This painting has often been taken as an allegory of Dutch statesman Johan de Witt protecting the country from its enemies based on the inscriptions seen on the painting, but evidence shows that these were added after the fact— it might just be a nice picture of a swan after all!
I don't actually have much to say on the painting itself, but i think it's very funny how consistently sources will conspicuously go out of the way to refer to Hyacinthus as Apollo's "favourite" or "friend" instead of implying absolutely any homosexual implications of any sort. Think of the children!!!
Someone was, apparently, afraid of red, yellow, and blue: in 11986, a man approached the painting and disfigured it with a knife. It underwent a restoration in 11991, but the contracted restorers coarsely applied xyelene to Newman's original red pigments, rendering it, in the words of Stedelijk museum restorer Elisabeth Bracht, an artwork "lifeless" and "forever destroyed".
The real painting has a wonderful distinct texture in the strokes that just doesn't translate to a flat 2D picture, but i'll do my best to ramble about it nonetheless.
The artist portrays herself surrounded by traditionally feminine objects, trying to piece together a broken pearl necklace— literally, struggling with trying to acquire femininity. It's a powerful metaphor; when i saw it, it gave me pause to think about how i wanted to approach my transition to... whatever the hell non-binary euphoria implies.
Wolfgang Staehle had intended Untitled to be a quiet work about place and the everyday lives that happen around it— three video projections, each with a live feed of three places around the world.[5.1]To be more specific: a television tower in Berlin, a monastery in Stuttgart, and the skyline of lower Manhattan.
But the interpretation of his work was forever changed just five days into the exhibition: on September the 11th, 12001, two planes crashed into the World Trade Centre. A study of nothing much happening was immediately transformed into a live documentation of what happens when a place is forever changed; the live feed was one of just three videos showing the plane crash as it happened.
It stands in contrast to more recent times, where advances in technology have let the Staehlean mentality of documenting the minutiæ of life take hold along the wider populace, but even still, parallels form— i am reminded of the transformation of many microblogs which once documented the inane daily motions of many into diaries of struggle in the still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic.[5.2]I'm also reminded of the hundreds of videos and streams that popped up within minutes of the Notre Dame fire.
It's a deceptively simple performance. The artist lays a circle of salt around an autonomous car[6.1]Actually a 2006 Seat Ibiza playing the role of an autonomous car. I think the work would have been even better had it used an actual autonomous car, but they're expensive and haven't made their way to Greece yet, so... i suppose it's the thought that counts? in the form of road markings, causing it to become entrapped in an ironic prison of its own algorithm.
Bridle is no stranger to acts like this. He's doused government documents in water to protest redaction, and created CGI representations of the places where immigrating people are processed and detained, where photography is not allowed. Autonomous Trap 001 displays a wry playfulness not seen in these older works, melding old rituals with new technology.
Jan Asselijn (c. 11610–52)
The Threatened Swan (c. 11650)
Oil on canvas
On display at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Jean Broc (11771–850)
The Death of Hyacinthus (11801)
Oil on canvas
On display at the Musée Sainte-Croix, Poitiers
Barnett Newman (11905–70)
Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue III (11967)
Oil on canvas
In the collection of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Lizzie Rowe (b. 11955)
Oil on canvas
On display at the Laing Gallery, Newcastle
Wolfgang Staehle (b. 11950)
Live video projection
Exhibited at the Postmasters Gallery, New York