Thursday, February 11, 2010

Enticingly large, oops, not a forehead

I was talking the other day with Mauricio Santos-Lobos, author of The Spider Glyph in Time, and the subject of Gustave Courbet came up.

"Mauricio," I says, "the worst thing about being a liberal communist fascist is that if I photoshopped a spider onto Courbet's painting The Origin of the World,* people would throw things at me and use intemperate words. How come Rosemarie Trockel can get away with it?"

And he says "The fact is it's because she's a famous artist, so she gets to use Situationist tactics like detournement."

"There ain't no justice in life."

* There are some interesting lacunae in the provenance of this painting. Painted in 1866, it was bought in 1910 by a Hungarian collector. It dropped out of sight at the close of WWII, and was only known through old black-&-white photographs such as the one overpainted by Trockel, so that Gill's 1989 book Image of the Body describes it as 'whereabouts unknown'. It was in fact in the collection of the scoundrelly French psychologist Jacques Lacan, who kept it hidden except when he wanted to enjoy the shocked expression of his guests (James Lord mentions seeing it there some time in the 1950s, in his memoir Picasso and Dora). After Lacan's death in 1981, his family gave it to the Musée D'Orsay to settle his tax bills. The official story is that the Hungarian collector brought the painting along when he escaped from Budapesht and sold it to Lacan in a private auction; it would be irresponsible to speculate that Lacan actually acquired it through the unsavoury connections he cultivated when he wasn't collaborating with the Vichy regime.
[/Smutsplaining voice]





And Mauricio says, "Look on the bright side -- Rosemarie Trockel's spider is NOT DRAG-&-DROP ANIMATED."

19 comments:

Another Kiwi said...

Well, there's also the artist's intent to consider. "Oh" the artist would say "imagine if that painting had a large tarantula in it. People might be taken aback, flummoxed or even startled. I wonder if many would get the connection with the manic dancing style, Tarantella, the spider and the origin of the world?"
Whereas Smut Clyde might say "Teh spider is funny"
Aside from that consideration, it is probably sheer anti-New Zild prejudice.

Smut Clyde said...

And MULTIPLE sp1d3rs are FUNNIER.

Sebastia said...

Exactly. It's context, It's all about the context. Charles Bukowski had a point when he said “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”

You just can't win sometimes

Jennifer said...

I should know better...

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

yeah, you should hang out with zombies more, Jennifer. They are less objectionable.

fish said...

I believe Courbet's original intent (being a Surrealist) was to imply that there is a place where a tarantula is not involved. Trockel is from the Realist School that recognizes that there is always a tarantula involved.

mikey said...

I was at a big stupid superbowl party as a big stupid sports bar in Los Gatos some years ago. For reasons unfathomable to me, many of the patrons were drinking Bud, even thought there were many more palatable choices on offer. Many of the patrons who consumed the Bud went apeshit. Sometime in the third quarter, it became an untenable situation, and I had to go.

It turns out I also escaped from Budapeshit...

Substance McGravitas said...

I wonder if many would get the connection with the manic dancing style

What's dancing got to do with sex?

Sebastia said...

What's dancing got to do with sex?

Similar to the relativity between alcohol consumtion & a hangover. One sometimes leads to the other. Or everytime. You know who you are.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Spiders are taking over the world!
~

Smut Clyde said...

Paul McCartney reckons that we may be lovers but we ain't no dancers, so the two are clearly not synonymous. It was kind of him not to mention the "Neither" category.

Another Kiwi said...

I am reliably informed that it takes two to Tango.
This, to me, smacks (in a bad way) of sectional shenanigans.

Smut Clyde said...

I have also been informed that dancing is the vertical expression of a horizontal intention, but have you ever tried dancing in a whale suit?

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Yes, smut, but it took me FOREVER to get teh whale out of it.

mikey said...

I once harpooned a whale in my pajamas...

Another Kiwi said...

That taught it a lesson, I bet

tigris said...

Yes, smut, but it took me FOREVER to get teh whale out of it.

Bow chicka bow bow. Then, the migration of shame.

fish said...

Okay I will do it:

How it got in my pajamas I will never know.

Mendacious D said...

Yes, but were you able to repair the pajamas?