Dear Zev,

The discussion can go many directions, especially those of ethics of 
reporting, I am forwarding to you some of them from the Nettime list:

There are plenty of reasons why to think about that imagery and various 
perspectives which should be brought to publi discussion. Namely, the 
possibility that the public is actually participating in a crime of war 
is enormous (by indolence, by passivity, or even by perverse 
consummation that co-produces war by media interest in war continuation 
- as the third side) and that comes obvious when someone makes "art" out 
of that.

I can be more radical for this particular media interest and say - some 
TV stations are actually  producing SNUFF movies. Their reports are not 
serving for the recognition of victims or helping victims but are 
proliferating images of death for own  reason producing a Big Brother / 
reality show of war as genre. That imagery does not serve to help 
victims but is even more making them - objects of perverse consumption 
(which is known symptom of all victims reports, for example a women 
reports on the rape in police station asking for more and more of 
details) no more satisfied with WW2 movies.

If you accept that difference, which actually exists in movie industry 
for the same imagery as genre and rating in genre, not separating real 
or not-real images you can ask yourself are we are sponsoring a crime?



I can't comment about the specific works refered to as I havent seen 
them, and I consider a lot, but certainly not all, of what the art world 
shows frivolous, whether on the subject of war or not. Nor do I disagree 
with what you say, Ana, it's just that it's more complex than that.

Viewing photographs and newsreels is certainly removed from seeing an 
actual event, but at the same time press coverage played a large role in 
ending the war in Vietnam, and subsequently there has been a concerted 
effort to control and limit images of death and destruction (especially 
of those of US soldiers in Iraq) in the press. So tho they may be a step 
removed from actual reality, images have a powerful impact. How they 
impact, and how we act and react as individuals, is again, extremely 
complex. Sontag went to Sarejevo not to be a nurse and care for the 
wounded, but to write, and to write for a relatively small audience at 

Art, the art world, and its relationship to culture in its wider sense 
is complex. Certainly, some artists use topical issues as a means of 
getting attention, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything about the 
works themselves. War profiteers and others of dubious moral standing 
have been patrons of the arts, and have been portrayed and glorified in 
art, in what is considered great art.

There are press photographers waiting eagerly for the next war so that 

they can get their adreline rush, get paid, have a career, but with the 
result that an awareness of certain events is brought to the larger 
world, albeit at a safe distance. Perhaps the reporting and images were 
a factor in Sontag's visit to Sarajevo.

I recently saw the excellent and highly recommended documentary War 
Photographer on James Natchwey, who has gone to the some of the worst 
places in the world, confront humanity at its worst and ugliest, and 
whether what you say, Ana, may or may not apply to him, or to yourself, 
or to me, he goes to these places with uncompromising commitment, 
whereas you and I go to Venice.



Zev Robinson

----- Original Message ----- From: "rmalina" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 11:13 AM
Subject: Re: [YASMIN-msg] War profiteers in art (Biennale di Venezia, 2007)

> Ana
> I have been thinking for a few days how to reply to
> your very thougtful email about the Venice Biennale
> and the way that war has become a way for the commercial art 
> marketplace to get attention= as you
> say in a way that is more like "war tourism" than
> any real approach to human solidarity.
> And also how the wars that are shown are the ones
> that are politically and ideologically convenient for people in the 
> commercial art
> marketplace. ( It is so much easier to attack
> injustice in a foreign country that to talk about
> the injustice in ones own)
> So what are artists and scientists to do in
> times of war ? This was the question that
> Michele Emmer asked at the time when
> he was in italy under the flight paths of bombers
> on their way to Kosovo.
> today in med rim we have terrible pain and
> suffering again in Lebanon, there is a conflict
> about to explode between turkey and the kurdish
> part of iraq, we read every day of african refugees dying in the 
> mediterranean as they try to
> find a way to reach europe..and this is only
> a beginning of the list of painful conflicts under
> way around the mediterranean region where people are dying today
> email is a very difficult way of discussing these
> topics that are matters of life and death for people in their daily 
> life . Your email i think poses the question for each of us
> of how work together differently and how our
> individual work as artists and scientists contributes positively or 
> negatively.
> Yasmin is one attempt for artists and scientists around the 
> mediterranean region to be in contact and develop new approaches.
> I hope other yasminers will respond to your review of venice biennale 
> and your observation of how
> war tourism has come a commercially intersting
> commodity
> roger malina
> --------------------
> To become a member & Yasmin list archive:
> To join Yasmin-map:
> To unsubscribe: 

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