Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Feinberg’

Indoor Miner

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Daniel Feinberg, my favorite art world professional, has curated a group show called Diamonds, Diamonds.  Daniel is an artist, artist liaison, artist enabler, zine maker, poet, and curator.  Despite my enthusiasm for it, I won’t be able to see Diamonds, Diamonds, because it’s in Miami, but to the thousands of Floridians who read this blog, please consider my recommendation to see the show.  And to the tens of thousands of locals who read this blog, look to Daniel’s show for some of your favorite female artists: Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Nadia Ayari, Lisa Beck, Barb Choit, Evie Falci, Kathryn Garcia, Michelle Lopez, Davina Semo, Amy Yao, and Tamara Zahaykevich.  For everyone else, check out Jon Leon’s press release, a bright star in a dark sky of repressive, academic press releases.  The full version is below.


Everything you’ve heard about diamonds is true. They really are slippery jewels that glisten and sparkle in the sunshine. The wettest diamonds are especially radiant. Touching a wet diamond for the first time imprints memories that leave a lifetime of traces. There isn’t an experience quite like holding a wet diamond as it perspires between your fingers. The firm pit of the diamond that lies within the soft padding around its angles is a magic center where an intensity of joy is released. Dipping your hands into a diamond mineschle, bringing your treasure up to the surface, and plunging your face into the jagged spectrum of their light is a moment of calm natural serenity. Placing a flawless wet diamond into your very own jewelry box is a sacred moment. Like the rising of the sun above the gently breaking waves around you the jewelry box bursts into an index of transcendent pleasures. White lights dance beneath your eyelids, big stars explode into a skyfull of bright white dots, and the world fades into a variety of color. Open your jewelry box and let the diamonds spill out onto the sheets. Displaying your gems on creamy satin or exotic animal skins is the optimal condition for encouraging their flushed fragrant bloom. Drop them into aquatic pools and watch them drizzle to the waterbed. Love their precious versatility because it is their virtue.

Some say that oysters are full of pearls. In fact, oysters shucked in two will reveal succulent diamonds. It is the kind of ointment you’ll wish to bathe in. When you suck the syrupy nectar from an oyster its taste is beyond the thrust of imagination. Take two oysters, crush them into each other, and watch them dissolve into tennis bracelets. A diamond shaped from breaking salt waves, white sand, and sun will provide the utmost pleasure. Nude diamonds illuminated like beacons populate the beachfronts of far-flung resorts. Discovering a wet nude diamond becomes the life work of mystics and connoisseurs. One must hold the diamond close in order to absorb its full affect. There aren’t pictures in a book that can describe the silky aroma of nature’s climactic jewel. It’s like a vast open peach orchard at daybreak frosted with a moist heavenly dew. Of the endangered diamonds it is the forbidden stones that fall from the sky like starshowers that are the most dear. Lie down on the beach at night and look to the constellations. Open your mouth wide and swallow the diamond beams. Completely disrobe for a deep diamond tan.

There are diamonds as big as walnuts. And then there are diamonds as big as The Ritz. The healthiest diamonds are the biggest, wildly cut, stones. Great big diamonds that you can wear on chains that hang between your breasts, or sewn into your hair. But the best way to wear a diamond is all over your face. Daubing diamonds into your cheeks like a rouge, or allowing them to drool over your lips is preferable. Tonguing diamonds, even eating a whole diamond is good for the skin. Surrendering like a captive to the diamond’s intrepid elocution is the only way to commingle with its essence. Lie prone to its largesse. Wrap your hands around it and look deeply into its center. It will tell you things – warm, soft, seductions. You can learn to swim, as dolphins have, in an ocean of diamonds. Imagine a vast expanse of glowing serenity punctuated by the occasional silver fin. You can be a part of it. With a pocketful of diamonds you can escape to the limits.

"Carla" by Kathryn Garcia


Meanwhile, here is a gem of a mediation that “Diamonds” curator Daniel Feinberg wrote after a visit to Naples, Italy.

Napoli Report

To believe that really good art goes into the unknown. Or arouses the
unknown. Sol LeWitt at Museu D’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina
Napoli. Michelangelo Merisi da Carravagio at Pio Monte della
Misericordia. Currently around the corner from each other, like two
UFO’s crash landed from two different planets, not exactly friends,
certainly colleagues. LeWitt’s Hanging Complex Form, 1989 and
Carravagio’s final painting The Seven Works of Mercy, 1607 are
hexagonal simulacra of one another’s mysethical radiance. Kinetic
as the trinity may be, formally each work develops three equal axies
that intersect in their content slant concept. American art historian
John Spike notes that the angel at the center of Caravaggio’s
altarpiece transmits the grace that inspires humanity to be merciful.
LeWitt’s division of grace takes transmission through the prosthetic
stretch of a complex form. Painted wood, pure void. Father, son,
spirit triangulates down, movement imported into mass as Heinrich
Wölfflin wrote of the painting. I think of a poem I read in the 90s:

If God exists
and I know he must
he does in a dark-green,
¾ time.

Irrational baroque romanticism saves lives. It’s practically a
tautology. Two eruptions, behind closed doors, in an ancient city.
Beyond the market, there is another market, spreading chaos to the
cash rules everything around me set theories. But money problems
are merely surface manifestations. Euro Churches still remind me
of that, but so does American Minimalism: isotopic illuminations of
model behavior, utopian shadows scaled by tenebric light, new forms
new thoughts new age. Primary geometries and modular theologies
aside, I think that transcendence is an important conversation for
slaves or prisoners or curators to have.



The Jewish Question

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I’m not Jewish; nobody’s perfect.  Beyond my aesthetic interests, I also worry that not being Jewish makes me miss out. With neither bloodline nor lifeline to Judaism, I can’t really absorb the solemn history Jewish people suffer, nor the wisdom their experience imparts to the rest of us.  Not being Jewish is a tattered quilt that insulates me from a heritage as constantly endangered yet always indestructible as mankind itself.

Were I half Jewish, would that improve me 50 percent?  Or would that bring me the best of both worlds?  One enlightening proposal is an excerpt from Alessandro Piperno’s Proust, Anti-Jew.  It is the most stirring text in SEMITES, the new magazine conceived, designed, and curated by New York artist and poet Daniel Feinberg.

Piperno parses through the network of conflicting ideas and memories that customized Proust’s reality as a half-Jew, and Proust’s subsequent sublimation of that material into Remembrance of Things Past.  Often unrecognized as Jewish, Proust accidentally infiltrated his anti-semitic neighbors.  Like a silent spook among vocal anti-Semites, he had a rhetorical dual citizenship during the divisive Dreyfus affair, and a prescient vision of aging and destiny.

Marcel Proust on His Deathbed, Man Ray, 1922
Marcel Proust on His Deathbed, Man Ray, 1922

In the 48 pages of SEMITES and the accompanying multimedia website, provocative text coexists with lively images ranging from (and blending) camp with iconoclasm.  The apocalyptic humor plants ambiguous criticism, which befits the Israeli conflict, entombed under countless layers of sorrow and confusion.  Daniel’s “chosen” style, handcrafted appropriation, invokes guerilla art and Dada collages, perfect for such unstable subject matter.  An infinity loop of “An I for an I,” handwritten, wraps around a Pyramid in Giza, part of a series of retouched Polaroids that haunt us with ancient history.  Retouched film stills remind us of the cycles of war that have befallen us all (and certain drunk Hollywood actors).  Through SEMITES, Daniel Feinberg joins the roster of artists researching and addressing Middle Eastern Turmoil, including Emily JacirFrancis Alÿs, and Walid Raad, to name just a few.

Walid Raad; Let's Be Honest, the Weather Helped (Finland, Germany, Greece, Egypt, Belgium), 1984-2007
Walid Raad; Let's Be Honest, the Weather Helped (Finland, Germany, Greece, Egypt, Belgium), 1984-2007

What do Christians Want: is a conversation with Gil Anidjar, in which the Columbia University professor makes the revolutionary claim that the Christian West controls Jews and Arabs by pitting them against each other in a divide-and-conquer triangle.  Following his late model, Edward Said, and teaching alongside the controversial Joseph Massad at Columbia, Professor Anidjar deconstructs the Israeli conflict through a lens of power and security.

(l-r) Gil Anidjar, Joseph Massad, stone, Edward Said
(l-r) Gil Anidjar, Joseph Massad, stone, Edward Said

To warm up readers for such worldly rigor, Daniel prints Theologico-Political Fragmenta by Walter Benjamin.  The essay is a dialectic trip-out posing the “Messianic” against the “historical” and “political.”  Warning of nihilism, Benjamin proposes isolation and suffering until redemption by restitutio in integrum, which introduces immortality (and headache, for me).

If you prefer list mode, try the streaming roundtable train of defenses and  condemnations of circumcision, “docked” by a sizzling centerfold appropriation.