Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

The Sunday Cat LOVES MOMA March 6, 2010

Filed under: cats — jj @ 9:22 pm

Especially when it has cats in its special exhibits and then even if there’s a blizzard outside.**

One special exhibit was the  work of the  conceptual artist, Gabriel Orozco:

Of this the Washington Post says:

In the artist’s playful recontextualization, the repetition of the cat’s face on the cans’ labels unexpectedly animates everything else in the picture, even our own expectations of what art is.

Which, when you think about it, just makes sense.

Far  more arresting was the exhibit of work by William Kentridge, a South African artist, some of whose work is imbued with tragic themes  reflecting the guilt felt by those who exploited black Africans.   Asked about the cat in the series of films of which this is one, Kentridge said that it doesn’t symbolize anything, and  that he just felt a cat was needed.

That  also makes sense. 

Do have a look at the explanation that  follows:

From youtube: 

Sobriety, Obesity and Growing Old is the fourth film in the series. It was made from twenty-five drawings and features Dvorak’s String Quartet in F, Opus 96, choral music of South Africa, and the M’appari aria from Martha by Friedrich von Flotow, sung by Enrico Caruso. It picks up the narrative and themes begun in Kentridge’s first film, Johannesburg the Second Greatest City after Paris (Tate T07482), and follows the development of the relationships between his cast of invented characters, Soho Eckstein, his wife and her lover, Felix Teitelbaum. These relationships reflect, metaphorically, the changing political situation in South Africa at the time the film was made. Demonstrations and marches in opposition to the apartheid régime together with the governmental relaxation of most of the State of Emergency regulations and restrictions heralded the beginning of a change in the country’s power structure (and white attitudes towards black African rights). Soho, a symbol of South African white power, develops the capacity for awareness, longing and love and the potential for guilt and repentance. This is played out through the loss of his wife to Felix (his emotional alter-ego) which climaxes, through the couple making love, in the crumbling of the buildings of Johannesburg as megaphones declare a state of emergency. Soho is left alone with a cat in a vast open landscape and the words ‘HER ABSENCE FILLED THE WORLD’. In the final scene of the film Soho has had to recognise the magnitude of his grief and longing, and lies, still wearing the business suit which symbolises his social position, embracing his naked wife in the middle of a field, where they gradually become submerged under rising waters. Crowds of black protestors, who had appeared marching through a 1950s version of Johannesburg earlier in the film, have receded to a respectful distance as Soho has found a connection to his feelings and hence his land.
Many thanks to PJ, who curated the weekend.
___________________________
**As in over 24 inches in snow in Central Park.
 

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