Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's always there regardless

the omnipresence in collage of an emperor who was thought of as god.

I love the collages of Nobuyuki Oura, but in some particular places they seem to make too much meaning. Ironically but not unexpectedly - where most meaning might be made of them.

The newspaper article mentions how the images ran counter tothe educational goals of the museum and its commitment to neutrality and fairness. What fairness has to do with neutrality I'm not sure; it'dseem the latter must often be given up to allow for the former. Either way, it is one thing to be neutral, and another to be neutered.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Maybe you are at the zoo. Maybe it is the Lincoln Park Zoo and you are with a class and you are breaking up into teams to watch, listen, and consider the why-how-what of zoos as institutions and the metaphorical or literal Arks they claim to be.

There are jaguars six feet from you and you smell them, but something about their spots defy your best attempts to take them completely in. A gorilla disdainful. Sad colorful birds. Thoughtful children. Screeching children. The pigeons seem non-plussed by the condors.

If you squint your eyes you might think one of your students is in fact a giraffe. At this point you look for a water fountain and sit down on a bench shaped like a giant yellow rainforest frog. No doubt that will make you feel more clear-headed in a minute.