Archive for June, 2012

The Capitoline Wolf, she doesn't look a day over 1000The bronze sculpture of a she-wolf nursing the infants Romulus and Remus that is the star of tourist stall t-shirts all over Rome is not the masterpiece of Etruscan metalwork it has been reputed to be since the 18th century. The latest radiocarbon dating performed on organic residue from the casting process confirms that La Lupa, iconic symbol of Rome, was made in the 11th or 12th century, not the 5th or 6th century B.C.

The early history of the wolf is nebulous. It’s possible that she’s a copy of a genuine antique piece that once stood guard in front of the Lateran Palace, but that’s speculation based on descriptions of such a sculpture going back as far as the 10th century. The Capitoline Wolf we know today enters the historical record in 1471 when Pope Sixtus IV donated it and several genuine ancient bronzes to the Roman people. They were moved to Palazzo Dei Conservatori on the Capitoline, and would form the core of the new Capitoline Museum collection. It appears that the twins, probably the work of Florentine Old Master Antonio Pollaiolo, were added to the she-wolf around this time.

1960 Rome Olympics logoThere’s no controversy surrounding the Renaissance dating of Romulus and Remus, but the wolf’s symbolic power and sculptural quality has invested it with antiquity, whether it be Etruscan, Italian Greek or Roman. It was Johann Joachim Winckelmann, a German art historian, archaeologist and pioneer in the study of Greek, Etruscan and Greco-Roman art, who classified the wolf as Etruscan in his 1764 masterpiece The History of Art in Antiquity. According to Winckelmann, the curls and textures of the she-wolf’s pelt marked her as Etruscan; see the Chimera of Arezzo, a genuine 5th century B.C. Etruscan sculpture, for an example of that style.

Although other scholars contested Winckelmann’s classification and suggested far later production dates, the Capitoline Wolf’s ancient origin, be it Etruscan, Roman or Greek, was popularly assumed to be true until 1996 when art historian Anna Maria Carruba was assigned to restore the bronze. She was the first person allowed to fully examine the sculpture in detail, and she found that it was cast in one complete piece using the lost wax method. The ancients cast bronze sculptures in pieces and then fused them together. This method allowed them to make more elaborate pieces with no risk of total failure. Single-piece casting was a medieval technique, used to produce objects like bells and cannon that needed a reliably rigid structure to function properly.

Roman politicians weren’t thrilled with this discovery. It took years of discussion before scientific dating of the she-wolf was allowed, then more years before the results were published.

“The new dating ranges between 1021 and 1153,” said Lucio Calcagnile, who carried out radiocarbon tests at the University of Salento’s Center for Dating and Diagnostics.

Using accelerator mass spectrometry, the researchers extracted, analyzed and radiocarbon dated organic samples from the casting process. The results revealed with an accuracy of 95.4 percent that the sculpture was crafted between the 11th and 12th century AD.

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Posted: June 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Finally, activists aim at creating an Open Source platform that will include photos and information of all the antiquities that have been stolen. Wikiloot will be the name of the new crowdsourcing platform, a new experiment on data mining. Its creator seems to be Jason Felch, the co-writer of Chasing Aphrodite, the story of the stolen statue of Aphrodite and its return to its native island of Sicily.Felch and his team are trying to raise the necessary funding for the creation of the platform. For more information on the project there is an article in the Guardian.

You can also follow them on twitter @WikiLoot


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At the time of this story the New Spring Gardens (later Vauxhall pleasure gardens) was the most auspicious recreational facility in London. Until abo… Read story

swift kick in the keegster

Posted: June 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Psst! Pass the bum wipe.  Perversion seems intrinsic to modern art, at least at the split off side that gazes into the bowl of disavowal. And this has been so from the beginning; the long arc extending back to an era of disenchantment, from Albrecht Durer’s Melencolia and the Protestant Reformation. Maybe Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five theses of indulgence which were mis-spelt as feces to a shit-house door and not a church.

(see link at end) …As Freud writes in Civilization and Its Discontents (1929), “the irresistibility of perverse instincts, and perhaps the attraction in general of forbidden things,” can be explained by the fact that “the feeling of happiness derived from the satisfaction of a wild instinctual impulse untamed by the ego is incomparably more intense than that derived from sating an instinct that has been tamed.” Perverse impulses, by their very nature, and by the fact that they have been seriously inhibited by socialization — from weaning and toilet-training on — thus depriving one of deep pleasure, all the more so because it is instantaneous, can never be completely satisfied. Read More:

—In December 1726, William Hogarth (1697-1764) designed an etching, entitled The Punishment Inflicted on Lemuel Gulliver, in response to Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels .An enormous backside (Britain) is being given an enema by the Lilliputians (the Whig ministry and church). The Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, supervises the action. Read More:

Many of the “masterpieces” of modern art seem to hinge, or at least posit or potty their appeal and reach to the base raw material of piss and shit.The Reformation brought about a radical transfer of the world where old certainties and the fixed structure of heaven and earth seemed to cave in an crumble, brought to fruition by scientific progress; the shattering of feudalism and the rise of bourgeois morality was both liberating and enslaving simultaneously and the leap where human feces is literally and conceptually determined to be aesthetically worthy art did not arise in a vacuum, but can be considered a byproduct of a divinely appointed cosmological view transformed to the bustling, hustling, marketplace of enterprise, consumption, wants, and rampant individualism.

(see link at end) …Looking at de Kooning’s diarrheic gesturalism — great art, no doubt, however emotionally backward — one cannot help but think of Jonathan Swift’s inability to accept the fact that his beautiful Stella defecated. Her shit was ugly, her body was beautiful, and Swift couldn’t reconcile himself to the fact — to what he experienced as a perverse contradiction, confirming the diabolical double-nature of woman. It almost drove him mad. Beauty was good, shit was bad, so why does beauty have bad in it. Did Swift ever defecate? But then female beauty was not supposed to have the aftertaste of shit, that is, external beauty was not supposed to be internally ugly. Woman was supposed to be unequivocally, completely beautiful and good. Slowly and surely, because she was disappointingly neither — because she was a bad girl underneath her good looks — De Kooning vengefully turned her body into painterly shit. Read More:

Paul McCarthy. Complex Shit. —The art work, titled “Complex S(expletive..)”, is the size of a house. The wind carried it 200 metres (yards) from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne before it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children’s home, said museum director Juri Steiner.
The inflatable turd broke the window at the children’s home when it blew away on the night of July 31, Steiner said. The art work has a safety system which normally makes it deflate when there is a storm, but this did not work when it blew away.
Steiner said McCarthy had not yet been contacted and the museum was not sure if the piece would be put back on display.
from here
What would Freud have thought of this “act of god”? Read More:


A 1969 piece of “magazine art” called ‘George the Cunt and Gilbert the Shit’, gave early indication of their ability to shock as well as pre-empting the potential criticism that might be levelled against them. They made large charcoal drawings – which they nevertheless insisted were sculptures – based on photographs of themselves. They further explored taboo language and images as they moved into films and photography proper through which they probed, with increasing graphic clarity, various subjects found near their east end base such as working-class youth, immigration and homelessness, as well as aspects of themselves including microscopic images of their own blood, semen and faeces, often accompanied by images of themselves in their trademark matching suits, or in varying degrees of undress….

—Over at the Artopia blog is an interesting post on shit. I don’t know why it’s interesting to me and I probably should stop mentioning shit on this blog before I develop some kind of shit fetish. I just thought I should point it out as John Perreault has obviously spent some time thinking about the topic.
He focuses on the shit of Piero Manzoni, the Italian artist that is best remembered for his canned artist shit, but also mentions the shit of a few other artists like Andres Serrano and Paul McCarthy.
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…You can’t shout some of these thoughts on the street. You’d be arrested.” “But it is all part of the language of human beings,” says Gilbert. “People were told that shit was shocking. Shit is not shocking.” Read More:
“Cassinus and Peter”
Poem by Swift, subtitled “A Tragical Elegy”; firstpublished in 1734 in a pamphlet with “A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG NYMPH GOING TO BED” and
“STREPHON AND CHLOE,” probably written 1731. A studentnamed Peter visits his friend Cassinus one morningto find him disheveled and upset. After a long dis-cussion, Cassinus reveals that he is traumatizedfrom having discovered that his lover CELIA has committed “A crime that shocks all humankind; / A deed unknown to female race.” Her offense, hefinally admits, is defecation. This scatological poem is closely related to “The LADY’S DRESSING ROOM” in its emphasis on the fact that “Celia shits,” andthe horror that arouses in her lover when he dis-covers that she does. The poem makes fun of Cass-inus for his ludicrous idealization of Celia and, likethe other scatological verses, illustrates Swift’s characteristic disdain for viewing women as any-thing more than morta. Read More:

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The drawing by Sir Henry Delabeche was called “Duria Antiquior,” or Ancient Dorsetshire. For along the sea girt coast of this county is… Read story

flight into egypt

Posted: June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

When a revolution is not a revolution.The Egyptian debt market is stabilizing, the stock market is on the upswing and the army is making ure that the climate is good for trade. The entire initial cause of the revolution, the Arab spring has been betrayed. It was about the suppression of human rights that have gone on for thirty years under Mubarak based on the flimsy pretext of national security and Israel; the bogeyman planning to invade meaning war measures security precautions, the amber light, to be in effect perpetually.

You get rid of a tyrant for  an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization. Ostensibly. As President Roosevelt one said, nothing in politics is random or by coincidence. Did the Obama administration design the outcome? This “new” middle east, fulfilling the aspirations of the oppressed masses is not rounding into form. Hannah Arendt correctly pointed out that the most radical and threatening, dangerous opposition, once they assume reins of power becomes conservative, mundane and as reactionary as that which was displaced; the institutional theory of government. It looks like the Morsi will be a front man, the shiller, the good face on trade as the country develops under the same neo-liberal economic model of the previous regime.

( see link at end) …Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood has won the presidential runoff in Egypt, the country’s top elections commission official said Sunday, marking a significant turning point in a country struggling to move away from military rule. Morsi will become the first democratically-elected civilian to hold the office of president — a symbolic victory in the Muslim Brotherhood’s fight for power against the country’s military-led government.

The Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement late Sunday that Morsi had resigned his positions in both the Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party, fulfilling a campaign promise. “I pledge to be a president who serves his people and works for them,” Morsi said on his official web page. “I will not betray God in defending your rights and the rights of this nation.”…

Despite the political upheaval, the periodic violence and weak economic performance, the Egyptian stock market, remained among the biggest global winners this year, advancing by about 34 per cent to date.
Although the EGX 30 started at a low base after losing 50 per cent last year following the popular uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak and a subsequent capital flight by foreign holders of Egyptian stocks, the robust performance has surprised observers. The EGX 30 was ahead of MSCI Emerging Market, which gained about 10 per cent and of MSCI World that rose 7.5 per cent….
“The performance started to change when people realised the situation was not so bad after the first anniversary of the revolution—Read More: image:

…The commission said Morsi won with 51.7 per cent of the vote versus 48.3 per cent for Ahmed Shafiq, who was the last prime minister under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak. More than 26 million people voted, with about 800,000 ballots invalidated.

Egyptian-Canadian activist Ahmad Shokr, who purposely spoiled his ballot, said the real question now is “how much power will this newly-elected president have?”…

Henry Fuseli. The Nightmare. 1781.—Al Jazeera is reporting that The results were initially delayed following victory claims by both candidates that have sparked tensions between the rival camps. Thus, thousands took to the streets in protest as both presidential candidates declared victory early in the week, only to have their battle overshadowed by the announcement by Egyptian state media that Mubarak was “clinically dead.” Those reports were later denied, with the official word of the 30-year ruler being on life support, according to the Huffington Post.

However, this new regime will, predictably, be more atrocious than the previous regime, as far as international affairs go. It may just speed up a global spillover of the Israel conflicts.Read More:

…Just one week ago, at the moment polls were closing in the runoff election, the ruling generals issued constitutional amendments that stripped the president’s office of most of its major powers. They made themselves the final arbiters over the most pressing issues such as writing the constitution, legislating, passing the state budget, and granted military police broad powers to detain civilians.

A few days before that constitutional declaration, a court dissolved the freely elected parliament, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Robert Frank photo.—Ahead of the announcement of the presidential poll outcome, Egypt’s bourse rallied while Gulf markets slipped as investors cut risk amid weak global cues.
Cairo’s main index rose 3.3 percent, up from Thursday’s five-month low, as institutional investors bet the country will enter a period of relative stability once the

er takes office.
The index had lost almost 10 percent of its value since the president runoff vote took place on June 16-17.
Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

…”Key areas of state policy remain in the hands of the generals,” Shokr said. “The political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood rejected [those moves] and I hope that they will honour what they said and they’ll continue to build concensus with other groups and decide together the shape of Egypt’s new civlian democracy.” …The White House issued a statement through press secretary Jay Carney congratulating Morsi on his victory. The statement emphasized the importance of recognizing the democratic rights of all Egyptians:

“We believe in the importance of the new Egyptian government upholding universal values, and respecting the rights of all Egyptian citizens — including women and religious minorities such as Coptic Christians.

We believe it is essential for the Egyptian government to continue to fulfill Egypt’s role as a pillar of regional peace, security and stability.”

—Muslim Brothers Win Egypt, Just Like Obama Wanted
Muslim Brotherhood candidate declared the official winner with 13.2 million votes in second round.
The group that spawned al Qaeda wins Egypt’s President. Hey they are just a largely secular terror group, that Mubrack had kept in check for decades.
Morsi picked up 13.2 million votes out of just over 26 million, giving him about 51 per cent of the vote in the runoff round.
His competitor, Ahmed Shafiq, the final prime minister under Hosni Mubarak, received 12.3 million votes.
More than 800,000 ballots were invalidated.
Farouq Sultan, the head of the election commission, delivered a long speech before announcing the results in which he defended the body’s “independence and integrity” amidst what he called meddling by unnamed political factions.—Read More:

…Many women’s rights activists are especially worried. Dalia Ziada, a Cairo women’s advocate, told CBC News on Sunday that she was “very sad” about Morsi’s win. Ziada had recently been in a meeting with representatives in Morsi’s campaign and she is concerned the regime will “try to take actions against people, against human rights and freedoms, by claiming those are orders from God.”

“We were speaking with them, with how they see human rights, women’s rights,” Ziada said. “They said ‘we see them according to Sharia’ … and they insisted on speaking on women in biological [terms], not in economic or political terms.” …A massive crowd of Morsi supporters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square erupted in jubilation, dancing when the result was read out on live television.

In Israel, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put out a cautious statement saying that Israel “appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects the results of the presidential elections.”

According to The Jerusalem Post, the statement said Israel “looks forward to continuing cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace treaty between the two countries, which is a joint interest of both peoples and contributes to regional stability.”

Over in Gaza City, thousands of people are celebrating in the streets with gunmen firing automatic weapons in the air, and mosque loudspeakers blaring prayers. People are handing out candy on street corners. Gaza is ruled by the Islamic group Hamas, a local offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood that draws inspiration from the Egyptian organization.

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“There are probably a lot of hedgies sitting on a knife edge,” says Gabriel Sterne of Exotix, the frontier-markets investment bank. “It has been an incredible ride, and that bond has been one of the most interesting bonds in the whole world over the past year.”
The bond is now yielding just over 39 per cent, in illiquid trading, Bloomberg data shows. It is trading at E£0.96, up from a low of E£0.88 in late February.
Those watching the performance of Egyptian sovereign debt say devaluation of the Egyptian pound is the greatest risk to those purchasing government paper, which was sold at an average yield of 14.39 per cent for three-month debt in a recent auction. Borrowing costs for the Egyptian government have risen about 50 per cent since January 2011. —Read More:

…Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh phoned Morsi to congratulate him on becoming Egypt’s first Islamist president.

“This is a victory for all Arabs and Muslims, and this is God’s promise to his believers,” the Hamas leader said to the newly elected president.

The announcement puts an end to uncertainty about who is the official winner but promises no resolution to the power struggles between Islamists, the military and other factions in the country.

—So not only did Obama rush out a congratulatory statement just minutes after Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was declared the winner of Egypt’s presidential election, but he even got a special phone call from Obama after yet another round of golf to congratulate him! On top of that, he even said to Morsi that the US will stand with Egypt. Obama even called the Muslim Brotherhood candidate’s victory a “milestone” for democracy. Why am I getting flashbacks to the 1970s when Iranians overthrew the Shah and the Ayatollah rose to power?—Read More:

Many Egyptians have rallied behind Morsi as a chance to finally rid the country of the old Mubarak regime, while others support Shafiq as the best bet to counter Islamists and restore order after a year of protests, economic hardship, and fear about crime and continued instability.

But there is little hope that the results will produce an end to 16 months of political turmoil. A Morsi victory will likely see the new civilian government fight for its authority against a military that has ensured that its powers persist past the transition. Read More:

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A huge yet mostly untapped source of revenue is available to Hollywood movie-makers, but will they eschew their entertainment-industry-peer-pressure to ignore and even demean Christians and their belief in the real history of the Bible?  What’s a hundred million interested Christians times ten dollars per ticket?  That’s a billion dollars gross revenue for a movie which could cost only fifty million dollars to make using computer graphics and not-so-pricey actors.

Who would not like to see a story about Noah’s Flood on the big screen, real history played out, that disastrous onetime flood which covered the whole world, the mountains having risen up through the floodwater at the close of that epic event?  Remember that in reality only about 20,000 syngameons of animals (not millions of “species”) need have been on Noah’s Ark, so creative license would certainly be taken to imaginatively establish the appearances of many of the animals, all the types of big cats for instance which we see in the world today having naturally selected from an original big cat pair, so what did they look like?

When the catasrophically global flood had ended, the ocean was much warmer than today because of the fountains of the deep which were the source for the floodwater, that water having slid off the rising continents into the then deepening ocean basins at the close of the flood; warmer oceanwater having been the engine for the Ice Age.  Now what a great  opportunity for powerful computer graphics, a dream come true for those in that area of movie-making, they would be lined up for the opportunity to participate on the film.

The characters would be fleshed out from the accounts about them in the Bible, the timeline and context established with the material available to all here, so what is Hollywood waiting for, do they so hate the Bible that they would turn their back on a billion dollars?  And what of the few Christian studios, could they not muster the investors for such a project which could make them very rich, money which could then be invested in more movies on biblical history, fascinating to Christians and even the skeptics who would be tempted surely to watch?  Stay tuned, demanding such movies!

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