Blackpaint 388 – Zizek, Trockel, Callan and Mona


Zizek, YODD

Year of Living Dangerously (2011).  So full of ideas and observations, crackling and fizzing, mostly undeveloped, unexplained, dropped for something else, that it’s impossible to critique a chapter, let alone the whole book.  For instance:  “capitalism without capitalists” – only managers on super salaries and bonuses now, running businesses owned by banks run by managers on super salaries, like a big beehive with honey but no queen… that’s a book’s -worth of theory, needing development and explication – but no, move on. Bit of invective maybe, those who disagree are morons…

I like his analysis of The Wire; how the McNultys and Freamons and the rest help to prop up the system by going outside the rules, making it seem that capitalism can deliver some justice (except it can’t, because they fail).  This reminded me of “Callan”, a British TV series in the 60’s.  Callan, played superbly by Edward Woodward, was a tough, indignant little man who lived in a dingy London bedsit; when the British state needed a dirty undercover job done, a Russian spy assassinated maybe, Callan got a call and a brown envelope.  If something went wrong, he would be on his own; the state would deny knowledge.  He bristled with morality, of course; his public school controllers were all about expediency and hypocrisy.

Not the same, I know; The Wire crew operate without sanction, Callan was a (secret) secret servant of the state.  Powerful idea, though; I assumed for years  that every democratic state has a Callan or two, to do those jobs which “need to be done”, but which can’t be acknowledged.  I don’t think I’m alone in this; the Hilda Murrell case comes to mind and the conspiracy theories about Dr Kelly’s suicide.  Some people seem to be convinced these were murders, although if so, they were highly incompetent and to no credible purpose.

Rosemary Trockel at the Serpentine Gallery

  • Starts with dozens of little pictures, collages, photos, drawings, some like Marlene Dumas a little; the young German pop fan, Emin-like drawing of a man kneeling and puking in a toilet, adverts…
  • Wall hangings made from coloured strands of wool, vertical or horizontal, some threadbare, some perfect, with bright, jazzy colours on black..
  • Ceramic plaques, like great splats or badges of quartz or fool’s gold, or shiny, glazed china spladged against the wall..
  • Glass cases with tableaux and assemblages – a flat photographic girl bending up at the front end, as if reading, while a baby sleeps in a cot, with a fat black fly on its face (baby not cot);  a furry tendriled sac behind baby’s head inflate and deflates like breathing…
  • and lots more.

trockel

It made me think of Beuys – the fabric and the cases, I suppose.  I felt constipated during and after, which I feel was a reaction to the air of clutter and stuffiness – but constipated in a good way.

Theory of Validating Crapness – the Mona Lisa

Here goes with the first VC (see last blog):

It’s the white line coming from the region of her left ear.  Seems to be a rock shelf, but doesn’t correspond to anything on left side of head.  Nevertheless, it  adds something…I think – although now, it’s beginning to irritate me.  Is it damage and restoration, maybe?

mona lisa

The Secret in Their Eyes

Brilliant Argentinian film, set in present day and in 1974, during the Dirty War; palpable “chemistry” between the two –  mature leads.  The surprise ending echoes a Nabokov short story called “Russian Spoken Here”.  Despite the melodrama and the unashamedly romantic core, a real pleasure.

Little Dorrit

Dickens really knows how to end a book; I was dreading another ten chapters or so, to tie up some of the loose ends (I think they were loose – I couldn’t quite grasp the details of the financial arrangements), but I needn’t have worried.  Dickens was obviously bored too, so he made the house fall down and bury the villain.  Job done – marry the hero and heroine to each other and on with the next page turner…  The thing is, you can never tell how much more there is to go, if you’re reading a Collected Works on a Kindle; I started on 57% and finished, 30+ chapters later, on 60%!

??????????

Memento Park

Blackpaint

04.04.13

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