BY JULIE SEYLER
Merz’s work is original and unique in that way that may recall Eva Hesse (because of its manipulation of everyday items in a way that forces one to rethink the nature and purpose of the objects), but retains the essence of an Italian woman who was a dedicated believer in the philosophy of Arte Povera, the postwar Italian movement that favored sculptures and installations fashioned from humble, often discarded materials. For example, she made an armchair, but hers is seemingly bandaged together with strips of aluminum remnants that almost recall rags. There’s a chair fit for a 6-year old, except that it is pierced with nails.
She knitted copper wire into wall murals with infinite space and intricate detail.
Her drawings and paintings speak of women screaming to be heard and seen; of women filled with compassion, tenderness and anger. Of women passionate from maternal love.
She made fountains with gurgling water.
Perhaps the power of her work is its utter simplicity. It made me want to look again and again to see what I missed when I first looked. If you are in the mood for a visual stimulation, I recommend this show.
With Trump’s choices of ex-investment banker/hedge fund billionaire Stephen Mnuchin to head up Treasury, and the King of Bankruptcy Wilbur Ross to head up Commerce, and self-declared crusader of ACA repeal Tom Price to head up Health and Human Services I thought it was a good time to remember what FDR said as President of the United States:
The prospect of the Trump presidency has me in knots. He is so quixotic and chaotic in the way he speaks and the topics he speaks on that it can only be characterized as that kind of behavior that can make one crazy. Trump’s recent on-again/off-again sit-down (can’t really call it an “interview“) with The New York Times speaks volumes as to the single issue that he truly cares about most: himself.
Whether he’s bragging:
I’ve never had a person boo me, and all of a sudden people are booing me. She [Melania] said, that’s never happened before…So it’s something that I had never experienced before and I said, ‘Those people are booing,’ and she said, ‘Yup.’ They’d never booed before. But now they boo.
he’s always contemplating his own belly-button.
I would find it embarrassing if a 10-year old was saying these things to me, but hearing it from the future President makes me think I have boarded a rudderless ship and we are heading straight into a glacier. There are some pundits of journalism who have adopted a “wait-and-see”, “give him the benefit of the doubt” attitude. The problem with that approach is that it focuses on Trump’s words, not his actions. He is masterful at channeling the energy in the room and refracting it back. There is a disconnect from the weight and responsibility of governing a country.
His actions have informed us that he will fulfill the agenda of the alt right and throw lots of meaty bones to the corporate elite (the Kochs), the ruling white (Jeff Sessions), the fascist right (Rudy Guiliani).
[WHAT TRUMP SAID]:
During the Presidential primaries, Donald Trump mocked his Republican rivals as “puppets” for flocking to a secretive fund-raising session sponsored by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire co-owners of the energy conglomerate Koch Industries.
[WHAT TRUMP DID]:
WHAT TRUMP SAID:
I am going to re-institute a 5-year ban on all executive branch officials lobbying the government for 5 years after they leave government service. I am going to ask Congress to pass this ban into law so that it cannot be lifted by executive order.
Which is absolutely hollow when his entire administration is filled with lobbyists from private industry with a vested interest in ensuring government doesn’t interfere with its former employers’ enterprises. Check out some of his choices.
WHO TRUMP PICKED:
For policy and personnel advice regarding the Department of Energy, Trump is relying on Michael McKenna, the president of the lobbying firm MWR Strategies. McKenna’s clients include Koch Companies Public Sector, a division of Koch Industries.
Michael Catanzaro, a partner at the lobbying firm CGCN Group, is the head of Trump’s energy transition team, and has been mentioned as a possible energy czar. Among his clients are Koch Industries and Devon Energy Corporation, a gas-and-oil company that has made a fortune from vertical drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
WHAT TRUMP SAID:
WHAT TRUMP DID:
Nothing when Richard Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute, called out “Hail Trump! Hail our people!” and then, “Hail victory!” and proclaimed “I think, moving forward, the alt-right can, as an intellectual vanguard, complete Trump,”.
And don’t tell me that his disavowal at the Times interview counts for anything. He was chided into that and it was a weakling’s mewling words.
It is not to Trump’s political advantage to disown his racist supporters. They energize him. They give him the rah rahs he is so desperate for. Mildly put, this is worrisome. In reality it feels like a horror show because Trump will continue to fulfill his destiny as a man desperate for attention and adoration and as long as his current handlers, advisors and counselors are in situ, they will have their vision of a tax-cutted/regulation free platform economy churning out the bennies for the elites, including the Trump franchise which takes front and center stage. He’ll allow himself to be reined in when it works to his advantage and he’ll let loose like a cannonball when he and his phone are hanging out all alone. Nothing is going to change. He’ll be playing the American public for the next 4 years because he is a master of the bait and switch. The question is what will be the cost when we awake from the nightmare.
Since Donald Trump was deemed to be the president-elect on November 9, nothing has felt normal. I wore black to work on Wednesday morning and thought the Empire State Building should be shrouded in black. The only place that felt safe was work. Trademarks are neutral.
I got into bed that night and cried. A delayed reaction to the horror show I knew we’d face with Trump as president and the profound sadness at Hillary’s loss, and what it would mean to so many basic tenets that make the U.S. one of the best places to live in the world. Tenets like separation of church and state and due-process under the law. Shattered by — the reasons are too numerous — but the result is disaster.
I cried for everyone that wasn’t white. As my friend A said that if you’re a person of color you no longer have the luxury of feeling safe and secure with a proud racist as the president’s chief advisor. Trump’s choice is the equivalent of a kick in the face to every American. Trump basically said “Screw the 14th Amendment” and guaranteed equal protection under the law.
As A said, “I fear for me, my family and especially my nephew.”
I cried for women because the future president is committed to appointing judges that will opine that an individual has no right to make a choice with respect to their body.
If men bore children, and there was a law that said birth was the only option, better believe the right to choose would be guaranteed. I can’t imagine this righteous right-to- life movement forcing a man who is just about to start college to give it up or to force a man who barely has enough money to pay his rent and eat to have a baby. And yet the electoral college lop is sucking back to the time of illegal abortions. Wacko!
I cried for the 20,000,000 people who will wake up with no insurance.
I cried that 60+ million Americans voted for an ignoramus. Unqualified, duplicitous, sleazy, verbally ugly. The list goes on and on.
It is now a week on and nothing has changed. In fact it’s only gotten worse.