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Post #1126 • February 15, 2008, 1:47 PM • 7 Comments

Police arrested three (perhaps five) men, including two Tunisian immigrants and a Moroccan Dane, for scheming to kill Kurt Westergaard, the artist who produced the famous image of Mohammed with his turban rendered as a bomb with a lit fuse. (In 2006, six months after they appeared, Danish imams took this and other images published in the Jyllands-Posten, added some of their own, and used them to incite violence across the Middle East.) In response to the arrests, Jyllands-Posten and other leading newspapers in Denmark reprinted Westergaard's image in solidarity and support freedom of speech. Today, reports are coming in from around the world of new riots in Islamabad, the Gaza, and Copenhagen, where a Jyllands-Posten photographer has been attacked. Hamas demanded an official apology to all Muslims, and then proceded to blow up the library at a YMCA in Gaza. David Thompson comments. In related news (via ¡Journalista!), Muslim leader Syed Soharwardy withdrew his complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission against Ezra Levant for publishing the cartoons in the Western Standard. Artblog.net unequivocally supports freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Michael Allen: "I would like to encourage you, in your role as a consumer of art, to have a little more confidence in your own powers of appreciation, and to care a little less about the judgement of experts." (¡J!)

Turn any image into sound. (Waxy)

Harbin Ice Festival. (DB)

Oliver Sacks sees the geometry of the mind.

Studio 360 talks to Thomas Hoving about fake paintings.

The Artblog.net Utrecht Coupon, for 20% off a single item, still in effect! Expires February 29.

Department of Skills: Pamelia Kurstin on the theremin. (DT)

Comment

1.

Jack

February 15, 2008, 3:14 PM

Needless to say, I agree with Michael Allen, but the statement is too weak. It should say "I would like to encourage you, in your role as a consumer of art, to have far more confidence in your own powers of appreciation, and to care far less about the judgement of experts." I have absolutely no use for "experts" unless they are indeed useful, in my judgment, which is always final anyway.

2.

opie

February 15, 2008, 3:29 PM

That's true, Jack, but when I got to

"...a book can (not) be said to be good or bad in any absolute sense ...there are no great novels, there is no hierarchy of fiction, with the good stuff at the top and the trash at the bottom."

I read no further.

Sorry, Bookman, "generating emotion" is not sufficient criteria for great literature.

3.

Jack

February 15, 2008, 4:23 PM

Well, I agree with the part Franklin quoted. The rest of it, as you note, is considerably less persuasive.

4.

Marc Country

February 15, 2008, 8:15 PM

"Police arrested three (perhaps five) men, including two Tunisian immigrants and a Moroccan Dane..."

Perhaps the others were Siamese twins, who are notoriously hard to count...

Ezra Levant IS an extreme right-wing crackpot, but Artblog.net's stance is principled and just, and I'm with ya. "The enemy of my enemy..." and all that... The Western Standard falls slightly below censorious religious fanatics on my enemy list (until, of course, the religious fanatics at the Western Standard take their inevitable turn, that is).

5.

Marc Country

February 15, 2008, 8:19 PM

Occasionally, writers can be counted on to write something smart about art in general... this bit by Orwell is better than the Allen text (but the part you quoted, Franklin, is good on its own, of course).

6.

opie

February 16, 2008, 6:42 AM

"Perhaps the others were Siamese twins, who are notoriously hard to count..."

Sometimes you drive me to pure envy, MC

7.

Rita

February 16, 2008, 7:43 PM

I think that is time to open our minds, is not necesary to make all this. we need to supports freedom of speech and freedom of the press. for example in the case of the Maquiavelo paints, why are all the time under censure of Colombian government, church and people, oh God is impossible to respect anothers way of art?

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