Saturday, January 19, 2013

Noah Feldman as art critic

From Khelil:  "Of course, by now we are used to the 3-day trip to some Arab country with no sense of humility by the visitor on the partiality of knowledge they have, to put it mildly. So why not play art critic? So that Zionist fanatic and racist Noah Feldman saw fit to write about Arab art without any background. Here are some gems:

"the Gulf has essentially no indigenous tradition of visual or plastic arts."

"The region's noncontemporary art is similarly unchallenging." Here he is referring to only the royal museums he visited but feels qualified to generalize.

"Orientalism may potentially be controversial—except the emirs see it as a valuable window into a vanished Arab and Islamic culture, not an out- growth of colonialism." Evidently he is giving his definition that Orientalism is a by-product of colonialism when Said's criticism, of course, was that it was integral to it and not after-the-fact, that it was those representations that influenced practices.

And a man who served in the colonial government in Baghdad feels entitled to offer this: "The same Jacques-Louis David whose The Death of Marat lionized the Jacobin ideal of the French Revolution went on to glorify imperial rule in The Coronation of Napoleon."

"In June 2012, angry fundamentalists rioted in the upscale La Marsa neighborhood of Tunis over a group show in which some pieces were allegedly insulting to Islam. The works in question did not refer to the Prophet. They were, rather, critical comments on Salafi fundamentalism—that is, on the very people who took offense." He's too lazy to do a minute search online. The reason for the riot was the spelling of Allah (in Arabic) with flies, which are referenced in casual speak as being dirty. And does something have to reference the Prophet to offend Muslims?

On Egyptian revolutionary wall paintings he says: "may have marked the first time in Arab history that the visual arts had a major impact on public consciousness." Of course, this is bull shit. He should read the new book by Ziad Fahmy "Ordinary Egyptians." and the book by Joel Gordon "Revolutionary Melodrama." But, I guess, books are boring."