Politics: January 2007 Archives

From the BBC:

Downing Street has said there will be no exemption from anti-discrimination laws for Catholic adoption agencies.

But Tony Blair said they would get 21 months to prepare for change, calling this a "sensible compromise".

Adoption agencies had warned they would close rather than place children with gay couples, saying that went against their beliefs.


The proposed measures are likely to face a vote in Parliament next month before coming into effect on 6 April.

Mr Blair said he believed ministers had found a "way through" to prevent discrimination and protect the interests of children, which all "reasonable people" should be able to accept.

"There is no place in our society for discrimination. That's why I support the right of gay couples to apply to adopt like any other couple.

"And that way there can be no exemptions for faith-based adoption agencies offering public funded services from regulations that prevent discrimination."

This sort of thing seems pretty unlikely in the USA, and we don't even have a head of state who is also the head of the official church!

From today's newyorkbusiness.com:

Art fairs seek more city marketing aid

Some organizers of the upcoming art fairs running Feb. 22-26 say the city could do more to promote the event.

The two main fairs, The Art Show and The Armory Show, recently scheduled their events at the same time, in an effort to create a major art week in the city. A number of smaller fairs will take place as well. Executives at the Art Show are trying to get Mayor Bloomberg to open their show at the very least.

“In the art world, things are more event driven then ever before and New York needs to be promoted now that we have so much competition from London and Miami and Switzerland,” says Linda Blumberg, executive director of the Art Show. “It’s really important that the city take on ownership of this.”

The city did help The Armory Show secure its new venue at Pier 94 for that week. And NYC & Co. banners advertising The Armory Show and a smaller fair called Scope, will go up this week.


Michael Rakowitz
Headless Male Figure (Kh. IV 112) (Recovered, Missing, Stolen Series), 2007
middle eastern packaging and newspapers, glue
9.65 × 4.72 × 2.76 inches


Michael Rakowitz's latest show, at Lombard-Freid Projects, deals with the destruction of Iraq's cultural treasures. Part of the project is an attempt to reconstruct the archaeological artifacts looted from the National Museum of Iraq in the aftermath of the American invasion in April 2003. They are made from Middle Eastern food packaging and Arabic newspapers found in Arab communities in America, I believe primarily in New York and Chicago.

It also has information about the story of Donny George, the former Director General of the Museum. New York Magazine has a profile of him in the latest issue. He now lives on Long Island and teaches at Stony Brook. He moved after his children received death threats. Two of his children, Marian, 21, a medical student, and Steven, 23, a computer scientist, are in Damascus, as the US government wouldn't give them papers to come to America.

The University of Chicago has more information including a complete database of the Museum's holdings before 2003.

I first heard of Michael Rakowitz via his paraSITE project for providing temporary shelter for homeless people.

[photo from the gallery's website]


Chancellor Schröder's portrait by Jörg Immendorff


Bill Clinton's portrait by Simmie Knox

I think we can argue that the Germans are a bit more adventurous when it comes to official portraits. Chancellor Schröder's portrait is by Jörg Immendorff. This English translation of an article from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung describes it.

Niklas Maak has had a look at at Jörg Immendorff's official portrait of ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The portrait, executed by the ailing artist with the help of assistants (see our features on Immendorff here and here), has Schröder looking gold-plated: "Never has a chancellor's portrait looked so emperor-like, so Bismarckian, and immensely powerful as in Immendorff's Schröder. Schröder issued in new policies and new images, the portrait announces, showing not the man but the icon, the iron media chancellor, the ruler transformed as image. Yet the picture has some peculiar elements and an unparalleled iconographic programme, as if Schröder's chancellorship needed explaning. A horde of monkeys cavort round his shoulders. Immendorff says he painted them as an homage to the chancellor, who 'did a lot for artists.'"

[Schröder image from faz.net and Clinton image from simmieknox.com]

This story reminds me of this video.



The website Daily Kos is one of the most influential political blogs / communities on the 'net. Their second convention, called YearlyKos will take place in Chicago August 2-5, 2007.

There is a new way for artists to get involved with this year's convention.

Calling all artists, poets, performers, musicians and art lovers at DailyKos to check a new Yahoo group, ArtKos, which has been formed to develop and plan some arts and politics related activities and events for this year’s Ykos in Chicago. The idea was spawned recently in KingOneEye’s diary Join the Art Insurgency This groupsite is also a place to make connections, share art related political news, events, exhibitions, websites, and whatever strikes people's interest, not to mention discussion and inspiration!  This group and our plans are not officially affiliated with or endorsed by the Ykos organization, though they have been informed of our existence and our ideas.

[image from Join the Art Insurgency]

This page is an archive of entries in the Politics category from January 2007.

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