[INTERVIEW] Lucia Cuba on Gender, Strength and Politics | PAS UN AUTRE

June 22, 2012

http://www.pasunautre.com/2012/06/22/interview-lucia-cuba-on-gender-strength-and-politics/ Political Fashion Statement This made for great breakfast reading. Mr. Cuba is articulate and engaged/engaging. The photographs of this work of his are exciting. Here he gives a sample of his history as designer and social scientist, the evil perpetrated by former Peruvian president Fujimori, some insight into present-day Peruvian activist doings, shows a way out of the shallows for fashion as a concept, and a lot more. And damn, but the photos are striking…


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Speaking of Racist Advertising…

June 16, 2012

Over at Artspace.com there’s a great interview with the artist Hank Willis Thomas on racism, advertising, politics, slavery, artistic production, the role of the artist in the 21st century and a great many other things. Thomas works with video, photography, interviews, iPad apps, and other formats. He collaborates and does solo work. The interview finds him in the process of moving into the sphere of ‘Post-Black’ art.

Hank Willis Thomas

A doodle of the artist I whipped up based on someone else’s photo!

Post-Black is an interesting term. I’d encountered it years ago, but hadn’t put any thought into it until about 2007 (pretty late; I know). That year I was at a Seattle museum for a public conversation between a couple of New York’s ad-hoc curators on post-diaspora black art.

They had a lot of imagery from many black artists and things were going along smoothly in their talk until the Q&A. At that point, a white guy in the audience announced that Kara Walker was the most important artist of the evening because her work was about the most relevant issue: slavery. That didn’t go down so well and I’m proud to say that my evening’s companion ripped the guy a new one.

She caustically explained black artists didn’t need anyone, black, white, or other, pigeon-holing them into particular dialogues. Black people can discuss what they want and he, as a white male and former Boston-based gallery owner, needed to get the fuck back as he was part of the problem. The problem of holding black people down.

I couldn’t have been more delighted that day.

Hank Willis Thomas discusses the role of the artist at the end of the interview and I’m going to throw a quote from him here, ” part of the role of the artist in the 20th and 21st century is to actually do the things that don’t make sense. So it’s okay for somebody to say, “I just mess around with chairs,” or “I just look at the color blue because it’s really interesting to me.” It opens doors to our minds that are less tapped, less used, because we’re not robots. And societies where art is repressed wind up in (sic) fascist societies, and they don’t last as we saw with communism. If you suppress those voices, people freak out and it collapses.”

Beautiful. Just beautiful. And wait ’til you read what he has to say about Obama.

His website. His Wikipedia entry.



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Africans, Asians Unite!

May 27, 2012

Asia in My Life
By Ngugi wa Thiong’o

image via The Gaurdian (UK)

“The links between Asia and Africa and South America have always been present but in our times they have been made invisible by the fact that Europe is still the central mediator of Afro-Asian-Latino discourse. We live under what Satya Mohanty in his interview in Frontline (April 2012), aptly calls the long intellectual shadow of the Age of European Empire.

In my case, I had always assumed that my intellectual and social formation was tied to England and Europe, with no meaningful connection to Asia and South America. There was a reason. I wrote in English. My literary heroes were English. Kenya being a British colony, I had learnt the geography and history of England as the central reference in my widening view of the world. Even our anti-colonial resistance assumed Europe as the point of contest; it was we, Africa, against them, Europe. I graduated from Makerere College in Uganda in 1964, with a degree in English; then went to the University of Leeds, England, for further studies, in English. Leeds was a meeting point of students from the Commonwealth: India, Pakistan, Australia, and the Caribbean. We saw each other through our experience of England. Our relationship to England, in admiration, resentment or both, was what established a shared space.

After I wrote my memoir of childhood, Dreams in a Time of War, published in 2006, I looked back and saw how much India had been an equally important thread in my life. I had not planned to bring out the Indian theme in my life: but there it was, staring at me right from the pages of my narrative. The thread starts from home, through school, college and after.”

via Chimurenga

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Death And The Word


From a project I’ve contemplated for a while now. The text is an obvious reference to naming as the first act of creation. The vegetation is to remind us that the 2nd defiance against god, for the Abrahamaists, was vegetarianism. The slug is the slow, but steady pace of the Conqueror Worm or Life as I like to call it. Plants on the page wraps all this symbolic activity into the fecundity of possible rebirth or the advent of choice. But the plants are dying as they’ve been plucked. And the page that carries thought comes on the boughs of dead trees.

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3 Commas, A Comment, And A Photograph


I love this shot I took of my new friend Lila and myself; she’s of mixed heritage, too. We discussed hosting a party where everyone invited would be, as well. Obviously, we’d have to serve black russians.

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