Posted by pancho (188.8.131.52) on January 15, 2002 at 14:34:54:
Do you suppose the venerated artists of the last 100 years really had genius in them? The last time the world produced any that did was some hundreds of years ago during the Renaissance. There was no question of the power, talent and vision of Raphael or Titian, Leonardo and Michaelangelo. The last hundred years has been the age of the Gallery Owner, the Art Critic and Dealer. Every year or so they decide on some poor slob, drag him or her up by the heels, give them “the treatment” and make their quota in sales for that season, the whole process to be started over again next year. Artists now belabor their meager skills to find that “new angle”, that bizarre combination of whipping cream and toilet paper that can be counted on to catch the eye of someone with the mechanisms and means to promote their work as the next “new thing”. No longer does the artist take us through a journey of their own self discovery over the years it would take to develop a “self” worth knowing about… one that also mirrors and illumines our own deepest feelings whether we know we have them or not…now they get no farther than art school or a few years spent trying to “find” themselves, and quickly too because the rent is due. We even have the startling phenomena of artists having “Retrospectives” at 24…and disappearing at 30.
A venerable Jewish family owning a string of prestigious Art Galleries in major European cities and New York recently was busted for running an elaborate scam. It’s a difficult thing to prosecute, and really where’s the harm. What they were most guilty of was promoting themselves…what a crime. They not only dealt in the most prestigious and elite names in artists and patrons, but they also owned some glossy Art magazines and paid good critics and writers to “consider” serious works of arts…works by artists who they owned other pieces of, in private collections they represented and their own collections. Articles would appear in their magazines timed to coincide with shows at their galleries. These articles would be picked up by legitimate news sources and presto…instant notoriety and “demand”. Of course they pushed Jewish artists…why not?
Why do you suppose such a conglomeration of weird things are now owned by museums around the world? Art Curators are henceforth Business Majors and investment counselors as well. The Boards of Directors of these places are made up of recent billionaires, people who can’t quite pop for a Rembrandt so they buy whatever the Dealers and Owners and Critics convince them is the next big thing. Then they “donate” one or two samples to the museum they are involved with and encourage it to “broaden its perspective” by selling off that dusty and tired Old Masters kind of stuff and “invest” in the Future and “diversify”. Curators are paid by the Boards and go along so that soon people are staring in bewilderment at more bent steel and graffiti and “found” objects than you’d see along the East Side highway in New York.
The pay off is that each Board Member just happens to own five or twenty more works by the artists represented in the museum (picked up cheap of course), often even works they themselves “gave”. In this way, and with the money from the sale of the old stuff being used to “expand the collection” the museum is justified in buying up, at inflated prices because after all…the artist’s other works are ALREADY IN A MUSEUM….other pieces from the Board Members’ own collection… at least the few weaker pieces they might be willing to sell off. They’ll wait some years, how much in taxes do you want to hide….until the “value” of the artists collection increases, as it will because who else are the people going to go see, and who else will the museum be stuck promoting on its glossy brochures…and then, brother, will they have created VALUE for themselves.
Nothing wrong with it really, whether you are promoting your own collection, your pocketbook, or your Heritage. If people want to be that way, I mean easily fooled, let them be.
It’s different with us, because everything is different with us. I had to defend my choice of Hammurabi as a subject because I was told by many Assyrians concerned with “historical accuracy” that Hammurabi wasn’t, “accurately speaking”, Assyrian. You suppose the Jews wouldn’t claim him in a heartbeat if they could? Look what they did with Sargon and Moses, Napishtim and Noah and the rest of our myths…look at Turkish and Greek coffee, Armenina Lavash and the rest.
I had to argue like hell for putting a different belt buckle on Hammurabi than he is shown wearing in the few examples we think might depict him, pieces dug up for us by European archaeologists. “Historical accuracy” was supposed to dictate that I use only what was known…that I couldn’t take five common elements I see on any design and recombine them…as I am sure any number of artisans did back then. We must stick forever to that one belt buckle, until some German or French or, “god forbid”, Iraqi archaeologist finds us another one…then we must cling to that one for the rest of our lives and our children’s lives until some other stranger does us another favor.
I am supposed to be intellectually and creatively satisfied with the idea that Hammurabi, the Great King, the King of The Four Corners of The World, had ONE belt buckle and hat in his closet, and I am supposed to show him off that way, and any other artist we produce who wants to show him has to use that SAME damn belt buckle….surely, this way genius lies?
Can you imagine any Jew doing to my work if I was a Jew, what Assyrians did because I am Assyrian? You suppose that if the world came to accept the idea that Assyrian kings were the first to own and operate four by four duallies and would welcome a monument of Sargon driving a hopped up Ford in Manhattan, that I shouldn’t put one up there? What if the Coonskin Cap were accepted as an invention of the ancient Assyrians…should I NOT put up a statue of Ashurbanipal in Los Angeles, at the entrance to Disneyland, wearing one?
When Homer Simpson…our one respected “expert” convinced Helen that I had put a Viking helmet on Sargon The Great, because of the horns, and got her to demand I remove them…I argued that even if the horns were used by Vikings surely it was significant that Assyrians used them first? But it didn’t work and today Sargon sits there…accurately wearing what turned out to be the “true’ Viking design for helmets…they NEVER had horns on their helmets, according to the latest findings as reported in TIME magazine three years ago. Some clever European designer, fatally unconcerned with historical accuracy but knowing a good thing when he or she saw one, took the horns from that same Stelle of Naram Sin a hundred years ago…figured we were long dead…(how wrong can he have been?)…and lifted our design to ‘inaccurately’ entertain and inform the world… including US Assyrians!!! Let’s see how concerned the experts at the Ashurbanipal Library are with “historical accuracy” now…I expect a call any day begging me to put those horns back on so they don’t have the only sculpture in history of an Assyrian king, inaccurately wearing a VIKING helmet, which he now is thanks to Expert Assyrians concerned with “historical accuracy”!
The Jews too were faced with this problem of “historical accuracy”... only theirs was created by others and forced on them. It was historically accurate for the Jews to be spat upon and despised for the last 2000 years, ever since Christians got mad at them for not accepting Jesus and decided to make them pay for it..spreading the inaccurate claim that it was the Jews and not the Romans who crucified Jesus. Historical accuracy dictated that Jews in Europe be allowed only the most menial tasks, things too low and dirty for anyone else to do, that they be killed and burned alive and raped and robbed periodically to remind them of the “historically accurate” low estimation, worth and position they could look forward to, as dictated by Christians…the sad irony to all this being that today they fight the only friends they ever had, the Moslems. And this continued for centuries right down to fifty years ago when the Christians of Europe conspired to kill every last unoffending Jew they could lay their hands on… “unoffending” for when had a Jew any real power to harm a Christian?
And it was only a few years after that, after the collapse of that Third Reich that was supposed to last 1000 years but barely made it to 15, that the Jews stood history on its head and defined for themselves and the rest of us, what was to be a NEW Historical reality…and got their country back…against all precedent and accuracy and history…and Germany dismembered and babysat by its victors.
People MAKE their history, and destiny, and people WORK at getting what they want. We have no intellectual elite, no learned class, no scholars and thinkers…not the real kind. The Jews produced the most esteemed and respected minds of the 20th century in almost every field and endeavor, while in all that time people thought we were dead and gone...and we are still only content to “protest” our fool heads off. And the Jews did it under all kinds of liabilities and difficulties…there was no safe haven for them, no Jewish country to hide in and nurse their young in…until they made one. We have the entire Christian Western world at our disposal and what do we produce? Who are our leaders and thinkers?
Our scholars and thinkers cower in fear and argue like gnats over inconsequentials…we are waiting breathlessly I suppose for books that will never see the light of day outside of these sanitariums, that will never be reviewed by any peers, there aren’t any…will never be challenged or questioned…like Hajjar’s dictionary, they exist only for us. And I don’t mean challenged as in “put down”…I mean challenged to come up to the highest standards so other people can understand what the hell we are talking about. People THAT unconcerned for what the world thinks or how it responds or what it expects should not be surprised when the world walks right over them… with hobnailed boots.
Aprim sits like a toad on a lily pad at the bottom end of a swamp and croaks about “historical accuracy” and fights like hell if you want to brush the accumulated spittle of the worlds “accurate” view of us off his back, or move him from that lowly end of the bog. The “historically accurate” view of ourselves we have given to the world is a sign we have hung round the neck of our children saying… “Murder at Will, or IGNORE…and in any way you like”. Our “historically accurate” position now is that we are helping to destroy our own homelands and people in the weird hope of “getting them back”. It would seem to me that the worst thing we can do is go on with the Historical Reality we have so Accurately created for ourselves.
Just remember…the American white people…yes, even a JEW…welcomed our statue, our “historically inaccurate” statue, to Chicago, a city with a collection of public statuary like no other in America… as they did another “inaccurate” one to San Francisco and as they would have welcomed a “deformed” Hammurabi to Detroit…and any number of other statues I could have made in the time spent fighting pygmies, in any other city in this world. And it was only Assyrians…one old geezer in particular but with the assent of many more…who stopped it in Chicago and Atour and Janey Golani with the combined “might” of the Federation and a hissy fit of Jackie Bejan’s who ruined it for Detroit. Thank God Narsai David was in charge of the Ashurbanipal!
Just what was the exact reason that thousands of our young children in Chicago were denied the opportunity to see a monument of one of our own great figures, a pretty one too, being installed in a prestigious location, two blocks from the world class Oriental Institute, in what is America’s greatest city for public monuments? Do you suppose the statues of the Germans, Poles, Italians, Russians, Asians and Africans, among others in Chicago, are ALL historically accurate and made by gentle and “nice” geniuses? Do the American people care, and was Ross concerned when he corrected our “myths”, that we still teach the “Ethnologicallyhjftrgvrous Myth” that Paul Revere made the famous ride from Lexington to Jersey, or wherever it was, instead of Charles Dawes? Old Paul was arrested by the Brits after clattering across the first bridge he came to and spent the night in jail…but everyone maintains the fiction because Tennyson was either careless or couldn’t rhyme “Dawes” with anything stirring…such as , “Listen my children and you shall haws, of the midnight ride of Chuckie Dawes”.
Is our great leader Nimrod, one of ten thousand ex-state senators still drawing a pension…but OUR one and only excuse to be “proud Americans”, going to explain why he stood in the way…is he going to repeat, on the stand, what he told me…that there are too many “Blacks” on the campus of the University of Chicago and that Assyrians would “never” go there because of that? Is that something I should be ashamed to bring to public notice…or HE should be ashamed for thinking and giving as his reason…even though the REAL real one will come out in court and wont make him look any better than the real fake one he gave me.
Is Atour Golani going to sit on the witness stand, his legs dangling in space or on a footstool…like our old kings, and repeat the reasons he gave for welding my sculpture together as HE saw fit? Is it my fault for making sculpture in the first place, or protesting when an engineer who can’t mind his own business and build a car that doesn’t cripple and kill people, decides he has enough spare time at Ford Motor Company to “improve” my sculpture…or should he be ashamed of himself for doing such a thing? Should we be ashamed to have leaders such as these, write cryptic letters to World leaders on our behalf when they are so lacking in common sense and decency…or should I be ashamed to stand up for myself, my family, my work and all the Assyrian and Chaldean children who could benefit from a little equal time in this land made up entirely of immigrants and ethnic minorities?
And last, but never least, comes J. Bejan with a Hissy Fit for the ages…pissed at me because I have the temerity ( look it up!) to suggest that Ashur Bet Sargis AND her brother sing at the unveiling of the Shumirum…or maybe I don’t want the monument to be used as another stepping stone on her career path to National Busybody. What exactly is her reason for deciding I am unwelcome when I have been welcome for years before she ever figured out how to make her “love” of Assyrians into a resume enhancer? Just why were any number of amateurs and other professionals allowed to sell at the convention and I must be stopped, my sculptures thrown against a wall and covered? Just who is ashamed of these pieces anyway…the very people who paid thousands for them, or were eager enough to receive them as gifts…or have them in their museum basements and refuse to allow American Universities, and who knows who else, display them proudly?
To have these questions answered in front of all of us, a judge and jury the Media, and whoever else wants to watch will be well worth the price I have had to pay for it…that and to cash the check I’ll wring out of them for all the damage they did to me…things no Jew would ever have done to another Jew, or an Iraqi to another Iraqi…things only an Assyrian would do to another Assyrian…one he or she was afraid was about to “eclipse” them in this madhouse they’ve created and dare to call an “Assyrian” community in the “Diapers” indeed!
And let’s not even begin to think about the harm done to all of us, far more than any monetary damage…why do you suppose people rush to get the name of any prisoner of conscience or other victim of a repressive regime out to the entire world quickly? Because they know that’s the best way to protect the one who can’t protect him or herself…to let the jailers know THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING! That’s why we can be killed and starved with impunity…with the gleeful assent of our own patriots who think to occupy a country emptied of its citizens by wholesale murder. All these years the monument in Chicago (and the one that would have gone to Detroit later)…could have been informing thousands, hundreds of thousands, of people about us, our very existence, our survival, our value, and the massacre of our people caught in the Mideast between one brutal dictator put in place by this very country…and between their own people who have settled on this macabre way of founding a new and “great” Assyrian nation.
These sculptures may well have been “historically inaccurate”, but the behavior of the people who did these things, who stood in the way for fear the standard would now be set too high for them to easily compete, or to be handed a blood soaked and ravaged “homeland”…people who have no intention, or the ability, to replace what they ruined with anything “accurate” or anything at all, people who would build a Police State and call it “democracy”…people who want us all only to be impressed by what they manage to do when they have the time to “devote” to Assyria…when they aren’t at work earning MONEY or at soccer practice or in between other “serious” obligations… was certainly historically typical and accurate… and I am as glad as hell that I broke with that tradition.
It is also historically inaccurate and unheard of to round these people up in one bunch and sue the crap out of them…stand by for more history in the making…and, if for some strange reason, I shouldn’t survive till then…the show will go on without me.
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