Der Golem

bibi golem
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Der Golem spielt mit seinem Modell der Germania … oh no, that was someone else, in another time … Netanyahu plays with his model of a rebuilt Solomon’s Temple … in a Jewish only Jerusalem.

The British and Americans created a Golem to defend the Jewish people (or their interests in the region — enlightened self-interest of course) and as the story dictates, in hubris and absent mindedness, they’ve lost control and now it is the exist­ential threat to the “promised” land.

OK, so why is this not in your portfolio?

Need time to absorb, evaluate.
Carl Boese and Paul Wegener’s movie, “Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam” of 1920, is pretty obscure to start with and likening Netanyahu to Hitler, even slightly, and in jest, is a bit heavy.
But an Israel that relegates even its own one and a half million non-jewish citizens to second class status before the law is an abomin­ation.

He may be made of the same mud as the temple mount but so are about nine and half million Palestinians, a diaspora who can’t go home.

Scapegoat

Scapegoat
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Just added this to my portfolio

Holman Hunt’s weird and lurid little painting, mostly done at Usdum (that’s Mount Sodom to me) on the Dead Sea in Judea, fascinated me as a kid — a tiny day-glo nightmare with a rainbow (the one in Manchester anyway); compelling but obviously mad and a bit crappy.

I didn’t know that he had some sort of crazy millen­arian christian zionist (they have those?) conviction that any jew seeing it would spontan­eously convert to chris­tianity. Hmmm …

And I thought the idea of casting a goat out into the wilderness, on Yom Kippur, to perish, and with it the sins and sorrows of the community with which it was invested, was barmy.

I find it horrible and shameful that our Modern, Civilised society can still so easily be convinced that voodoo shit like that might work.

Leech

leech
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It is grimly ironic that, as we have moved from an indus­trial to a service economy, our culture sneers at mac-jobs at one end of the social scale but reveres the parasitic pirates, pick-pockets and pimps at the other.

I had thought of it as a portrait of Richard Branson who is constantly refered to as an entre­preneur rather than the leech that he is … but I’m not sure if anyone would recognise it. One can be a little too cryptic.

Buster

buster
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A GBU-28 “bunker busting” 5000lb laser-guided bomb designed, or rather cobbled together, to smash hardened bunkers during the Iraq war.

Hardly used, the manufac­turers found eager customers in the Israeli Airfoce who found it very efficient at demol­ishing appart­ments, mosques, hospitals and schools.

Aiming for the same sort of detached, alienated, ironic feel as Warhol’s gun, it’s as phallic as you could wish — eye in its nose … I’m just not comfortable with its boy toy computer desktop celeb­ration.

One Pound One Vote

pound vote
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Who can argue with that?
FFS — who does?

One of those times when I was sure I’d had a great idea, the execution was hard but ultimately satis­fying, the result is strong and direct and even beautiful in places … and yet … it doesn’t really stack up.

Faced with the shadow bankers and oligarchs who have bought our democracy, one just has to take their money back.

Mare Nostrum

medusa hand
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Just added this to my Portfolio.
Been strug­gling with this image for a while. Wanted to use Géricault’s Raft of The Medusa because of its artic­u­lation of, and call to, public outrage, which seems horribly absent nearly 200 years later.

It strikes me that The Mediter­ranean is what binds us in Europe to Africa rather than a moat dividing us.
To turn our backs on fellow people in ultimate need is to turn our backs on our humanity.

I originally had an image from a dream — a hazy mist, a milky, flat sea with tiny reaching hands breaking the oily surface like a matt of seeweed, bobbing rather than waving.
It was too dead, too final.
Just the one strong hand, of one of Géricault’s survivors, still striving, reaching for the horizon and dawn’s rescue was much more powerful and direct.

Obeisance

jimmy and charles
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Both resplendent in their chocolate-money medals, Jimmy Savile and Prince Charles indulge in mutual preening … and the body language …

It is indecent, and so unfair, of course, to remember or to remind …

They stand in the piazza outside Piero’s Flagel­lation of Christ and “unnoticed” in the background, over Jimmy’s shoulder …