step in its evolution. And as in 2001, it puts that thesis across in a confusingly oblique way.

Exactly what the nature of this impasse might be, who can tell? But noted that the mathematician believes that everything can be quantified in numbers, and the ants -- in their own way -- prove him correct by demonstrating the power of collectivity. But don't look to a movie that pilfers much of its "action" from a nature documentary for any sort of clarity or coherence.

  © Blogger template 'Solitude' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP