japonisme: what was meant

25 February 2008

what was meant

NOT WHAT WAS MEANT

When the Academy of Arts demanded freedom

Of artistic expression from narrow-minded bureaucrats

There was a howl and a clamour in its immediate vicinity

But roaring above everything

Came a deafening thunder of applause

From beyond the Sector boundary.

Freedom! it roared. Freedom for the artists!

Freedom all round! Freedom for all!

Freedom for the exploiters!

Freedom for the warmongers!

Freedom for the Ruhr cartels!

Freedom for Hitler's generals!

Softly, my dear fellows...

The Judas kiss for the artists follows

Hard on the Judas kiss for the workers.

The arsonist with his bottle of petrol

Sneaks up grinning to

The Academy of Arts.

But it was not to embrace him, just

To knock the bottle out of his dirty hand that

We asked for elbow room.

Even the narrowest minds

In which peace is harboured

Are more welcome to the arts than the art lover

Who is also a lover of the art of war.

Bertolt Brecht

(i admit to being saddened, confused, angry, at trying to reconcile in my head when a favorite artist also drew for hitler.)

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9 Comments:

Blogger A.Decker said...

I agree with Brecht, and sympathise with you, applaud you for having the courage to present this.

Which is very well done, by the way. I enjoy the way you maneuver the text around your pictures. I haven't quite got that worked out yet.

Anyway, this one moves me.

25 February, 2008 17:18  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thank you so much, a.d. very kind words.

27 February, 2008 20:21  
Blogger Jacob Russell said...

I started to leave a comment... but it grew into a larger thought... which I will leave on JRBD...

27 February, 2008 20:31  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

hey no fair. how about this-- after you've worked it through come back and share some thoughts here?

27 February, 2008 21:46  
Blogger Jacob Russell said...

They're there to see, and belong both here and there... wanted to spread the word on what a wonderful site you have here.

27 February, 2008 21:57  
Blogger Jacob Russell said...

You're right, of course.. I can't assume your guests will pop over to the Barking Dog to read my comments... so here they are:

'm sitting in my little South Philly efficiency... traffic passing by, glass of wine in hand at the end of the day... taking in a recent visit to Japonisme... Emily Dickinson's word... transport. Transported to wonder.

You really are finding your way, Lotusgreen, to something special here--the marriage of commentary, images, research.

And Clavdia Chauchat of Letters from a Librarian. In her most recent post, she reflects on what I think of as the aesthetics of process. Both of you illustrate brilliantly what can happen when an intelligent, creative sensibility begins to discover the possibilities of a new medium.

I think of Walter Benjamin... collector, connoisseur of intellectual bricolage--you two strike me as unanticipated descendants blossoming from seeds accidentally sown in the wake of his passing.

I can't open one of your latest offerings without being struck by the strangeness... how ephemeral--like dreams, but dreams that we have dreamt in common... hevel.. the Hebrew word translated in the King James as "vanity" ... mist... like the fog that dances over a lake at dawn, and vanishes by full light of day. There is something of the awareness of how elusive, how impermanent what your are making... in both of your web logs... and this makes them all the more...

full of wonder...

Wonder... the reward we will not know without pressing to the limits of what we can do and discover... wonder, that belongs, never to what we have won, what we have learned, what we have accomplished.. but always to what remains before us, beyond us... just beyond our reach.

... even the fashion.. .no, especially the inclusion of those images... which is perhaps why I'm holding your two web logs in a single thought--what is fashion... but a loveliness that will not last beyond the season, how we array ourselves in a beauty that must always vanish--an acknowledgment that whatever beauty is, it is nothing we can ever own, and never possess.

28 February, 2008 17:50  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

i am moved beyond words, jacob -- thank you. you make me a little less concerned about myself that it seems to be taking several days' research for one post now, as opposed to one.

28 February, 2008 19:15  
Blogger Jacob Russell said...

Oh .. take your time. Trust that those who see what you're doing here will more than willing to wait. Take time into the design... not simply time for it, as they say... but part of it... you do that now, but evidently you have some residual anxiety about this... trust what you're doing, please...

28 February, 2008 20:25  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

:^)

28 February, 2008 20:36  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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