Light above walkway at Cobbs Hill Reservoir
Light above walkway at Cobbs Hill Reservoir

“There is a sour tendency in cultural politics today — a growing gap between speaking about the world and acting in it.

In the domain of rhetoric, everyone has grown gifted at pulling back the curtain. An elegant museum gallery is actually a record of imperial violence; a symphony orchestra is a site of elitism and exploitation: these critiques we can now deliver without trying. But when it comes to making anything new, we are gripped by near-total inertia. We are losing faith with so many institutions of culture and society — the museum, the market, and, especially this week, the university — but cannot imagine an exit from them. We throw bricks with abandon, we lay them with difficulty, if at all. We engage in perpetual protest, but seem unable to channel it into anything concrete.

So we spin around. We circle. And, maybe, we start going backward.” – Jason Farago

I’m guessing Jason Farago worked on this opening passage to his NYT review of the Venice Biennale for a bit or more likely it just crystalized for him after x number of wall tags. Even Pope Francis stopped by the “Foreigners Everywhere” (probably titled as a poke at Italy’s rightwing) Biennale to celebrate its message of inclusivity toward marginalized people. The show’s curators include L.G.B.T.Q. people as “foreigners,” and even the Indigenous peoples of Brazil and Mexico, of Australia and New Zealand as “foreigners.”

When I was growing up there were just a few Little League coaches who took their best players out after three innings and let the second string play the last three. It was inclusive but sort of hard to watch. I am a big fan of the long overdue Title 9 provisions and women soccer players being paid on par with the men – equal playing field etc. But pleasing the senses

This trends has shaped many local shows as well. And so, ok, it didn’t delight the senses. That is not what it set out to do. But it was inclusive. It makes me feel like a straniero.

1 Comment

One Reply to “Stranieros”

  1. Staniero –reminds me of stallion: perfect. The forces of destruction are taking full advantage of American innocence and the belief in the right to one’s own opinion. Though we were foreigners in the USA beginning in 1977, my father made us keenly aware, British style, that we were not in fact entitled to our own opinion. Will we be alive for the final revolution/collapse?

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