United States cubist painter Max Weber exhibition


This video from London, England is called Private View – Max Weber: An American Cubist in Paris and London 1905-1915.

By Michal Boncza in London, England:

The wonders of Weber

Saturday 12th July 2014

MICHAL BONCZA welcomes an exhibition of works by an influential cubist painter

Max Weber: An American Cubist In Paris And New York 1905-1915

Ben Uri Gallery, London NW8

5/5

ART, identity and migration inform the Ben Uri gallery’s exhibition choices and this Max Weber show fits the bill to perfection. The fact that Weber’s work has not been exhibited in Britain since 1913 only heightens the interest.

Born in 1881 to a Jewish family in Bialystok — present-day north-east Poland but at the time part of the Russian empire — his peregrinations began at 10, when his family emigrated to New York.

It was there in 1898 that he began to study art but by 1905 Weber was in Paris, attracted by and absorbing the intellectual and artistic ferment of those heady days.

For a time he received tutoring, alongside many young artists, at the non-commercial Academie Henri Matisse from the master himself. But money ran out and after a relatively short three years Weber was back in New York.

His affectionate graphite sketch of his former tutor Matisse, perhaps completed before his return from Paris, is a delight — its minimalist strokes and likeness would certainly have pleased the master.

The experiences garnered in Paris allowed Weber to innovate and experiment in a varied palette of styles resulting in a sometimes disconcerting eclecticism.

Four dissimilar still natures on show, painted between 1910-12, reveal his dramatic progression from expressionism to cubism.

The principles of the latter are employed impressively when, “perched high above New York,” he renders the cityscape with subliminal feelings for its rich textures and crowded cement panorama.

Yet in The Dancers he retains elements of cubism but abandons fragmentation as a purely formal device to instead use it to organise the spirited movement and energy in simultaneous, separate perspectives reminiscent of reflections in a shattered mirror.

His contemporary — and fellow east European Jewish emigre — Marc Chagall’s expressionism comes to mind as the carnal sensuality feels as tangible as the bebop is audible.

Today Weber is considered to have been a major influence in the developing of modernism in the US. His work stemmed from many disparate influences, including Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau and African art, resulting in what’s been defined as “synthetic cubism with futurist devices.”

Once, while talking about his painting Chinese Restaurant (1915), Weber described the process thus: “light seemed to split into fragments in the interior… to express this, kaleidoscopic means had to be chosen.”

This video from London is called Cubist Max Weber’s ‘Brooklyn Bridge’ at Ben Uri Exhibition.

The iconic structure of his neighbourhood, the Brooklyn Bridge, is “hurled together in mighty mass against rolling clouds … this noise and dynamic force create in me a peace the opposite of itself.”

Weber’s words are as evocative as the brush strokes used to record that vision — it’s certainly the most vibrant image on display and possibly one of the best images of the bridge ever conceived.

Runs until October 5. Free. Opening times: (020) 7604-3991.

Roma teenager attacked by racist mob in Paris


This video from France is called Roma boy attacked in Paris: this will shock France.

By Kumaran Ira in France:

Roma boy attacked by lynch mob in northern Paris

20 June 2014

A 16-year-old Roma teenager, Darius, was abducted and savagely beaten by a lynch mob last Friday at the Cité des Poètes estate in a poor northern suburb of Paris, Pierrefitte-sur-Seine. As of this writing, he is still in a coma, fighting for his life in a Paris hospital after suffering multiple skull fractures.

The assault on Darius is an indictment of French society, and, in particular, of the persecution of the Roma by the Socialist Party (PS) government, whose officials are ordering police to break up Roma encampments and have called for all Roma to leave France. The government and the police covered up the lynching for four days, finally breaking the news on Tuesday.

Julie Launois-Flacelière, the lawyer retained by Darius’ family, said, “Darius was taken away as they watched by several individuals, some of whom were masked and armed.” The teen was reportedly pushed into a Renault Clio around 5:30 p.m. on Friday by a group of armed men. According to police, Darius was then locked in a basement, where he was beaten to within an inch of his life.

A few hours after Darius was kidnapped, his mother received a call from his mobile, demanding a €15,000 ransom for his return. She alerted the police. Darius was found unconscious in an abandoned supermarket trolley on the side of the N1 motorway.

The attack on Darius was reportedly an act of vengeance, as local residents accused him of stealing jewelry in a nearby flat earlier on Friday. Prosecutor Sylvie Moisson said the attack on Darius occurred after an apartment had been broken into and items stolen. He had reportedly been questioned by police in connection with robberies in the estate, but he had not been convicted of any crime.

Darius, together with his family and other Roma people, came to live in a makeshift camp close to the Cite des Poètes housing estate in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine that housed about 200 Roma people. Their camp was set up near an abandoned house a few weeks ago, after they were expelled from Aubervilliers at the end of May. After the attack on the boy, the Roma in the camp fled the area in fear the same evening.

The main responsibility for the barbaric assault on Darius lies with the political establishment and the corporate media. Over the last five years, the French political elite has adopted racial and discriminatory measures targeting the Roma population and stigmatizing the entire ethnic group.

The escalating social tensions underlying the assault were provoked by the PS’ public vilification of the Roma, recent moves by police to smash Roma camps throughout France, and the poverty and desperation in France’s suburbs provoked by decades of social austerity and budget cuts.

The unemployment rate in poorer French suburbs stands at 24 percent, compared to 10.1 percent at the national level. Youth between 15 and 24 are most affected by unemployment, which for them reaches 45 percent.

A 27-year-old electrician and resident of the area, Toufik, told Le Monde, “We are condemned to do everything ourselves. That is the problem. All the youth have had problems with police, we will not call them… Here, there is not a movie theater, a mall, a swimming pool, a park for children, nothing.”

During the 2012 presidential campaign, then-candidate François Hollande pledged to find a “solution” of the Roma question involving breaking up their camps and detaining them in special facilities—making clear he would continue the incumbent conservative Nicolas Sarkozy’s anti-Roma policy.

After Hollande’s election, his government moved to aggressively target the Roma. It has forcibly dismantled Roma encampments in France, deporting tens of thousands. Last year, then-Interior Minister and current Prime Minister Manuel Valls claimed that Roma should be deported and France was “not here to welcome these populations”. He has given local authority the mission “to dismantle Roma camps when there is a court ruling.”

On Wednesday, local authorities ordered the dismantling of a Roma camp in Marseille, which housed 400 people, including hundreds of children. The PS government reportedly evicted a record 19,380 Roma people from makeshift camps in 2013. Last October, the government deported a 15-year-old Roma schoolgirl Leonarda Dibrani along with her family to Kosovo, sparking student protests in several cities.

After finally breaking their silence on the lynching of Darius, the PS and the media made tried to downplay their constant political targeting of the Roma and to distance themselves from the vigilante beating of Darius. Hollande called the assault an “unspeakable and unjustifiable attack on all the principles on which our republic was founded,” while Valls called it an “unacceptable act”.

In a June 18 editorial, Le Monde cynically postured as appalled by the crime and by indifference to the suffering of the Roma in France. It wrote, “Must one recall that the Republic would be unworthy of itself if it permitted such shameful indifference to predominate? This would mean admitting its impotence faced with such sinister vendettas as those of the cité des Poètes. That would be the worst.”

What contemptible hypocrisy! For years, the newspaper has—like the rest of the media and the political establishment—supported the PS and Hollande’s persecution of the Roma people. Having been callously indifferent to the consequences of these policies, they are raising this as an issue now only because the horrific consequences of their ethnic persecution of the Roma have now shocked people throughout France.

When in 2010 Hollande’s predecessor, Sarkozy, called for dismantling Roma camps across the country and stripping migrants of their citizenship, politicians and media criticized these methods as anti-democratic. Sarkozy’s measures were widely compared with the persecution of ethnic minorities, including both the Jews and the Roma, under France’s Nazi-collaborationist Vichy regime during World War II.

Now that it is the PS is carrying out ethnic persecution of Roma, however, it meets with no opposition from within the political establishment or the media. Pseudo-left organizations like the New-Anti Capitalist party (NPA), which endorsed Hollande’s election and made a few tepid criticisms of Sarkozy’s anti-Roma policies, remain totally silent on PS’s persecution of Roma. All of these forces are politically implicated in the assault on Darius.

Polish far-right groups stir up anti-Roma hatred in the shadow of Auschwitz: here.

French Revolution too late in Dutch newspaper


This video from the USA is called History 1C: Modern Civilization 1750-Present, Lec 3, UCLA; about the French Revolution.

Dutch daily, the Leeuwarder Courant, published an article in 1789 about people storming the French royal prison, the Bastille in Paris. This is usually seen as the beginning of the French Revolution.

The Bastille was stormed on 14 July. However, the Leeuwarder Courant published about it, not on 14 July, and not on the next day, 15 July.

They wrote about it ten days later, on 25 July.

Translation of part of the Leeuwarder Courant article:

On Tuesday morning, after sunrise, a big crowd of people, some of them well-dressed, went to the Bastille. They conquered the city arsenal next to it. They took about 200,000 rifles from it. After that, and after many more people had joined the crowd, they attacked the Bastille. About 6pm, they conquered it. They had lost many people in this, because of a stratagem by the defenders, who had enticed some of the people to enter the Bastille. Then, the defenders violently killed the people who had entered with bullets. After that, the attackers hanged the [Bastille] governor and seven gunners.

Urban foxes in Paris


This video from England is about young foxes playing in London.

From Discovery News:

Foxes Run Wild in Paris: DNews Nugget

by Christina Reed

Tue Nov 27, 2012 05:52 AM ET

In the 1990s, the city of lights exterminated all their foxes in an anti-rabies campaign. Now about 15 wild foxes have returned to the streets of Paris, where an estimated 40 to 70 pounds of leftover food per person is thrown away each year, according to Food Industry Minister Guillaume Garot.

The foxes are taking advantage of the leftover food trash, and have skipped the forested parks along the borders of the city in favor of the more touristic and restaurant-lined gardens in the center, such as Jardin du Luxembourg. Philippe Jacob, head of the newly set up Parisian Biodiversity Observatory, said their return was an encouraging sign of a healthy ecosystem. About 10,000 foxes are said to inhabit London.

French president Hollande acknowledges 1961 massacre of Algerians


This is a French video on the 1961 massacre of Algerians. It says about itself:

Commemoration and demonstration for the victims of the massacre of Algerians in Paris on the 17th of October 1961.

By Antoine Lerougetel and Alex Lantier in France:

French president Hollande acknowledges 1961 massacre of Algerians in Paris

29 October 2012

On the 51st anniversary of the police massacre of hundreds of unarmed Algerian protesters in Paris, French Socialist Party (PS) president François Hollande offered the first official recognition by the French government that the massacre actually occurred.

His brief communiqué stated: “On October 17, 1961, Algerians who were demonstrating for the right to independence were killed in an act of bloody repression. The Republic recognizes lucidly these facts. Fifty-one years after the tragedy, I pay tribute to the memory of the victims.”

The massacre took place during Algeria’s war for independence against France, when the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) called a peaceful protest in Paris against a curfew for “Muslim Algerians” imposed by then-President Charles de Gaulle. Some 30,000 Algerians marched. They were attacked by police under the orders of Paris prefect Maurice Papon, a former official in France’s fascist Vichy regime who played a major role in the deportation of Jews to Nazi Germany during World War II.

Large numbers of Algerian demonstrators, who had come to a peaceful protest with their entire families, were murdered–shot, drowned in the Seine River, or beaten to death. The exact number of victims is unknown, as police archives have not been made public, a key demand of victims’ relatives and survivors of the massacre. Historian Jean-Luc Einodi, who wrote La Bataille de Paris (The Battle of Paris) about the massacre, estimates the death toll at 250, though Papon’s absurd tally of 3 dead and 64 wounded still stands as the French state’s official toll. (French filmmaker Alain Tasma made a moving film in 2005, Nuit noire (October 17, 1961), about the incident.)

Police arrested 11,538 demonstrators and detained them in locations throughout Paris, including the Vél D’Hiv cycling stadium–where, 19 years before, Paris police under the orders of René Bousquet had detained thousands of Jews before sending them to Nazi death camps.

President Francois Hollande has acknowledged the brutality of France’s colonisation of Algeria, but stopped short of a full apology: here.