Boris Groys remarks in The Communist Postscript (first published in German in 2006 and translated into English in 2010) that we in the West condemn communism for turning humans into “automata” and “machines.” He writes, “In Western films dating from the Cold War in which communists from the East are represented, it is striking that communists generally appear as robots, as specters, as inhuman, internally empty, bodiless machines.”.
by Diana Seo Hyung Lee
by Nayun Lee
The French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster turned the Guggenheim Museum into a sinking Titanic on the evening of April 14th. The day was the 99th anniversary of the tragedy, which took 1,517 lives. “T.1912” was a site-specific performance, which was perfectly synchronized with the museum’s structure, and included the Wordless Music Orchestra, lighting and audience participation.
by Lee Ann Norman
“AMERICA,” Glen Ligon’s first mid-career retrospective, reveals, in just over 100 works, his strength in making art that confidently lives in the space of in between. His work is strangely accessible and familiar; perhaps it is his use of text, his wry humor, or the air of unassuming intensity he radiates. He effectively lightens weighty subjects without diminishing their significance, and his penchant for having hard conversations without saying a word gives his work a suppleness that easily slides between the mordant and temperate.
Bubble Dreams, Kawaii Nightmares: “Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art” at the Japan Society
by Collin Sundt
Desperate times call for desperate measures. In his abortive 1970 small-scale coup d’état, lost in his own sensationalism, Yukio Mishima pleaded for the soul of Japan.
The writer condemned the American-style constitution–weakness imposed from abroad–and the gutting of tradition through the shedding of the imperial divinity. In post-war decrees, Mishima saw the Japanese identity ebbing away in a tide of Americanization–a nation reduced to international groveling and mindless consumption. Although his subsequent dramatic suicide ensured him a place in the tradition of nationalist martyrs, he had little support in even the literary world, and his message was destined to fall upon deaf ears. Lost in cozy corporate interdependencies and the unsustainable exponential growth of the post-war “miracle” economy, few heeded the writer’s plea.