Archive for the Photo Category
Gordon Matta-Clark with Jeffrey Lew
If you were a youngster anytime from the seventies to the early nineties you will most likely find yourself falling happily down the time tunnel that is Internet K-Hole, and you may even spot an image of yourself or your friends. A vast collection of mostly amateur snapshots, enlivened with the occasional photos of some of the youth heroes of the age, this is an exhaustive and fascinating document of the world of young Generation X, evoked so vividly that at times it’s almost painful. The site recently moved to Tumblr from Blogger but the latter is still worth visiting for the extensive archives. Be forewarned that there are a few authentically gnarly nudes on display.
“Je n’ai pas connu d’homme qui ait une plus grande capacité d’amour. Un plus grand pouvoir d’aimer la grandeur de la vie et l’on ne comprend rien à ses haines, si l’on ne sait pas qu’il s’agissait pour lui de protéger la qualité même de son amour de la vie, du merveilleux de la vie. Breton aimait comme un cœur qui bat. Il était l’amant de l’amour dans un monde qui croit à la prostitution. C’est là son signe.”
–Marcel Duchamp, quotation via
–Photo of Breton with Aragon in 1925 by Man Ray
Looking yesterday at these images of Syrian Kurds attempting to flee the ongoing catastrophe in that country I recalled the late Christopher Hitchens’ advocacy of Kurdish liberty. As he never tired of repeating, the Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world to have no state of their own. I also remembered an anonymous fragment of Kurdish poetry that I translated many years ago, via an Italian intermediary. Apart from its approximate age I have no further details of the poem nor of its Italian translator. It was written in the 7th or 8th century and shows that persecution is far from being a new experience for the Kurdish people.
The places of prayer are destroyed
The fires spent
The greatest men hidden
Cruel Arabs raze
the peasant villages as far as Sharazar
Enslaved are wives and daughters
Brave men are rolled in blood
The rites of Zarathustra are no more
The Wise Lord has no pity on us