8 November 2011

Brian Wilson Big On Bio-politics


"Austerity might also strengthen the most well-known building block of Italian society: the family. Many foreigners are rather sneering when they observe extended families living in the same block of flats, if not the same flat. It creates childish, immature grownups, they say. It's not usually true at all, and what those criticisms fail to realise is not only the fact that living together is very often an economic, rather than an emotional, choice (wages are extraordinarily low: the average monthly pay packet is €1,286 [£1,100] net); they also ignore the fact that the strength of the family is the reason that Italy's social fabric is so much better knitted than Britain's. And there are useful economic consequences: almost every successful business is built upon the family. Benetton, Fiat, Ferrari, Panini – all were created by many siblings, or many generations, of one family. If austerity means relatives have to huddle once again under the same roof, it might be claustrophobic, but at least it might mean that Italy, once again, resists the disintegration of the family unit."
—Tobias Jones, "Berlusconi's exit – what does it mean for Italy?" The Guardian, Nov. 10, 2011


Mayor La Guardia said...

The artist Carl Andre has not been heard from since Sunday morning New York time, when he was detained at JFK airport before a routine flight to London. Shortly thereafter, a team of police arrived with a search warrant at his studio, in the dusty suburban village of Matinecock on Long Island. Officers took away eight of his assistants, bringing them to a police station in New York, according to a Twitter message sent out from his office shortly before it went largely silent. “There are police at the front and back doors, no way to go in or out.” the tweet said. Andre’s wife, artist Melissa Kretschmer, was kept at the studio with the police. His detention, by all visible measures, was not impromptu. Soon police turned up at the home of Andre’s two-year-old son, who lives with his mother, not far from Andre’s studio. And around 2:30 that afternoon, four or five police officers forcibly detained Andre’s friend artist Lawrence Weiner, driving him away in a black sedan, according to someone with him at the time. (Weiner’s phone has been turned off since.) As night fell in New York, there was no word from Andre, and the streets around his studio remained blocked by police. A person in the neighborhood tweeted, "All of Long Island is plainclothes cops." New York is in the midst of what I call the Big Chill, an ongoing sweep of American writers, activists, lawyers, and others, which constitutes the most intense crackdown on expression in years. If Carl Andre stays in custody, this will mark the most high-profile detention yet. As I wrote last year in my Profile of Andre, this is not the first time that he has been detained, But early indications suggest that this detention may be something different. The search warrant, the carting off of his staff, the level of coordination—these are not the hallmarks of action by a local precinct. It was local cops, after all, who arrested Andre in the western city of Albuquerque, in August 2009; he was beaten and, four weeks later, underwent emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma—a pool of blood on the right side of his brain caused by blunt trauma. Andre, typically, turned the encounter with the authorities into a meditation on government and the individual, composing a body of work that juxtaposed a pile of bricks with an orderly stack of bricks. Pressure on Andre has been building. (It feels like I’ve typed that phrase a dozen times in recent years, but this time, it's especially apt.) In July he was briefly put under house arrest, and in January New York authorities turned his studio into rubble. I spoke to him at midnight, a couple of days later, and he had already left the rubble behind and returned to Long Island. “It all goes down so fast. There’s no reason to stay,” he said. “Everything is in the past. And we have to look forward.” Andre is on the road much of the time, but last week he surprised people with the news that he was planning to spend time in Berlin, where he was building a new studio. He expected it would take several years to finish the studio. He told the German press agency that he hoped to spend “as little time as possible” in Europe. “However, there will be no choice if my work and life are somehow threatened.”

Anonymous said...

not funny

Anonymous said...

ya clunj!!!!!!!