It Has Been One Hell of a Year

By Michelle K.

And it has been
one hell
of a year.
I have worn
the seasons
under my sleeves,
on my thighs,
running down my cheeks.
This is what
surviving
looks like, my dear.

iturbide_61_dancing

Dancing. Graciela Iturbide.


In the Jungle

Cat in the Jungle. Gabriel Orozco. 1992

Cat in the Jungle. Gabriel Orozco. 1992

Gas Station. David LaChapelle. 2012

Gas Station. David LaChapelle. 2012

Lago Tarsila do Amaral

Lago. Tarsila do Amaral

Forest. Jean Hans Arp

Forest. Jean (Hans) Arp

Liam+Stevens+Amazon+3

Amazon. Liam Stevens.

Monica Ramos

Monica Ramos

Self Portraits

Kat in the Jungle. Kathleen Tompsett. 2014


Value

Cildo Meireles

‘I like dealing with paradigmatic things’, Cildo Meireles has said, ‘material things that are recognized by the public in their everyday lives, things that are at the same time matter and symbol. Money, for example.’ From the blatant exhibition, on a pedestal, of a wad of banknotes secured with rubber bands, Money Tree 1969, to the gold thread and gold nails inserted, respectively, into a great mass of straw in Fio (Thread) 1990–5 and plain wooden crates in Ouro e Paus (Gold and Wood) 1982–95, the conundrums of value have continued to fascinate Meireles. Money Tree ‘points towards the problem of the value of the art object and the discrepancy between use-value and exchange-value’. It consists of 100 one-Cruzeiro notes and was offered for sale for twenty times that amount. One wonders what it would fetch today; in inflationary Brazil at the time it was made, Meireles joked, money was the cheapest material. Much later, for Occasion 2004, the artist contrived a scenario in which the public would be faced by money in the most direct way. This ensured that our attention would be drawn away from speculative thoughts about the art object, and back to ourselves. We encountered a small, elegant, open receptacle containing new banknotes in the centre of a brightly lit room lined with three big mirrors on three of the walls,producing endless recession images. One of the mirrors was two-way. Viewers reacted in various different ways to the presence of the naked cash, and then, leaving the room and looking back through the two-way mirror, saw other people where they themselves had been a moment before, becoming voyeurs. As a last clandestine fling, Meireles became an ironic counterfeiter, printing a large number of bills – Zero Cruzeiro 1974 and Zero Dollar 1978– the latter with the help of the designer/engraver João Bosco Renaud. Reducing official value to zero, the subversive Cruzeiro notes are embellished with the portraits, not of some illustrious figure of the Brazilian pantheon, but of two individuals effectively excluded fromBrazilian society, whose civil rights are minimal: a Kraô Indian on one face and the inmate of a mental asylum on the other (Meireles knew both these men).

Cildo Meireles: On the nature of things by Guy Brett and Vicente Todolí. Click to read more

Money Tree

Money Tree

Zero Cruzeiro

Zero Cruzeiro

Occasion

Occasion

More on Cildo Meireles: Volatile


Instructions on How to Wind a Watch

By Julio Cortazar

Death stands there in the background, but don’t be afraid. Hold the watch down with one hand, take the stem in two fingers, and rotate it smoothly. Now another installment of time opens, trees spread their leaves, boats run races, like a fan time continues filling with itself, and from that burgeon the air, the breezes of earth, the shadow of a woman, the sweet smell of bread.

What did you expect, what more do you want? Quickly. strap it to your wrist, let it tick away in freedom, imitate it greedily. Fear will rust all the rubies, everything that could happen to it and was forgotten is about to corrode the watch’s veins, cankering the cold blood and its tiny rubies. And death is there in  the background, we must run to arrive beforehand and understand it’s already unimportant.

Graciela Iturbide4

Graciela Iturbide

 

 


Time for me to talk

Ansiedad. Pedro Figari.

Ansiedad. Pedro Figari.


Formas Continuas

Formas Continuas, Enio Iommi. 1948.

Formas Continuas, Enio Iommi. 1948.


Nothing Like the Green-Gold of Your Eyes

Thanks to BrainPickings for sharing pieces from the book The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-PortraitThis beautiful book reveals Frida Kahlo‘s journal complete with thoughts, poems, dreams,  illustrations and love letters to Diego Rivera:

Diego:

Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. you are the mirror of the night. the violent flash of lightning. the dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. my fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.

Letter to Diego Rivera from Frida Kahlo from The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait