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29 March 2017

Proposed site of a new cinematheque for Sydney, 107 Projects in Redfern. Proposed site of a new cinematheque for Sydney, 107 Projects in Redfern.

Lauren longs for a promised land of cinema. An audio conversation on Radio National considers how a cinémathèque could support Sydney’s film culture. The debate is back.

Jason di Rosso spoke recently with one of the proponents of a new campaign for a Sydney cinémathèque—a specialty space for historical, experimental and other important films—this time perhaps at an artist-run gallery in Redfern. We’ve covered the push before and we’ll cover it again in coming weeks.

And for a tangentially related read about inspired spaces for watching films: Mexico’s drive-out cinemas on wheels, in Guernica Magazine.

Teju Cole Teju Cole
photo Chester Higgins Jnr, New York Times

Photography critic Teju Cole’s most recent essay in the New York Times Magazine on what he calls "activist pictures"—archival images of immigrant Mexicans harvesting tomatoes, slaves picking cotton and Brazilian miners digging gold, all barely individualised or distinct from their mass experience—goes beyond the usual strictures of art criticism.

“A photograph can’t help taming what it shows. We are accustomed to speaking about photographs as though they were identical to their subject matter. But photographs are also pictures—organized forms on a two-dimensional surface—and they are part of the history of pictures. A picture of something terrible will always be caught between two worlds: the world of ‘something terrible,’ which might shock us or move us to a moral response, and the world of ‘a picture,’ which generates an aesthetic response. The dazzle of art and the bitterness of life are yoked to each other. There is no escape.”

Video: JFK on art and politics. Like a miracle, a new clip has surfaced on YouTube.

In an unfinished 1992 documentary on John F Kennedy, the former US President expounds his ideas on the relationship between art and society. Try to imagine the current POTUS saying:

“If sometimes our great artists have been the most critical, it is because of their sensitivity, their concern for justice…power corrupts where poetry cleanses.”

RealTime issue #137 Feb-March 2017 pg.

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