The Occupy movement now has its iconic image of martyrdom | Jonathan Jones


Occupy activist Dorli Rainey, 84, after being hit with pepper spray during a protest in Seattle. Photograph: Joshua Trujillo/AP

Occupy activist Dorli Rainey, 84, after being hit with pepper spray during a protest in Seattle. Photograph: Joshua Trujillo/AP


This week the Seattle police provided the Occupy movement a powerful image of martyrdom. Dorli Rainey was not killed – let’s not overdo any analogies between economic protests in western democracies and the desperate struggle for freedom in Egypt or Syria. She was “only” pepper-sprayed. But she happens to be 84, and photographer Joshua Trujillo happened to be on hand to take a haunting photograph of her reddened eyes and shellshocked expression that subtly and strongly portrays Rainey as a modern martyr.

iFixit Gets the Skinny on What’s Inside the Droid Razr


The Motorola Droid Razr's super slender parts get exposed. Image: iFixit

Today, iFixit grabbed its signature spudgels and screwdrivers to pry apart the ultra-thin Motorola Droid Razr. Inside, the phone features some seriously slender components. And they’d have to be — the Razris the world’s skinniest smartphone.

Unfortunately for home repair gurus, that thinness makes the phone difficult to take apart and repair. In fact, iFixit gave the Droid Razr a 4 out of 10 for repairability.

The phone measures in at a scant 0.28 inches thick for the majority of its profile. And at its thickest point — the oblong, box-shaped area where the 8-megapixel camera is housed — it’s still only 0.42 inches thick (which is just a sketch thinner than the 0.43-inch thick Droid Bionic, which was previously touted as the thinnest LTE phone available).

If you break the display, it will be a costly fix. The AMOLED screen is permanently fused to its surface glass, so if you break either you’ll have to replace both. However, you probably won’t have to worry about the other side of the phone. On the rear, theKevlar-threaded backplate isn’t just strong and durable, it’s also flexible. It is not, however, bulletproof.

Inside the Droid Razr, nearly all of the chips are tacked on one side of the motherboard in order to keep things slender. It’s packed with some 13 separate chips, while the back of the board is bare.

The new Razr’s 1750mAh battery provides 300mAh more capacity than the battery of the iPhone 4S (though it must be noted that this is just total capacity, and a phone’s overall hardware profile, and how an owner uses a phone, really defines battery life). Although getting to the battery is a bit of a chore, it is replaceable, and even has a “remove battery” tab in case you do need to eventually replace it. Physically, the battery is large (3.79 x 2.25 inches) and super thin (0.11 inches).

And how’s this for diagnostic hardware: The DroidRazr includes two liquid damage indicators, so there’s no fooling Motorola or Verizon if you accidentally drop it in the toilet, and try to claim the phone inexplicably “just quit working.” In fact, one of the sensors is so close to the edge of the phone that iFixit recommends “not sweating while holding this phone.”

We’ll interpret that observation as a joke.

The iFixit team says they were afraid all the plastic frames and casings would “break at any moment” as they were taking them apart, so if you do decide to disassemble your Droid Razr, make sure you’re very careful.

For more details, and a step-by-step guide of how to tear the Motorola Droid Razr apart, head over to iFixit.

Trace: On the Road Again


Check out my friend Stanley’s exhibition .

Exhibition information: 11am – 8pm, Tuesday to Sunday, 18 November – 18 December

Address: 21/F Ho Lee Commercial Building, 38-44 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong

In Traces: On the Road Again, anothermountainman (Stanley Wong) explores the persistence of the past in the face of tumultuous change. Images of the desert landscape around Dunhuang in Gansu Province, China, photographed in 2010, are juxtaposed with images of Chinese characters taken around the world over a period of fifteen years. The exhibition suggests that history can never be erased, while attempts to impose an order on the present will always be disrupted by what has come before. Dunhuang was once a thriving commercial and spiritual centre on the ancient Silk Road leading from the north China plains to Mongolia, Southern Siberia, Tibet, India and further Westwards to Europe. Although it may feel remote today, these images remind us that the desert is alive with memory and meaning: tracks, roads, telegraph wires, satellite dishes and fading signage are the traces of an enduring human connectivity.

Unexpected Kiss !


Lovely ad by Benetton clothing company  making fake photos show a half-dozen purported political names in lip-locked embraces, including President Barack Obama and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel  . . . .. .

Creative director Oliviero Toscani  Campaign called ‘Unhate’ in which leaders from opposite sides of the political and religious divide appear to exchange kisses.

It was aimed at fostering tolerance,  aims on ” global love ”  . A Kiss to get a breakthrough all over the world !

You can join this campaign too. Starting by uploading your picture on the Kiss Wall and start kissing the world!

Stop Hating .



Are blockbuster art shows worth queueing for?


The National Gallery’s eagerly awaited Leonardo da Vinci exhibition opened last week. But are such shows the best way in which to enjoy art?

Miranda Sawyer and Charles Saumarez Smith · 12/11/2011 ·


The Royal Academy's 2010 Van Gogh exhibition: loved by Saumarez Smith, hated by Sawyer. Photograph: Nils Jorgensen / Rex Features


Miranda Sawyer, Observer writer

Leonardo da Vinci has arrived at the National Gallery! Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan has been described as “the most eagerly awaited London exhibition in living memory”, and “the hottest ticket in town”. It’s the art equivalent of Michael Jackson and Elvis coming back from the dead to sing Christmas carols at the O2. Everyone wants to go. And that’s the problem. Because – assuming you can get a ticket – even though the National Gallery have restricted visitors to a mere 180 every half-hour, you can bet they’ll all be congregating in the same places. The exhibition is based around nine pictures that survive from Leonardo’s time in Milan in the late 1400s. Which means there’ll be at least 20 people clustered in front of each, and the idea of trying to peer through 20 sets of legs (I’m not very tall) to try to catch a glimpse of a dimly lit masterpiece is about as appealing as trying to hear Silent Night from row Z in the upper circle.

I understand that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these paintings on walls quite near to one another. But the nature of these blockbuster shows means it’s no chance at all. Art requires you to spend some time with it, to contemplate and think, leave and return. And there’s no way you can do that with this type of show.


Charles Saumarez Smith, secretary and chief executive, Royal Academy

I don’t agree. From what I’ve read, the National Gallery has been quite strict in limiting the number of visitors to 180 every half-hour. That sounds a lot and, of course, is. But it amounts to only just over 200,000 visitors during the run of the exhibition as a whole and will have been worked out quite carefully in order to allow for an exhibition that will be crowded, but not claustrophobically overcrowded. I haven’t been yet, but I’m sure that there will be too many people reading the information at the beginning and crowded round the major works, particularly the two versions of The Virgin of the Rocks, but not nearly so many looking at the drawings. You just have to pace yourself.


MS Now you’ve primed me with my viewing technique, I’ll rush to the drawings… but as they’re not really the point of the show (the paintings are), it seems a bit silly.

What I find hard about blockbuster shows is not the art per se, or the crowds per se: it’s the combination of the two. I love being part of a big audience at a rock festival or (back in ye olden days) at a club, because there, the crowd is the point. The communal experience is what you’ve come for. The music plus the people is what makes the art.

But with paintings, crowds spoil the art. A painting should be looked at alone, or with one or two others. Then, if you’re lucky, you get something out of the experience – and the art happens.


CSS Like you, I have had bad experiences at exhibitions. But think of the extraordinary enjoyment that great exhibitions have brought to the world. It is a completely different experience from a permanent collection where you can only see a small number of works by a single artist: you can see and enjoy and study the evolution of an artist or see rooms full of works of a particular period. How wonderful it was last year to be able to see Van Gogh’s drawings at the Royal Academy alongside his paintings alongside his letters (in spite of the crowds). And please don’t miss our Degas exhibition where you can see an extraordinary array of works by Degas that have never been seen together before, and never will again.


MS I went to see the Degas, and enjoyed myself. This was because I had a press ticket and could get in before the general mêlée. I hated the Van Gogh exhibition, I’m afraid, because of the number of people… (I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that, if you can afford it, becoming a member of an art institution is the way to go, because then you can pop into exhibitions, even blockbusters, whenever and as often as you like.) I understand that blockbuster shows are part of our New Cultural Experience: in a time when it’s hard to get people to pay for anything, only enormous, star-studded, seeing-is-believing shows will get punters to open their wallets. They are economically necessary for our art institutions, and they are – they seem to be – exciting events. It’s like films: expensive, show-offy Hollywood blockbusters make money. Little indie flicks, because of low outgoings, can make money too, but, essentially, the middle-sized offering no longer exists. It’s big, or teeny, with nothing in between. And it’s the same with art. Which is a shame.

Personally, I’ve found that there are easier ways to view masterworks. I went to Tate Britain a few months ago, and walked around the permanent collection rooms – and stood, quite alone, in front of Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion. I’ve also been the solitary viewer of one of Monet’s waterlily paintings, because I went to Christie’s to see it before it went under the hammer. I got a lot from those experiences – far more than I’ve got from any blockbuster show.


CSS Of course, you are quite right that you can often have a different order of experience if you are on your own with a work of art. But this shouldn’t diminish the pleasures and opportunities that are provided by big exhibitions, which people flock to for good reason. It’s true that our Van Gogh exhibition was incredibly crowded, but it was crowded precisely because people were fascinated by it in a way that is impossible in front of a single painting. Often, the suggestion that it’s better to commune with pictures on your own comes from people who don’t like the fact that the experience of art has been radically democratised in the postwar period and that many people much prefer the experience of looking at art together with the supplementary information that an exhibition entails. If this weren’t true, exhibitions wouldn’t be so crowded.


MS I am absolutely for the democratisation of art, as I am of all culture. And I like to have information next to a picture, otherwise how would you learn?

I think the only way of arguing that the blockbuster show is a good way of viewing art is to say that the crowd is part of the experience. If you can convince people that they’re paying a lot of money in order to see art alongside a lot of other people – and that’s part of the joy of the experience – then you’re OK. But I don’t think that is what ticket buyers are led to believe. I think they’re hoping that they will be able to have an intimate, individual experience of the art on show. And, too often, they’re disappointed.


CSS OK, let me give a final example. On 21 January we are opening a big exhibition on the work of David Hockney. It will include 193 paintings, drawings and sketchbooks, alongside an 18-screen film. It will provide a completely different order of experience from seeing a single painting. It will be exciting, absorbing and experiential and will totally transform your understanding of him as an artist. Yes, there will be a crowd. But I am confident that you will be able to enjoy the paintings in spite of the crowd.



Paris Photo 2011 – review Grand Palais, Paris


Paris Photo, the world’s leading photography fair, celebrated its 15th year in style by relocating to the Grand Palais, where dealers, collectors, book publishers and several of the world’s pre-eminent photographers gathered for four days (the event culminates today) under the spectacular glass- and iron-domed ceiling. Like a less vulgar, more well-mannered version of the Frieze art fair, Paris Photo is a giant marketplace that showcases the big-hitters and up-and-coming stars of global art-photography.

This year, some 135 exhibitors from 23 countries arrived to show off their wares, and the range of work was almost overpowering in its variety – from Atget to Weegee and all points in between. A few themes emerged from the melee of contemporary approaches. Big prints are where it’s at in terms of market demand, a trend that began with Jeff Wall a decade or more ago and continues apace today. Publishers, too, are embracing the big statement, with a plethora of heavyweight multi-volume box sets. The biggest queue of the week was for William Eggleston‘s book-signing on Thursday evening, in which the entire first print run of Chromes, his three-book boxed retrospective, sold out despite its prohibitive price tag of £220. (By the time you read this, some of those signed copies may be circulating for two or three times that amount, so voracious is the market in collectable photobooks at the moment.)

I arrived on Wednesday, just in time for the VIP evening preview, which attracted collectors from around the globe. You could almost smell the money wafting in the air and, feeling distinctly out of place, I weaved my way through the rows of stalls to have a quick look at the contenders for the Paris photobook prize, in which four prominent publishers had each selected 15 books from the past 15 years. (It was won, deservedly, by Paul Graham’s A Shimmer of Possibility, a 12-volume retrospective from Steidl that will set you back a cool £750.) Then it was on to a wall installation of images, text and paraphernalia created by the publisher Schaden and devoted to one of my favourite photobooks, Ed Van der Elsken’s impressionist narrative of bohemian life, Love On the Left Bank, first published in 1954.

Rejuvenated, I headed into the fray. My first reaction was a kind of mute, defeated wonder at the sheer quantity and variety of images on display: here an Arbus, there a Sugimoto, over there a big Pieter Hugo and, just around the corner an even bigger Thomas Struth. I opted to concentrate on one of the main themes of the fair: contemporary African photography.

A new generation of African photographers, from South Africa in particular, are dealing with race, identity and sexuality in vibrant, self-questioning ways. Two group shows, one contemporary, one historical, attested to this: an exhibition comprising the best images from this year’s Bamako photography festival, which took place in the Malian capital a few weeks ago, and a selection of portraits from the Walther Collection, a German gallery largely devoted to African portraiture. Here, South African photographer Zanele Muholi’s portraits of Miss D’vine, a gay man who works as a drag queen, posed in tribal dress, were striking and provocative. (In 2009, the South African minister of arts and culture walked out of an exhibition of Muholi’s work, calling it immoral and offensive. Many of the themes explored by this new breed of African photographers are particularly contentious in South Africa).

Nearby, Malike Sidibé’s great portraits of youth culture in 1970s Mali vied for attention with the work of studio portraitist Seydou Ketïa. I circled round and came across South African photographer Pieter Hugo’s work at the Stevenson Gallery stand. There were two huge prints from his most recent series, Permanent Error, which focuses on a vast dump for obsolete technology on the outskirts of a slum in Ghana. Here, for once, the size was justified, particularly in the full-length portraits of young men foraging in a hellish landscape.

The following day, I returned for a more relaxed saunter though the vast space. In an area devoted to recent acquisitions by major galleries, it was a pleasant surprise to discover that Tate Modern has acquired a selection of images from the pioneering Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama. Taken from his 1972 series, Farewell Photography, they push Moriyama’s grainy, impressionistic signature as far as it can go, and pose interesting questions about meaning and narrative. A taster, then, for the big Moriyama and William Klein show at Tate Modern next year.

What else did I see that took my breath away? In no particular order: a great, newly discovered Berenice Abbott portrait of Jean Cocteau pointing a gun at the viewer, hung side by side with her more familiar, but no less dramatic, portraits of an uncomfortable James Joyce; a beautiful series of monochrome portraits by Japanese photographer Hisaji Hara, whose provocative pictures of young girls posing in meticulous recreations of 1920s rooms are in homage to the paintings of Balthus; some wonderful studio portraits by Philip Kwame Apagya, who places his subjects against brilliantly wonky painted domestic interiors.

My abiding memory from this year’s Paris Photo, though, was getting a glimpse of the extraordinary collection belonging to the JPMorgan Chase multinational banking corporation, containing Arbus, Warhol, Winogrand and more. To borrow a quote from Damien Hirst, who knows more than most about this kind of thing, “you start to have this sneaking feeling that money is more powerful than art”.



Can you see me in Google Earth ?


Teenager draws penis on parents’ roof to lure Google Earth


When ancient Britons drew male genitalia on chalk hillsides, little did they know people would ape their customs millennia later

Matthew Weaver · 24/03/2009 ·


When I was at school there was a craze for scrawling penis graffiti on the chairs. Hapless teachers would look around the class to work out what all the sniggering was about, only to find a cartoon cock and balls between their legs. Now this classroom humour seems to have spread to outer space.

Teenager Rory McInnes painted a giant phallus on the roof of his parents’ West Berkshire mansion, apparently after watching a programme about Google Earth.

The BBC delicately describes it as a “comedy painting”, saying it was there for a whole year before his parents found out.

It is not the first time the stunt has been tried. In 2006 the Sun reported that”pranksters drew a willy on the roof of a top school” in Teesside that went ­unnoticed until it appeared on Google Earth.

Similarly for the benefit of Google Earth, pupils drew a 6m penis in weedkiller on school playing fields in Southampton in 2007.

Then there’s the Cerne Abbas giant … but that’s another story.