David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

04 July 2015

'Capital before and after Capital : Regarding Regard : the Appearance of Reality and the Economy of Desire'

Julie Ewington writes in The Monthly (July) about the curator Okwui Enwezor's 2015 Venice Biennale, All the World’s Futures :
"... Enwezor’s Biennale has separated visitors into two camps: lovers and haters. I’m in the former. One of the most influential voices in contemporary art, Enwezor has staged a Biennale that is provocative and abrasive, even angry, but also engaging and humane. Key themes, signalled by the continuous reading of Marx’s Das Kapital in the new Arena at the main pavilion in the Giardini, are power, labour and inequity. Why Marx? Provocation aside, what else stands as a foundational text for the modern period? Kapital leads into the exhibition’s exploration of what is happening now, with the world’s exploited labour, mass migrations, historical and inherited injustices. The aim is to see the state of things, in Enwezor’s often repeated italicised phrase, in order to move forward. It’s an enormous program, a huge ask."

Julie Ewington again :

"The disquiet with Enwezor’s Biennale leads to this question : what is the purpose of art?"

Well, that doesn't necessarily lead to that...
] do All roads lead to roam, as we have herd? (
: what is the purpose of disquiet?
: what is the purpose of purpose?
: what is the purpose of such leading questions?
: what is art?
: what is capital?
: what is a koan?
: what is this?
Karl Marx : Capital: Critique of Political Economy (1867)
Monty Python " Communist Quiz [World Forum] :

Presenter : Well now we come on to our special gift section. The contestant is Karl Marx and the prize this week is a beautiful lounge suite. Now Karl has elected to answer questions on the workers control of factories so here we go with question number one. Are you nervous? (Karl nods his head; the presenter reads from a card) The development of the industrial proletariat is conditioned by what other development?

Karl Marx : The development of the industrial bourgeoisie.

Presenter: Yes, yes, it is indeed. You're on your way to the lounge suite, Karl. Question number two. The struggle of class against class is a what struggle? A what struggle?

Karl Marx : A political struggle.
(Tumultuous applause.)

Presenter: Yes, yes! One final question Karl and the beautiful lounge suite will be yours... Are you going to have a go? (Karl nods) You're a brave man. Karl Marx, your final question, who won the Cup Final in 1949?

Karl: The workers' control of the means of production? The struggle of the urban proletariat?

Presenter: No. It was in fact, Wolverhampton Wanderers who beat Leicester 3-1.
Thomas Piketty : Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013)
We have a question sent-in by Theatre of the Actors of Regard :
       What is the nature and purpose of our regard? 
       What is The Capital of regard?"

Blaise Pascal, your thoughts?
      "All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone." (Pensées)

Thank you, Blaise. Straight to the root of (the means of) production - our disquiet : from desire-attachment to 'the state of things'.

LOGOS/HA HA : a frame by any other name ...

C'EST UN MORCEAU CAPITAL : A bit of Capital Regard, in fact. It's a telling favourite here - by Jules Bourdet, published in Le Charivari (1833) three decades before the publication of Das Kapital :

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...