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Tag: Michael Marder
Send Gaza back to the Middle Ages (November 26 2012) Send Gaza back to the Middle Ages (November 26 2012)

Michael Marder the Spanish Ikerbasque Research Professor of Philosophy has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘Israel’s medievalism’ claiming calls to send Gaza “back to the Middle Ages” only reinforce Israel’s current state of medievalism. Marder states “In one of the most brazen and, at the same time, frank declarations to date, the Israeli Minister of the Interior, Eli Yishai stated regarding the war currently being waged on the Gaza Strip: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for forty years.” With these words, he revealed much more than the subtext behind the official reasons for the invasion, namely restoring Israel’s “deterrence capabilities” and destroying Hamas missile launchers. He also shed light on Binyamin Netanyahu’s vision of peace not as a relation among equals but as the calm of the defeated, the vision consistent with the use of war to bolster the Prime Minister’s domestic image as a tough, military leader in a run-up to his likely re-election in January 2013. Yishai’s Biblical allusions to forty years of wandering in the desert are not accidental. After all, his political party, Shas, is the utterly fanatical, religious faction in the Netanyahu government. Its ideal of Israel, too, is not very far from being medieval – a country where men and women would be segregated in public transport as well as in every area of public life, where freedom of religion would be a pipe dream, and where homosexuality would be deemed a plague “as toxic as bird flu”. In brief, both the domestic and the foreign policies of Yishai’s party are based on a venomous mix of anti-modernism, theocracy, religious parochialism, and disrespect for human rights.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Michael Marder

Giant high-heel shoe of pots and lids (August 6 2012) Giant high-heel shoe of pots and lids (August 6 2012)

Joana Vasconcelos the 41 year old Portuguese-French artist renowned for her appropriations, de-contextualisation and subversion of pre-existent objects and everyday realities. Vasconcelos’ work has been critiqued by Patricia Vieira & Michael Marder in an Aljazeera article, where her piece titled ‘Dorothy’ is described as a “giant high-heel shoe is created by putting together aluminium pots and lids of various sizes. …Dorothy juxtaposes the most recognisable markers of the stereotypical private and public female roles: the pots symbolise housekeeping duties and the high-heel shoe stands for the glamorous image of a seductress. The artist and her work become channels for the communication among disparate things that did not previously belong to the same spatial and temporal constellation. The pots and the shoe speak to one another, and what they relate to us in their thingly language is the material underside of women’s oppression. In Dorothy, Vasconcelos stages an encounter not only between things drawn from two different spheres of everyday life but also between a given thing and a seemingly incongruous milieu. This is accomplished both by changing the dimensions of a normal shoe and by placing the giant shoe in an unexpected setting: a garden or a hall of Versailles.” Vasconcelos’ sculptures and installations, as well as performances and video or photographic records, reveal an acute sense of scale and mastery of colour, while combining in the materialization of concepts that challenge the prearranged routines of daily life.


Inspired by Patricia Vieira & Michael Marder image source Facebook

Art and the language of things (August 5 2012) Art and the language of things (August 5 2012)

Patricia Vieira the American assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Comparative Literature has co-published an article on Aljazeera with Michael Marder a Research Professor of Philosophy. The article titled ‘Art and the language of things’ discusses how inanimate objects may communicate a meaning or intent through their juxtaposition with other objects. In the article Vieira states “Two of modern art’s most salient features are its self-reflexivity and its attention to context, and both bear upon the language of things. First, many modern artworks include an extended meditation on materiality. They realise, in the course of their open-ended aesthetic self-critique, that their inspiration lies somewhere other than the “genius” of the artist, namely in the things themselves. Second, modern art often plays with contextuality, placing familiar objects in unexpected environments, and so changing the relations among things. Art pieces extend beyond themselves and cannot be interpreted without referring to their literal and figurative frames. …Re-contextualisation has been a hallmark of the artistic avant-garde since the beginning of the 20th century – for instance, in Duchamp’s ready-mades, transported into the space of a museum. …The things the artist brings together get a chance for a second life in the material communities created by … aesthetic interventions. Once it begins, there is no inherent closure to the conversation among things, as more can be added to the ones already in existence… It demonstrates that things communicate with one another in their materiality, without resorting to words. The language of things is a language without names … offers us a glimpse into their interminable conversation by allowing the unnameable to speak to us.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Jimdo

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