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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Politics, Art, and Oddness

My post yesterday proved the point I made on the day before. I really had nothing to say, so I said nothing. Today, I happened to see three things that were worth commenting on. All a bit ridiculous but for different reasons. First, one of my favorite museums that I have never been to, the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati is featuring a show called State of Sabotage. The theme of this show was government or corporate power over the individual. One of the featured artists, Robert Jelinek had done several fantasy passports for the exhibition. I have seen this artists work and the passports are very good although the countries listed are completely fantastic as are the countries the subjects traveled to. Having said that they made a strong statement against totalitarianism. Jelinek's bags were searched when he arrived at Detroit Metro Airport. The Department of Homeland Security thought that these items could be harmful if imported into the United States so they were confiscated. Jelinek was unaware that this had happened until he arrived in Cincinnati and found a receipt from the Department of Homeland Security for the items. As I said before, while the passports were of very good quality, they were not real and they couldn't be mistaken for a real passport if they were looked at. This is just power trying to protect itself and it is just ridiculous.

Everyone has seen the images of dogs playing poker. They are the height of kitsch. The images are on cardboard prints, velvet paintings, carpets, and other things. The images are ubiquitous. The artist, Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, originally painted 9 dogs playing poker paintings in 1903, two of which were auctioned this weekend at Doyle's in New York. Doyle's has an annual dogs in art auction that coincides with the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. The paintings were expected to go for between $30,000 and $50,000. While the images are humorous, because of the ubiquity of the images, this seems like a lot to me. The two paintings sold to a private buyer in New York for $590,400. This just boggles my mind. I would think the fact that the images are so well known would lower their value, but having said that, the Mona Lisa is extremely well known and images of that painting can also be found all over the place.

Movie: Dead Like Me (Season 1, episodes 7 and 8) (5 stars)
Music: Doubt - Jesus Jones
Book: America (the Book)
Iraq: February - 29
Total - 1469


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