on 16 Comments

Drub Another Drubetskoy picture from his picture a week thing. To me this one is about the comedy of history. It's a deeply ironical foto of the museum/ warehouse of history, with all its glorious phases locked away forever like bric-a-brac, and we have to move on without them, with living guides. Also reminds me of a passage in Melville's Pierre, where he says that a writer of any ambition has to read many great books but at some point she has to put them down because they're a burden and she's trying to climb a mountain. Like our society is climbing progress mountain, and we have to set aside all these hallowed models to get there…

Other free associations solicited..

16 Responses

  1. Rowan Berkeley
    December 8, 2008, 10:42 am

    I agree with that. Ever since my teens I have regarded this existing social order as a monstrous chaos that needs to be survived, by means that are not freely given or obvious when you try to find them – tool kits to defend yourself against psychological warfare, basically …

  2. LeaNder
    December 8, 2008, 10:43 am

    Wonderful comment Phil. But reminds me I have to read Melville's Pierre.

    Why don't you two make a date for a Phil Weiss portrait for this blog? I think he has a huge talent for doing it differently. And he knows you.

    You could write comments for a new photo-project instead?

  3. anon
    December 8, 2008, 10:57 am

    Yeah the darker, shadowy areas represent all the historical narratives ignored or suppressed, while the governing narratives are the those blessed statues on pedestals in the high beam lights. That's my first impression. I now see also that RB's impression is related.

  4. Rowan Berkeley
    December 8, 2008, 11:28 am

    The link that Phil gave doesn't seem to work for me, but there are various sites with photos by Drubetskoy.

    My comment was really just a reflection on Phil's "we have to set aside all these hallowed models to get there…"

  5. Rowan Berkeley
    December 8, 2008, 11:46 am

    But, governing narratives, well:

    The most unusual title of the group may be the Paul Schrader-directed "Adam Resurrected," which is being touted as Goldblum's role of a lifetime. He plays a mental patient in 1960s Israel who survived the Holocaust by serving as a Nazi commander's "dog."
    link to

  6. Anonymous
    December 8, 2008, 12:21 pm

    The geometry is that of a great tanker ship coming right at you at night and it carries the blackened blood of a thousand generations but it thirsts for yours also. Move you try, but the weight of your errors reveals itself at last and you cannot get out of the way. You cry "but I still have hope!" and the mariners with bowed heads weep for you as they did for those before you. Then the chained lady of mercy makes a desperate appeal to the captain to let you try once again, but the captain turns his face to look east where the sun was said to raise again someday and he calls the winged guardian at port board to leave his pedestal and go search for the next failed generation, while you surrender the keys of present time into the bow cup.

  7. Dan Sisken
    December 8, 2008, 12:29 pm

    "Inside the museum, infinity goes up on trial."

    From "Visions of Johanna" – Bob Dylan

  8. Dan Sisken
    December 8, 2008, 12:31 pm

    "Inside the museum, infinity goes up on trial."

    From "Visions of Johanna" – Bob Dylan

  9. morris
    December 8, 2008, 1:05 pm

    In my short sighted impestuousness, I left a comment in the 2nd post after this offering to fix any images or provide images for any post you have. Short sighted, cos I hadn't seen this post here.

  10. Anonymous
    December 8, 2008, 1:32 pm

    Obs: maybe it's not easy to see it, but the dark figure of the winged guardian can be found flying at the top right of the picture (after leaving its pedestal, which is empty). The captain is a the centre of the picture.

  11. Doppler
    December 8, 2008, 3:28 pm

    An architect designed this hall, with reference to the classics, a curator arranged the pieces and the lights. The photographer has captured a sense of it, exaggerating the contrast between light and darkness, thus emphasizing the work of the curator and providing an analogy for the work of the historian and the chronicler, and of art as an expression of the human condition.

    Phil's sense of irony is perhaps projected onto it, stemming from a sense of revulsion from the "models" that history gives us. Anonymous compares it to an oncoming ship, onto which he projects the darkened blood of a thousand generations. The captain looking east for the sunrise, and the winged guardian rising are very nice touches, but the blood part comes from within Anonymous. Surrendering the keys of the present into the bow cup of the oncoming ship is one way to see the empty vessel/grail/symbol of woman in the foreground, but again says more of the viewer than the photographer.

    That the winged guardian is the one dark stone among all the white marble can be a reference to the President-elect. Is he the winged guardian or the Prince of f***** Darkness? [to borrow a line from the "Verdict"]

    I'm a great believer in models, in relying on successful models, rather than trying to invent the wheel with each new endeavor. Ditto the advantage of learning from the mistakes of history. Vicarious learning from the mistakes of others is the best way to learn. Unfortunately, all of the mistakes that have plagued us these past eight years stem from repeating the mistakes made in the lessons of history. They stem from trying to force perceptions into false models, from false analogies.

    Question: is it an element of the Jewish tradition and character to tear down and disparage the monuments of non-Jewish culture?

  12. LeaNder
    December 8, 2008, 6:35 pm

    The photographer has captured a sense of it, exaggerating the contrast between light and darkness,

    Drubetskoy seems very interested in light, darkness and structures.

    But pray tell me: What do you think about the light here? Obviously he has left after the visitors have gone. How did he get in? Maybe another friend is in charge of the lighting/stage lighting director? Gives it something mysterious …

    But you get the first price for length and Anonymous gets the first in the category: enigma and obscurity.

    I can see the "winged guardian" almost looks like Hermes.

  13. Anonymous
    December 8, 2008, 6:55 pm

    "…but the blood part comes from within Anonymous."

    Indeed. The blackened blood carried by the great tanker is a reference to the idea that if the Iraq war was for oil it was for that kind of oil which is the product of all wars (from Genesis – Anyway):

    "All the pumping's nearly over for my sweet heart,
    This is the one for me,
    Time to meet the chef,
    O boy! running man is out of death.
    Feel cold and old, it's getting hard to catch my breath.
    's back to ash, now, you've had your flash, boy,
    The rocks, in time, compress
    your blood to oil
    your flesh to coal,
    enrich the soil,
    not everybody's goal…."

    Full lyrics.

    "That the winged guardian is the one dark stone among all the white marble can be a reference to the President-elect."

    Very interesting idea. If thats the case, then the winged guardian will be searching for himself. If he fails the next generation will become oil in Iran.

  14. Anonymous
    December 8, 2008, 7:02 pm

    "Anonymous gets the first in the category: enigma and obscurity."

    Hehe, and the prize in the "adequate use of italics" category too, LeaNder. Please don't forget that. Otherwise we will always need MM to turn our slanted texts into laugh.

  15. Anonymous
    December 8, 2008, 7:22 pm

    Ok, if the "slanted" reference was lost, here is MM in one of his hilarious comments deflagrated by LeaNder expertise in italics. The whole thread is excellent.

  16. Laurie
    December 8, 2008, 8:01 pm

    What I see is one Jew promoting another.

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