Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I am still inspired by this story.

45 comments:

Thersites said...

A woman with a passion, no doubt. One not tied to turning a dollar...

Jen Nifer said...

Even more incredible is that she was fulfilled with her own art, not needing any validation.

Thersites said...

indeed. perhaps THAT is her most remarkable characteristic.

Duckys here said...

I wish the world would discover Maier, we'd be the better for it.

Jen, a film suggestion if you have a download service. Jan Troell's, Everlasting Moments.

A woman in a very depressing home situation discovers photography and it frees her ... for a while at least.
One of those small masterpieces that gets lost in the hype of the latest Batman.

Seriously, strongly recommended.

Jen Nifer said...

I'm on it, Duck. Thanks for the tip.

It sounds good and I'm gonna look for it this weekend.

The last good movie I saw was called Be With Me. It was so different but it has stuck with me. Departures was another pleasant surprise.

Jen Nifer said...

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Be_with_Me

nicrap said...

One not tied to turning a dollar...

Interesting! and ironical! But it could be a vestigal thing — this mistrust of money — a part of (y)our "civilizational" viscera that no amount of capitalism has been able to dislodge; moreover, could it be to this that one can also trace the anti-semitism that had been, at least until recently, such a persistent aspect of Western civilization? [Considering Jewish people's traditional role as traders and financiers]

Just some thoughts that presented themselves to me on reading your comment ... but not crefully worked out yet because of lack of time.

P.S. The "shadows" that live in us. :)

Jen Nifer said...

Hi nicrap! Did you happen to read the article on Maier?

nicrap said...

I don't mean any disrespect by it [do i need to say this? :)], but it really amazes me sometimes how America has always tried to unite "dollar" with "god" — perhaps this is what the great American experiment has been all about. Anyway, it is like trying the impossible and leads to some really interesting results — ethnographically speaking. :)

p.s. Again a very "sketchy" thought. :)

nicrap said...

Sorry, Jen, i didn't see your comment.

Just skimmed through it, Jen. Really pressed for time these days. :(

Jen Nifer said...

No worries. You are always welcome to chime in.

I'm fading. Good night!

nicrap said...

One not tied to turning a dollar...

The same "mistrust" is invoked here as well. I was referring to all of these comments, in a way, when i posted my comment at 12:29.

nicrap said...

Night, night. :)

nicrap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nicrap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nicrap said...

Interesting! and ironical! But it could be a vestigal thing — this mistrust of money — a part of (y)our "civilizational" viscera...

Please read "money-making" [esp. "selling"] instead of money.

Gad! I am dense. :(

nicrap said...

Please read "money-making" [esp. "selling"] instead of money.

The mistrust is not so much of "money" as that of "money-making" — especially in one of its most pristine forms — selling. We frown upon those why try to “sell” us something, those who resort to gimmicks for it, those who sell their bodies; we fondly remember the time when our newspapers carried less handbills and more news. [I remember reading a post on this last item — at Silverfiddle’s blog, i think, but i can’t be sure; the tone was the same, one of regret and outrage.] "Follow the money," we say; and how does the other one go — yes: "If someone is being too nice, he probably wants to sell you something." As if there is anything more “natural” to capitalism [other than money of course] than money-making ... than selling. It is the single most important activity in capitalism, that defines capitalism. It will be therefore interesting, i think, to do a history of this mistrust, how it came about, and how it has evolved since, especially since the rise of capitalism. That’s all, folks. :)

Thersites said...

i'd have to say that I love buying... and hate selling. Our "corporate" society has also vastly dimished the number of "sellers" in the marketplace, as we are no longer a nation of shopkeepers, but more accurately, a nation of shop employees.

Thersites said...

...some of us more highly paid than others.

Thersites said...

The audio is a little rough... but I think that ZIzek sums up post modern capitalism pretty well.

Thersites said...

Entrepeneurs of the self.

Thersites said...

much as the "author" has been reduced to the "author function"... so the shopkeeper has been reduced to differentiated and disparate "shopkeeper functions."

Thank you, division of Labour, for turning the Looking Glass into a heap of shards.

got glue? ;)

Thersites said...

actually, if we had "whole" products to sell, instead of mere "parts", "sales" would most certainly "feel" more "satisfying".

Jen Nifer said...

You guys took it to another level.

I don't know why the artist kept her work to herself, but I can guess.

The article mentioned her own connection and with her photos, and her reluctance to sell because she simply wanted them.


Selling art is strange, I think. It's so personal, for me, anyway.

Jen Nifer said...

First an artist has to accept that the viewer will see her, SEE her.

Then, to sell something you are so connected to....is another letting go.

Surely there are more artists that choose NOT to sell than those that do.


Nicrap, have I just rephrased your thoughts? :p

nicrap said...

Not mine but FJ's. :p

As i told you, i was not at all responding to the article on Maier, which i only skimmed through, but to Fj's comments here as well as elsewhere.

The idea that comes out from them is as if selling somehow "cheapens" a product and the person who is doing the selling. Now this idea is incompatible with capitalism — for, after all, what is more natural to capitalism than selling? — leading one to believe that one could see in it the survival of the themes of renunciation and poverty which formed such an important part of the early Christian culture. The basic Christian attitude towards money is one of mistrust, and would remain so until these themes were reforumated at the end of the middle ages. But, despite these reformulations, despite capitalism, they seem to have survived even now [as is evident by fj’s comments and your own], which is the really interesting [and ironical] thing.

Relevant here would also be the attitude towards usury, which may have to some extent at least derived from this fundamental attitude of mistrust towards money. Anyway, its history has been well charted out. And, more over, it can be shown to be not incompatible with capitalism, which the attitude of mistrust towards selling evidently is. Which is why i think a history of the latter will be very interesting.

Thersites said...

If you read Plato's "Republic" again, you will find that the definition of "justice" is, "every man doing his best without interference from others."

I may be best at farming, but if there are 300 farmers who are more "productive" at it and I cannot earn a living from it, my only alternative, if I am to survive, is to "work" at that which I may be second or third "best."

This is an injustice to me, for others are interfering with my ability to do that which I am "best" at.

Buying/selling is the means through which this "necessary" interference gets mediated. I am forced to become an "entrepeneur of the self".

And. yes, we hold in disdain our very own products that we are "selling"... for we know that it is not our "best".

Now Christianity and Judaism distinguish between offerings to G_d. Cain's offering was rejected, and Abels was cherished by G_d. Why? Because Cain offered his best, as later, would Abraham... and G_d would therafter offer man a new Covenant (as after the Flood).

there are similar analogies in other cultures, human sacrfice (one's children) to Baal, etc.

But there is this innate desire in the West, to only offer one's best (even to others for sale) and some guilt if the product is NOT representative of it (ie- productivity pressures).

Thersites said...

...and so my disdain towards "selling"... and my admiration from a woman who would not "sell" that which she was "best" at. For the act of "selling" can be thought to" cheapen" or "coarsen" it.

I freely give away that which I am "best" at... which, I believe, is my friendship and conversation with others.

nicrap said...

I was merely trying to point out the presence of a theme, fj, which can be said to be incompatible with capitalism. Now whether it can be shown to derive from the 'nature of things', or whether it is a remanant of older, pre capitalistic themes, it is

In fact, i think this is fairly indicative of the difference in our approaches. You [and Jen] try to find support for your opinions, your attitudes, in the 'nature of things', to make them seem obvious: "surely, art is personal"; "surely, there are more artist that choose NOT to sell than those that do." But this is not where you will find support for them; in other words, there is nothing very obvious about them. These attitudes, themes, they exist already, handed down through generations, and all you ever do is find justifications for them after the fact, as it were. :)

nicrap said...

Correction above: Now whether it can be shown to derive from the 'nature of things', or whether it is a remanant of older, pre capitalistic themes, it is [open to question.]

Thersites said...

just cal me pygmalion. ;)

Thersites said...

...and keep me far away from grub street. ;)

Jen Nifer said...

You may be onto something, nicrap.

We need others to point out our blind-spots.

I worked in a department store once, and I hated it. I became very critical and judgemental of the customers, because I could think of a million ways that money would be better spent!

come to think of it, I've always been critical of consumerism.
The Christmas season has become a real struggle for me because of this issue. And others, I'm sure :(

nicrap said...

Of course, i am onto something. The cheek! ;) just kidding.

He, on the other hand, is just incorrigible. :p

Thersites said...

Hey, I love my ideological blinders. It'll be a fight to get me to take mine off,

Thersites said...

I like to think that they lend me some "character". ;)

Jen Nifer said...

Oh you're a character alright!
;)

nicrap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nicrap said...

hey, guys. I have returned only for a moment to say thanks to jen [i was already in bed]. Anyway, thanks. I was having difficulty getting a tag for the theme — it is indeed the theme of cosumerism with the negative connotation it carries [which is like an anomaly in the entire culture of capitalism.] Thanks again and night. :)

nicrap said...

Why can't i do right anything the first time? :(

Above: The theme of "consumerism"

-FJ said...

It's good to know what chopped liver feels like...

g'Nite, nicrap. ;)

-FJ said...

:P

nicrap said...

heh. It was 4:30 in the night when i posted it, fj. :)

Oh you're a character alright!

...which is why i said it leads to some interesting results — ethnographically speaking. ;)

Jen Nifer said...

Another thought: my objection to consumerism is more than a moral argument. I see it tied to our attempts at wholeness (spiritual), and our need for relatedness and connection (or intimacy).

I think we purchase more than we need in an attempt to feel "full". We buy stuff to show our love, but for me, that has never worked. My language is different, which is why I am a horrible gift-giver.

Jen Nifer said...

When I say it has never worked for me, I mean that gifts can appear as a hollow gesture.

Anyway, you asked why you can't do anything right the first time? I couldn't relate to you if you did. :-)