Marketing materials for Khmer Cloud Making Service.
- The poet Geoffrey Hill has died at eighty-four, “suddenly, and without pain or dread,” according to his wife. “The word accessible is fine in its place,” he told the Guardian in 2002. “That is to say, public toilets should be accessible to people in wheelchairs; but a word that is perfectly in its place in civics or civic arts is entirely out of place, I think, in a wider discussion of the arts. There is no reason why a work of art should be instantly accessible, certainly not in the terms which lie behind most people’s use of the word. In my view, difficult poetry is the most democratic, because you are doing your audience the honor of supposing that they are intelligent human beings. So much of the populist poetry of today treats people as if they were fools.”
- Hilton Als tells the long, harrowing, ecstatic story behind Nan Goldin’s The Ballad: “The Ballad was Goldin’s first book and remains her best known, a benchmark for photographers who believe, as she does, in the narrative of the self, the private and public exhibition we call ‘being.’ In the hundred and twenty-seven images that make up the volume proper, we watch as relationships between men and women, men and men, women and women, and women and themselves play out in bedrooms, bars, pensiones, bordellos, automobiles, and beaches in Provincetown, Boston, New York, Berlin, and Mexico—the places where Goldin, who left home at fourteen, lived as she recorded her life and the lives of her friends. The images are not explorations of the world in black-and-white, like Arbus’s, or artfully composed shots, like Mann’s. What interests Goldin is the random gestures and colors of the universe of sex and dreams, longing and breakups—the electric reds and pinks, deep blacks and blues that are integral to The Ballad’s operatic sweep.”
- From the makers of dirty realism, infrarealism, surrealism, and hyperrealism, it’s ultra-unrealism, China’s newest school of cultural thought: “The first thing I should do, of course, is explain what I mean by chaohuan, which we are rendering in English as ‘ultra-unreal.’ The literal meaning of chaohuan is ‘surpassing the unreal’ or ‘surpassing the imaginary.’ It is a word that a friend and I made up about a year ago during a conversation about contemporary Chinese reality … The word ‘ultra-unreal’ is young; it’s a newborn baby. I confidently submit, however, that it is going to live a long, healthy life. China’s been pregnant with the word for at least 30 years. Maybe 50 years. Maybe even 100 years.”