The decollage we live in

It’s hard to explain, even to myself, why an artwork from more than fifty years ago can speak to our time without resorting to clichéd notions of the timelessness and universality of artistic language. I try to think of concrete experiences that can constitute a right mindset to write about Jacques Villegle, a Parisian artist… Continue reading The decollage we live in

Villem Flusser on Artistic Freedom

With his statements in Towards a Philosophy of Photography, Vilém Flusser opened a new understanding of photography, and gave the term a new meaning. While he describes the photograph as a “flyer-like image distributed by the apparatus,” the Photographer for Flusser was a critic; a gadfly: “a person who attempts to place within the image,… Continue reading Villem Flusser on Artistic Freedom

A romance in the provinces (Kornel Filipowicz, 2017)

I just read A romance of provinces (1960), by the Polish poet, novelist and screenwriter Kornel Filipowicz (1913-1990), who was for more than twenty years, and until his death, life partner (each one, in his house) by the poet Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012), Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. The affinity of worlds and tones is… Continue reading A romance in the provinces (Kornel Filipowicz, 2017)

The Freedom of the Migrant: Objections to Nationalism (Vilém Flusser, 2013)

Vilém Flusser, a philosopher and communication theorist born in Prague in 1920, spent most of his life in exile. In 1940 he reached London on the run from the Nazis, from there he went to São Paulo after only a short time to settle in France in the early 1970s. He never saw his native city of… Continue reading The Freedom of the Migrant: Objections to Nationalism (Vilém Flusser, 2013)

Havelock in the Boondocks

 Parts of P.Oxy. LII 3679, 3rd century, containing fragments of Plato's Republic. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most prevalent being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, in present-day Turkey. His biography, written by Pseudo-Herodotus is now considered legend, the story of a blind man trapped in eternal darkness, being led to a… Continue reading Havelock in the Boondocks

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer (2015)

Viet Thanh Nguyen's novel begins The Sympathizer with a riddle “I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man with two faces”. What is he? Might we ask. The line was spoken by a double agent working for the North Vietnamese Communists as well as for the United States during and shortly after the… Continue reading Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer (2015)