The caricature by French artist Xavier Ghazi portrays the WikiLeaks founder with his trousers around his ankles, urinating into a top hat with the US flag on it.
The Bald Archy - a parody of the Archibald Prize for portraiture - is a competition of humorous works of art, making fun of Australian celebrities and politicians.
The exhibition and prize is advertised as the only one in the world judged by a sulphur-crested cockatoo named Maude.
There were 46 finalists in this year’s competition, with “the two Jules”, Julia Gillard and Julian Assange dominating the competition, founder Peter Batey said at the announcement in Sydney on Tuesday.
Ghazi, 60, said he had first thought of calling his painting Pissing Off The Empire.
“Having a leak in Uncle Sam’s hat is pissing off the empire,” he told reporters.
“It’s not as much about the US as it is about global power and instruments of domination.”
It was Ghazi’s fourth time to win the $5000 prize, now in its 18th year.
He said the win was particularly meaningful to him as he has had “a horrible three or four past years”.
“Professionally I lost my teaching jobs, I lost my job for a newspaper I used to work with and I’m turning blind in my right eye,” he said.
A petition calling for Ai Weiwei’s release has been started by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Addressed to the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China (Minister Mr. Cai Wu), the statement reads:
On April 3, internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained at the Beijing airport while en route to Hong Kong, and his papers and computers were seized from his studio compound.
We members of the international arts community express our concern for Ai’s freedom and disappointment in China’s reluctance to live up to its promise to nurture creativity and independent thought, the keys to “soft power” and cultural influence.
Our institutions have some of the largest online museum communities in the world. We have launched this online petition to our collective millions of Facebook fans and Twitter followers. By using Ai Weiwei’s favored medium of “social sculpture,” we hope to hasten the release of our visionary friend.
Architect, photographer, curator and blogger, Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous and politically outspoken contemporary artist. As Ai Weiwei’s latest work is unveiled in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, Alan Yentob reveals how this most courageous and determined of artists continues to fight for artistic freedom of expression while living under the restrictive shadows of authoritarian rule.
As one reviewer noted:
If you found yourself thinking that you were watching Mission: Impossible rather than Imagine, you could have been forgiven. Alan Yentob had clearly been banned from meeting Ai Weiwei in China, and so one of their interviews was conducted over a webcam, with Yentob sitting in the dark, like some spymaster of the arts.
This was even before Ai had been put under house arrest to prevent him from attending a party he arranged to celebrate the demolition of his studio in Shanghai (a studio which the Chinese Government had asked him to put up in the first place…). All of which prompts the question: what does that say about the place of the artist in China?
In the spring of 1963, San Francisco poet, documentarian, and media activist Richard Moore accompanied and filmed author James Baldwin and Youth For Service Executive Director Orville Luster on a tour through the black-majority Bayview/Hunter’s Point and Fillmore districts of San Francisco. They sought to portray the real experience of African-Americans in what was considered America’s most liberal city.
That outing would result in Take This Hammer, and the footage of it was shot at a crucial time in Baldwin’s life. After 15 years in exile in Paris, the Harlem-born writer was back in the States at the peak of his renown and with political fire in his eyes. His turbulent novels from the ‘50s—especially Go Tell It on the Mountain and Another Country—had stunned the literary world with their exposure of racism and deeply developed queer characters.
During the same spring in which Take This Hammer was shot, Baldwin published the rather incredible essay Down at the Cross, and ended up on the cover of Time. That summer, he’d end his tour of the American South at the March on Washington with a quarter-million of his fellow Americans, with many other celebrities.
Baldwin’s observations certainly set The City’s white lib establishment into fits: “There is no moral distance ... between the facts of life in San Francisco and the facts of life in Birmingham. Someone’s got to tell it like it is. And that’s where it’s at.” Unfortunately, as seen in documents like Kevin Epps’s 2001 doc Straight Outta Hunter’s Point, not much has changed in SF over the generations…
Rahsaan Roland Kirk playing three saxophones at once in Sound??, because that’s how he rolled…
In 1966 and 1967, British independent filmmaker Dick Fontaine put together a short film that perfectly captured a slice of the sonic avant garde. He blended captured footage of post-bop simultaneous multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk improvising live at Ronnie Scott’s with bits of experimental composer John Cage music on sound while strolling around various modern environments.
Fontaine intersperses Cage’s spontaneous yet brooding rhetorical questions about our interactions with the sonic world with Kirk’s more definite replies and performances, along with a quick cuts of a bunch of urban and acoustic settings. Cage asks “Why don’t they keep their mouths shut and their ears open?”, while Kirk hands out whistles to the audience and tells them to play in the key of W.
It’s a real treasure. No kissing, though. Oh well.
My favorite part is where they inform us that the postal worker has been suspended without pay pending an investigation. How long would an investigation like this take considering that they’ve got photos and a stool sample???
Via The Awl. (I stole their ultra droll headline also)
This picture has itself caused scandal in the UK, as it was a gay kiss that was broadcast before the watershed, and as such led to a number of complaints to the BBC. However, since this episode aired (October 2008) Christian now has a boyfriend and a few more gay kisses have taken place.
In relation to the John Snow Kiss-In event, I used this particular photo because I considered it to be quite mild (no groping, no tongues). The photos I had considered using before I chose that one are much more racy. Oh the irony!
Secondly, the removal of the Facebook John Snow Kiss-In event:
It turns out that the Facebook event for the John Snow Kiss-In was not blocked by Facebook, but made private by the creator of the event itself. Paul Shetler, the organizer, left this comment on the previous thread:
“Hey I just saw this. Before it goes too far, I just want people to know that FB have NOT removed the kiss-in event page; it’s still there, but _I made the event private after the event_ was over and only visible to those who had been invited as there were starting to be trolls posting abusive nonsense on it.”
Thanks for clearing that up, Paul. Now if Facebook will only reply to Richard’s query about why they removed my original post and photo when he put it up on his wall…
It has been erroneously reported in the media that our own Richard Metzger (who lives in Los Angeles) organized the London “Kiss-In” event, which is untrue, and also unfair to Paul Shetler and the actual organizers. Also, Richard did not state in his post that Facebook HAD taken the event page down, he just questioned IF this was the case and IF there was a connection with MY post about the event being removed from his own wall. This seems to have confused some people.
Here is a report on the John Snow Kiss-In from the Guardian, featuring an interview with Mr Shetler:
Steve Moore is one half of the band Zombi, who create excellent synth-drenched soundscapes heavily influenced by prog rock and 70s/80s Italian horror movie soundtracks. But that’s not all he does—no, this incredibly prolific artist also records under a variety of names such as Lovelock, Titan and Gianni Rossi and has worked with a dizzying array of highly respected labels. He now has another band to add to that list, Miracle, a more vocal-based, almost poppy project which sees Moore working with Daniel O’Sullivan of the band Guapo. Their latest release is the Fluid Window EP on the House Anxiety label (who have previously released music by The Big Pink). Miracle recently made a video for the EP’s lead track “The Visitor” (below) and have made another track, “Sunstar”, available as a free download via Pitchfork.
As synth-pop goes, this is good. I mean really, really good. In the age of lots of pretenders to the synth-pop throne (La Roux, Hurts, Mirrors, Villa Nah, etc) Miracle sound like the real deal. It’s not just because of the synth fetishism on display here (giving Miracle an instant edge over most modern producers’ software based production), but because their music is positively soaked in atmosphere. It’s very easy nowadays to download a free analog synth emulator, sing over an arpeggiator and pretend to be Depeche Mode. What’s much harder is to capture the melancholy longing in those seminal 80s records—the longing to escape gray modernity into a better future, but with a tinge of fear for the darkness that future might hold. Miracle obviously know what they are doing because “The Visitor” sounds like the best Depeche Mode single since around 1988.
Extreme Ironing has been described as an “activity that combines the danger and excitement of an ‘extreme’ sport with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt.” The Daily Telegraph reports on a “mystery man” seen ironing a shirt on a section of England’s M1 motorway, between the junctions for Selvage Lane and Glendor Garden. (Un)Fortunately the section was closed due to an earlier fire, which doesn’t exactly make it that extreme, perhaps it was just a dress rehearsal?
The trend for extreme ironing was started by rock climber Phil Shaw, in Leicester in 1997 when he mixed his liking for extreme sports with the mundane, household chore.
I laughed to myself the other day when I saw longtime Republican pollster/spinmeister Frank Luntz on one of the cable news outlets—probably Fox News, but I can’t recall—giving some GOP talking points a dry run.
Not that he was exactly trying anything new, or innovating. In the context of the budget battle, Obama’s speech and the DOA “Ryan plan” etc., Luntz merely trotted out the by-now familiar threadbare Republican shuck and jive routine about how American families understand that you can’t live beyond your means and that the only remedy for that would be to tighten belts, stop living on credit cards and pay off debts. And the Ryan plan is going to achieve this in Washington by blah blah blah. I don’t even know why he bothered to finish his thought, he just should have said “blah, blah, blah” and everyone still would have understood what exactly he meant, anyway. Who cares? Who gives a shit? We’ve heard this all before, ten thousand times… Enough.
It’s too predictable. Too rote. Too by the numbers. Too old-fashioned. Shtick. The Republican orthodoxy is over-exposed. Transparently obvious. People are sick of hearing it, and when they are forced to listen to it over and over and over again ad infinitum on Fox News and elsewhere, what might have sounded like simple down home “common sense” when Ronald Reagan said it, just sounds like disingenuous bullshit in 2011. Bullshit being dished out, in most instances by mean-looking old white guys on the tee-vee talking about lowering the nation’s prospects, en masse, of living out old age with dignity, in favor of still more tax cuts for the top 1%. The problem with this simplistic focus group-tested “homespun” GOP messaging stuff is that no one buys it anymore except for the very least sophisticated characters amongst us, i.e. the real Republican base: The Dummies.
Republicans need some new material. Badly. With Donald Trump in the race it’s going to take a turn for the “even dumber.” It’s bad not just for them, but for everybody. (Everybody except Obama… and Donald Trump, of course, who is playing everyone, or thinks he is. He wins no matter what!)
A short item that ran on Wonkette, I think, sums up just how stupid the “Republican message” is getting to sound to… the rest of us, when the latest gloss on their talking points goes something like this… Quoting from Team Sarah:
The $60 billion that the Republicans wanted to cut from spending (simple cuts, not “reductions in rates”) was to the Federal Budget what 1/2 of a French Fry would be to a Big Mac Value Meal (medium size). That’s right, 1/2 of a fry. So why did the Dems manage to get the Republicans to cut that down to $38 billion? Do you realize what that amounts to in the same Value Meal? 1/4 of a French Fry. That’s the equivalent amount of calories in the Big Mac Value Meal that the $38 billion represents in terms of government spending. Think about that the next time you get a Value Meal (of any kind) at the fast food drive-thru.
I certainly shall!
Sarah Palin herself has always seemed “one fry short of a Happy Meal” to me—a whole fry, mind you, not half of one—but even accounting for the bottomless pit appetite for the regurgitation of ludicrously simplistic talking points on the right, this is a new, groan-worthy, anti-intellectual low. Even coming from her blinkered camp. Why wouldn’t someone conclude that the Teabaggers are idiots after reading the kinds of… uh… fucking idiocy they espouse?
I mean who can take a metaphor about a Value Meal seriously?
Below, pro-labor demonstrators nearly drown out Sarah Palin as she screeches nonsense addressing the Tea party faithful some dummies in Madison, WI, on April 15th. She tells them to fight for America, to take their country back and blah, blah, blah…