et in arcadia ego/
séminaire 13/14
Et in Arcadia ego, Le Guerchin, 1618
Iconoclash par Bruno Latour
of limbs
Et in Arcadia ego, Poussin, 1628
Daphnimque tuom tollemus ad astra;/Daphnim ad astra feremus
Séminaire : analyse de l’image

Séminaire 1 - 14/10/2013
James Joyce, Ulysse - Extrait, p52
Pourquoi les images déclenchent-elles tant de passion ?

09/11 : le but est sutout de toucher à une icône, ça n’est pas une cible militaire.
L’adoration du Veau d’Or, Nicolas Poussin - il faisait partie d’une paire (avec le passage de la mer rouge). Dans l’AT, le Veau d’Or est une attaque contre l’idolâtrie. Comme les Twin Towers sont les icônes des USA mais aussi de l’impérialisme, du capitalisme etc... Au delà du politique, tout cela touche au religieux.
La Résurrection, Fra Angelico

Le texte de Joyce introduit une rupture. Il se termine par «Ouvre les yeux».
Black Box, Tony Smith
House of Card, Richard Serra (à 4 pour l’assembler)
Anish Kapoor, Witheout

Gerhard Richter, September - Acheté par le MoMA de New York.
Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild
Rothko, No. 15

Le Christ chassant les marchants du temple, El Greco - Nouveau testament
La Kaaba - ante-islamique en fait, se rapporte à des cultes de la Pierre (notamment chez les grecs) - lien avec les sculptures que l’on a vu juste avant...

Séminaire 2 - 21/10/13
Walker Evans, Childe’s Grave with Plate on Plot, Hale Country, Alabama
James Agee, Louons les grands hommes - à la fin du livre, on trouve les images de Walker Evans. On trouve les images sur le site du Metropolitan Museum of Art. Séries de photos dans la Deep Repression.

Tête d’homme barbu. - C’est le tout début du moment où l’image arrive comme représentation, comme mimésis. C’est le début de notre histoire...
Giacometti, Le Cube
Le tombeau de Louis XII - intemporalité, le Roi et la Reine ne meurent pas ! Icônes...

Tomb sculpture - quelques aspects de la sculpture funéraire — Livre introuvable et non ré-édité, sans doute à cause des images...

Richard Serra, Block for Charlie Chaplin - en acier forgé, une énorme machine est utilisée pour mettre ça en oeuvre contrairement à d’autres techniques. C’est beaucoup plus dense.

Tout sculpture, au final est une histoire de perte. Toute image.
Les bergers d’Arcadie - Nicolas Poussin — sur le site du Louvre, commentaire nul... «Et in arcadia ego».

«Détruire la peinture» de Louis Marin (édition Gallilée, 1977) — Nicolas Poussin aurait dit au Caravage qu’il est venu à la peinture pour la détuire.
«Et in arcadia ego», phrase étrange, sans verbe ou déterminant... «Même en Arcadie, moi». Qui parle ? (Le louvre traduit par «Même en Arcadie, moi, la mort, j’existe»).

Séminaire 3 - 28/10/13
Giovani Francesco Barbieri (Guercino ou le Gerchin) a peint avant un “Et in arcadia ego”. On peut lire le texte sur un socle sur lequel un crâne est posé.

Tout cela est à mettre en relation avec la V° Eglogue de Virgile.

Kouros dit d’Anavyssos (540-515) : stèle funéraire pour un jeune guérrier athénien.

Canova - architecte
Alberect Dürer, Melancolia I, autoportrait de l’artiste moderne. — Melancolia artificialis, l’homme moderne est né…
if I can do it myself,
then it's not really art
"art" sucks
… I was recently at an art event with a nice enough fellow. He suggested a gallery crawl in the local art district because he knew me well enough to know I love art, but not well enough to know I detest modern art. It’s the thought that counts I suppose.
We came across this particular painting of really bad modern abstract art. Think Jackson Pollock having a seizure after ingesting LSD. A lot of LSD. Violent scribblings and stick figures. Of course I hated it, but when he asked me what I thought I had to squelch the urge to spit out my first response… you know those drawings done by mental patients when asked to draw “home”. Yeah it looked like that, only worse. So I just said it was interesting.
He persisted. I felt cornered. Oh c’mon, years of studying art history and that’s all you got, “interesting”! I felt challenged. So I rattled off some pseudo intellectual art babble about composition. Blah Blah Blah. The damn piece of ugliness wasn’t even titled, it was pretentiously numbered [God, there were MORE than one of these!?], so I couldn’t gather what the artist was trying to portray.
This guy would seriously not let it go. I felt like he was using it as some sort of date Rorschach art test, asking me repeatedly what I see.
Fine! You want to know what I “see”? It looks like dark twisted demons surrounding mutilated corpses or art therapy used on the psychotically disturbed. I told him it reminded me of my work in forensics and compared certain elements of the painting to an actual crime scene I witnessed. I got as graphic I could. On purpose.
He just looked at me with shock, frowned deeply and said “My God, you are dark.”
The evening was down hill from there. This is precisely why you shouldn’t encourage me to be myself, people. At least not right away.
—why do
so much
mort d'une icône
The problem is that modern museums of art fail to tell people directly why art matters, because Modernist aesthetics (in which curators are trained) is so deeply suspicious of any hint of an instrumental approach to culture. To have an answer anyone could grasp as to the question of why art matters is too quickly viewed as 'reductive.' We have too easily swallowed the Modernist idea that art which aims to change or help or console its audience must by definition be 'bad art' (Soviet art is routinely trotted out here as an example) and that only art which wants nothing too clearly of us can be good. Hence the all-too-frequent question with which we leave the modern museum of art: what did that mean?

Why should this veneration of ambiguity continue? Why should confusion be a central aesthetic emotion? Is an emptiness of intent on the part of an art work really a sign of its importance?

Christianity, by contrast, never leaves us in any doubt about what art is for: it is a medium to teach us how to live, what to love and what to be afraid of. Such art is extremely simple at the level of its purpose, however complex and subtle it is at the level of its execution (i.e. Titian). Christian art amounts to a range of geniuses saying such incredibly basic but extremely vital things as: "Look at that picture of Mary if you want to remember what tenderness is like." "Look at that painting of the cross if you want a lesson in courage." "Look at that Last Supper to train yourself not to be a coward and a liar." The crucial point is that the simplicity of the message implies nothing whatsoever about the quality of the work itself as a piece of art. Instead of refuting instrumentalism by citing the case of Soviet art, we could more convincingly defend it with reference to Mantegna and Bellini.

This leads to a suggestion: what if modern museums of art kept in mind the example of the didactic function of Christian art, in order once in a while to reframe how they presented their collections? Would it ruin a Rothko to highlight for an audience the function that Rothko himself declared that he hoped his art would have: that of allowing the viewer a moment of communion around an echo of the suffering of our species?

Try to imagine what would happen if modern secular museums took the example of churches more seriously. What if they too decided that art had a specific purpose -- to make us a bit more sane, or slightly good or once in a while or a little wiser and kinder -- and tried to use the art in their possession to prompt us to be so? Perhaps art shouldn't be 'for art's sake', one of the most misunderstood, unambitious and sterile of all aesthetic slogans: why couldn't art be - as it was in religious eras - more explicitly for something?

Modern art museums typically lead us into galleries set out under headings such as 'The Nineteenth Century' and 'The Northern Italian School', which reflect the academic traditions in which their curators have been educated. A more fertile indexing system might group together artworks from across genres and eras according to our inner needs. A walk through a museum of art should amount to a structured encounter with a few of the things which are easiest for us to forget and most essential and life-enhancing to remember.

The challenge is to rewrite the agendas for our art museums so that collections can begin to serve the needs of psychology as effectively as, for centuries, they served those of theology. Curators should attempt to put aside their deep-seated fears of instrumentalism and once in a while co-opt works of art to an ambition of helping us to get through life. Only then would museums be able to claim that they had properly fulfilled the excellent but as yet elusive ambition of in part becoming substitutes for churches in a rapidly secularising society.
We’re image-obsessed,
always have been.
You often hear it said that 'musems of art are our new churches': in other words, in a secularising world, art has replaced religion as a touchstone of our reverence and devotion. It's an intriguing idea, part of the broader ambition that culture should replace scripture, but in practice art museums often abdicate much of their potential to function as new churches (places of consolation, meaning, sanctuary, redemption) through the way they handle the collections entrusted to them. While exposing us to objects of genuine importance, they nevertheless seem unable to frame them in a way that links them powerfully to our inner needs.
A century from now, we're going to have a generation of hopelessly confused youngsters.

"Mommy, why was everything really yellow back then?"

Like it or not, every hastily-captured cameraphone picture we post, every snarky comment we tweet, every embarrassing video that ends up on YouTube is collectively creating an enormously detailed and indelible record of our time here on this earth. Actually, it's amazing. Seriously, it's a really cool time to be alive: never before in the history of mankind have we been able to prove that we were here, to show how we lived and what we did, in lifelike fidelity.

Therein lies the problem with Instagram.

Instagram and its various analogues have created a legion of smartphone users who are quite literally uploading billions of damaged images into the public record. Yes, "damaged." Because when you apply a parlor trick filter to your photo, you're not enhancing it, you're destroying it. You're robbing it of its realness, its nuance, and replacing it with garbage that serves no function other than to aggrandize your own false sense of artisanship.

And make no mistake, you aren't an artist.

If you were an artist, you wouldn't be using Instagram in the first place. You certainly wouldn't be using a filter as a crutch. At the end of the day, that's what Instagram filters are: a crutch, a misguided replacement for a properly composed shot and a decent sensor. The moments that you want to share with your Facebook friends and your Twitter followers should be about the raw realism of your circumstance, not some hand-waving fakery conceived by a small handful of (admittedly very talented) code monkeys in San Francisco.

News flash: I don't care about the fake retro metadata imprinted into the fake top edge of your fake 35mm slide. And ultimately, your great grandchildren aren't going to care, either. Nor are mine. Please don't confuse them about what our world was really like; let's give them something real to look at, to study, and to learn from. If you insist on using Instagram simply as a photo-sharing service, fine — even though there are already several great ones out there, I'll grudgingly accept. But throw those filters away and never look back.

— Chris Ziegler: Stop pretending to be an artist, The Verge
A hundred years from now, our children will be much more concerned with finding a cure for the zombie virus than about the "accuracy" of our photos. Still, I think it's worth explaining why that high horse you're sitting on is made of fragile and ultimately illusory sticks.

First and foremost, you're suggesting that the purpose of taking and sharing photos is to create a historical record that's as true, as "accurate," as possible to real life. Well, no, that's not what people are aiming to do when they snap a shot with their camera phones — not everybody is a journalist and even journalists recognize that an un-retouched image isn't true to real life. Last time I checked, when a picture gets taken there are things left out: the things outside the frame of the shot, the smell of the fall leaves, the sound of the plane overhead, the feel of the wind raising the hair on your arms as you capture a tiny portion of your experience on a beautiful fall day.

See, an image is (in part) a stand-in, a placeholder for those things. When most people share photos, they're trying to share their experience at that moment. Adding a filter is a way to make what came out of an inaccurate image sensor feel more true to that moment.

But OK, fine, even though you're deeply wrong about the purpose (and value) of sharing photos on Instagram, let's move on and get to the real problem here. The fidelity problem. There is no image that is not already "damaged," as you put it, the moment it's saved. We've already discussed that an image can only capture light that's in frame — but after that, what happens? Image processing. Tiny microchips are already making artistic decisions before you can even apply your hipster filters. Colors get saturated, pixels get interpolated, and most importantly on most cameras: JPGs get created. JPGs in all their artifacting glory. You say that adding a filter robs an image of its "realness," but my friend: no image is ever "real" to begin with. They are and will always already be damaged.

What's more damaged? Posting a photo that looks bland and lifeless but more accurately presents all of the foibles and failures of your sub-par 8-megapixel shooter? Or posting a photo with a filter that you feel more accurately presents all the feeling and nuance of the moment you are trying to express in the limited and frail medium of imagery?

Even if we grant that someday there will be a perfect camera with infinite megapixels, infinite Lytro-esque depth, and zero post-processing on the created file, the images it kicks out will not be "real" and "true." They will be — wait for it — artistic.

Here's the nut of the argument you're making: "you aren't an artist." Well, yes, yes I am. And so is everybody who snaps a picture on even the worst cameraphone. Choosing the shot, missing one fleeting moment but capturing another, moving one foot to the left so you can get the right light: these are all artistic decisions.

Every photographer is an artist and every photograph is art, period. Every photographer is already interpreting and adding their own point of view to the things he or she photographs. The spread of tools like Instagram means that we are democratizing the ability of regular people to do more interpretation. To argue otherwise smacks of elitism.

The real question here is: why do you hate democracy?

— Dieter Bohn: Every photographer is an artist, The Verge
La femme de ménage d'un musée jette une oeuvre d'art à la poubelle
«Je suis allée ouvrir la salle, j’ai vu tout ce foutoir par terre, les cartons, les bouteilles de verre au-dessus ses cartons, un vrai bordel. Alors j’ai pris les cartons, les bouteilles, j’ai tout mis dehors».

«Comment j'aurais pu savoir? Est-ce que je culpabilise? Non, j'ai simplement fait mon travail. Mais est-ce que je suis triste? Triste oui.»
Une figure fractale ou fractale est une courbe ou surface de forme irrégulière ou morcelée qui se crée en suivant des règles déterministes ou stochastiques impliquant une homothétie interne. Le terme « fractale » est un néologisme créé par Benoît Mandelbrot en 19741 à partir de la racine latine fractus, qui signifie brisé, irrégulier (fractale n.f). Dans la « théorie de la rugosité » développée par Mandelbrot, une fractale désigne des objets dont la structure est invariante par changement d’échelle.
— Un plaisir hystérique
de l'auto-destruction.
That's all, folks.
Art under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm will be the first exhibition exploring the history of physical attacks on art in Britain from the 16th century to the present day. Iconoclasm describes the deliberate destruction of icons, symbols or monuments for religious, political or aesthetic motives. The exhibition will examine the movements and causes which have led to assaults on art through objects, paintings, sculpture and archival material.
Highlights include Thomas Johnson’s Interior of Canterbury Cathedral 1657– the only painting documenting Puritan iconoclasm in England – exhibited for the first time alongside stained glass removed from the windows of the cathedral. Edward Burne-Jones’ Sibylla Delphica 1898 and Allen Jones’ Chair 1969, damaged by suffragettes and feminists will be on display, as well as evidence of statues destroyed in Ireland during the 20th century. The show will consider artists such as Gustav Metzger, Yoko Ono and Jake and Dinos Chapman, who have used destruction as a creative force.

Religious iconoclasm of the 16th and 17th centuries is explored with statues of Christ decapitated during the Dissolution, smashed stained glass from Rievaulx Abbey, fragments of the great rood screen at Winchester Cathedral and a book of hours from British Library, defaced by state-sanctioned religious reformers. These works are accompanied by vivid accounts of the destructive actions of Puritan iconoclasts.

Examples of attacks on symbols of authority during periods of political change include a portrait of Oliver Cromwell hung upside down by the staunch monarchist Prince Frederick Duleep Singh (1868 – 1926). It also shows fragments from statues of William III and Nelson’s Pillar destroyed by blasts during political struggles in Dublin in 1929 and 1966 respectively.

Suffragettes’ targeted attacks on cultural heritage are illustrated with works by Edward Burne-Jones’ Sibylla Delphica 1898, attacked in 1913 in Manchester, the birthplace of Emmeline Pankhurst, as well as John Singer Sargent’s Henry James 1913, slashed at the Royal Academy in 1914. These are accompanied by archival descriptions of the actions carried out and police surveillance photography of the militant Suffragette protagonists.

Assaults on art stimulated by moral or aesthetic outrage include those on Carl Andre’s Equivalent III 1966, and Allen Jones’ Chair 1969, damaged on International Women’s Day in the 1980s. The show reveals how for some modern artists destruction has been utilised as a creative force. The piano and chair destroyed by Ralph Ortiz during the 1966 Destruction in Art Symposiusm is on public display for the first time, alongside audio recordings of this action and works by Gustav Metzger, John Latham and Yoko Ono. Portraits from Jake and Dinos Chapman’s One Day You Will No Longer Be Loved series, Mark Wallinger’s Via Dolorosa 2002 and Douglas Gordon’s Self-portrait of you and me 2008 are also be included.