Sunday, November 14, 2004

Reading around the usual range of technocratic liberal blogs since the election, I despair of coming upon much of value. No fucking sense whatsoever that there are contradictions that can not be overcome by strategy alone.

The middle class represents its own interests. Rich coastal liberals make their money the same way rich republicans do; Manhattan isn't a den full of communist sympathizers, it's the home of people whose cleaning ladies live train-rides away in the outer boroughs, of well heeled servants of the truly powerful and their attendants. I'm as sick of earnest liberals as I am of Brad DeLong's bullshit literary tastes. Same delusion.

Nobody lives their ideas, they live their sensibility; and when there's a conflict, tell me which one wins?

Anri Sala and Francesca Woodman at Marian Goodman

Dammi i Colori documents the small offer of hope made by the mayor of Tirana, Sala's old friend and schoolmate, to his electorate. The question comes up of destiny vs. choice, to give the citizens of Albania's capital, so used to the former, at least the possibility of another option. But both Sala and his friend forget that artists live the contradiction of choosing to live by destiny. The authoritarianism of the poet surrounds the conversation like a frame.

There isn't much intellectually new in Woodman's photographs. They document the romantic self absorbtion of a pretty adolescent girl. But she was a brilliant girl; brilliant minds are subtle imaginations, and her imagination was visual. The photographs describe the sensations of her indulgence with such specificity and detail that we begin almost to share them.

Communication does not begin or end with ideas but with gestures. To end where I began: I may have an argument with the mayor of Tirana, but he understands this more than Brad DeLong.

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