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Learning to Think Again

posted 15 Apr 2012, 18:50 by Taymaz Valley   [ updated 7 Feb 2013, 15:47 ]

Mark Rothko has been quoted as saying: “When I was a younger man, art was a lonely thing. No galleries, no collectors, no critics, no money. Yet, it was a golden age, for we all had nothing to lose and a vision to gain. Today it is not quite the same. It is a time of tons of verbiage, activity, consumption.” The problem has not been the existence of money or the galleries, but the way the two have been manipulating the art scene. What we think of an art gallery with all its peculiar handling of art and artists is quite a modern concept. The modern art gallery was born out of prosperity, driven by the market which gave more importance to reputation catering to the rich collector. Artists were in turn forced to supply the demand of such markets and collectors albeit on the surface, whilst in private creating works that satisfied their own creativity and philosophy, some of which were remained undiscovered until later. Through this manipulative path, many works and artists remained marginalized and left behind only to be rediscovered at a later date through museum retrospectives. Unfortunately museums started to follow suit short after, and began collecting only reputable artworks which in their eyes brought the most adoring crowd. The galleries, museums, auction houses and the collectors became rich, and still more money flowed in through reproductions, greeting cards and canvas prints. However, as the economic bubble burst so did the art bubble and resulted in financial losses all around. Galleries were forced to close as their inventory of famous million dollars artworks weren’t bringing in the buyers who hit by the economy were spending less; and with such high prices not many could afford to buy art anymore. So apart from leaving behind artists and artworks of tremendous importance throughout the journey, now galleries are forced to discard those who have been born out of the market driven taste. Art has taken a great blow, and the only way to recover is to rethink the role galleries, museums and auction houses play.

I paid a visit to Montreal’s Pink Espace where the owner is precisely thinking anew the whole concept of a gallery. The space is allowed to be adorned by the artists themselves who are fully permitted to show any work they deem fit. Prices are kept as low as possible, because the gallery is not obligated to cater for any rich buyer or collector; they simply present the work as they are and allow the visitors to make their own judgment. The Pink Espace does not seek out rich clients with outlandish description of the artwork, and certainly does not try to nudge up the prices in order to make its collection more valuable. They simply offer their advice and expertise to the artist and visitors. Here people are allowed to think for themselves, and not being dictated as to what is good art lets them buy what they like, and not what might make them rich in the future. After all isn’t art supposed to make us feel and find the beauty that only we can appreciate? The gallery agrees for new artists to show their work without prejudice, giving equal opportunity to everyone. A space has to be a place where public comes to reconnect with an old thing; a thing that mesmerizes us, lifts the spirit, and allows us to find beauty in a finite life. So forgive me if I rather forget about the complimentary champagne, the suited up salesman and the million dollars attitude, and replace them with low prices and the vision of the artist. For you see, when all is said and done, I am looking for an honest experience out of my artwork, and I for one do not care if in ten years I am better off financially because of it.

Concordia Art Student Exhibition

posted 25 Mar 2012, 23:00 by Taymaz Valley

I attended the exhibition and as always is the case with student exhibitions, I was inspired and disheartened at the same time. The problem seems to be the burden of expectation which art schools put on the students’ shoulders. The students spend all their time at University being told to think outside the box, and disregard all their inhibitions and preconceived notions of what Art should be; and thus they produce works that have been done before with a new twist and new mediums. The power of image; the visual aspect of Art, and the freedom to experiment with already established mediums are altogether abandoned for pieces which only seek to shock the viewer’s notion of art and frankly are unsalable. Most of art students leaving University will end up giving it up, because they cannot survive with their so called conceptual works, so why are we forcing them to do so? Why can’t we talk about the beauty of Art once again, and allow the students to explore depth instead of dazzle?

Feminism

posted 19 Dec 2011, 18:10 by Taymaz Valley   [ updated 7 Feb 2013, 15:47 ]

I read an email from an Iranian photographer today which made me think about the issue of Feminism and what it means today? Whether it is alive in the 21st century? Or Feminists are on the retreat because of lack of necessity?

This Iranian photographer which shall remain nameless, proposed to exhibit works which question the ideology behind feminism albeit an Iranian version of it; however her reasons for going against this concept seemed universal and so I am taking it upon myself to analyse this issue. She concluded that Feminism has failed women, and the struggles that are still going on only allow women to lose their womanhood and adapt a kind of masculine characteristic. She added that with the rise of popularity in cosmetic surgery and increase in excessive sexuality, women are being treated like men and that is not right. She yearns for women to be treated as fairer sex that they are and so on.

Is this true? Are women losing their identity? Is the freedom that has come with more rights allowed a backlash of over indulgence in sexual behaviour? Are cosmetic surgeries and the surge in them the result of Feminist movements?

Feminism has had a rough journey, and many over the years have criticised Feminism and the Feminist for their audacity to bring change to society. Equal rights; equal pay; equal position; right to vote; right to divorce; right to be educated and others might seem very ordinary today but one must remember that these rights had to be gained with much blood and suffering, and these rights are still lacking in certain countries around the world. But the question whether these rights have allowed women to lose their morality is one that has been raised by religious figures throughout the past centuries. The fact remains that all three monotheistic religions place women in the minority. Women are with unequivocal prejudice subject of men in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and no amount of moderate doctrine can change the fact that women are subjects of scorn; corruption; and evil which befalls on men within the three books of these so called modern religions. So, I’m not surprised when the religious few point a finger at the woman who want what is right and call them immoral.

 

The question of identity is another aspect that needs examining. The identity of women has been decided upon them by men for thousands of years and they still do. Even today some scientifically minded intellectuals place women in the category best described as primitive. “Women can bear children so they must be more domestic than the hunter gatherer men who as evolution has shown us must mate with as many females as possible in order to insure the survival of his genes.” These kind of rationality makes one think that our two thousand five hundred years of civilisation has been nothing but a devolve to animalistic behaviours of apes. Women have the right to bear children, and this fact does not place them as domestics, it places them in a privileged half. Those who chose not to exercise this right must do so according to their own rationality; precisely the same rationality that allows a woman to get plastic surgery, or wear lipstick, or paint her toenails bright red.

If you remove men from the equation, how can a woman ever think it wrong to have freedom and the right to do as she pleases with her own affairs? The laws which put women in the position they are in now did not exist a century ago, and the reason is Feminism. How can any woman in her right mind question such concept unless she is blissfully unaware that people have fought to get here, and they still do in many countries?

So my dear Iranian Photographer: before you do your exhibition in nostalgia of the old days, remember one thing, if you were in the old days you would not have the right to even think about photography, let alone criticise.

If one day you erase Adam and Eve from the bony fingers of history, women no longer become the culprit of sin, and this atheist would get a good night sleep.                               

Canada Goose Store

posted 12 Dec 2011, 17:49 by Taymaz Valley   [ updated 7 Feb 2013, 15:48 ]

I’ve just been had by a website pretending to be approved by Canada Goose. www.canada-goose-store.ca is a fake site advertising on Facebook with discount offers. They commit fraud as easily as you and I drink water and self-serving websites like Facebook allow them to commit these crimes because they get a $ from every click they receive. I don’t know about you but something about this deal stinks to me.

Apart from a well-respected brand like Canada Goose refusing to sell its product from a secure online source, to another Brand like Facebook allowing these fraudsters to advertise for them, the whole online deception trend which dirty every aspect of human beings disgusts me to no end.

I refuse to ever wear Canada Goose, and from now on I will never ever ever click on any advertisement Facebook puts on my page.

Vanessa Beecroft The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins

posted 28 Oct 2011, 22:09 by Taymaz Valley   [ updated 7 Feb 2013, 15:49 ]

I just watched The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins featuring Vanessa Beecroft and her fake and pretentious effort to adopt two Sudanese children. Having studied her work prior and read some positive and inspiring reviews by some of the great art critics, I can now easily see how certain talentless, self-serving hacks worm their way through the Art scene by just creating a phony aura around themselves. O’ and how we the liberal minded fools succumb to their beguiling venomous charm and spend our time and money to buy them a big house, a nice car and a place in history.

Vanessa Beecroft time and time again managed to portray herself as one of the most narcissistic, falsifying, selfish creatures in the scene. From the numerous repositioning for the camera, to the helpless arguments with her own husband who accused her of following fame just like other celebrities who had adopted children from Africa, Vanessa manages to turn the viewer against herself with every move and degrade her work in the eyes of art lovers.

Not once in all her interviews she spoke of love for the children she was trying to adopt, and when confronted with the fact that she did not even take care of her own blood children and neglecting them by hiring a full time nanny she just dismissed it and turned it back on her poor husband. She openly admits being inspired by celebrities adopting African children and wanting the same for herself. Where is the integrity? Where is the morality? Where is the humanity?

I for one am glad she failed in her attempt, and I do hope the critics in the art world start to look closer at her so called conceptual work and stop following the waves of celebrity.

 

Poetry Prize

posted 12 Oct 2011, 19:23 by Taymaz Valley   [ updated 7 Feb 2013, 15:50 ]

Soon to come

London Riots

posted 9 Aug 2011, 10:09 by Taymaz Valley

London was ablaze for three nights and most politicians were scratching their heads asking why? For most of the youth in London and indeed UK this was not unforeseen or unprovoked. The police shooting which took place in Tottenham was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

 

It’s not fair to speak of police brutality because by no means the authorities in England are as bad as other countries; however for a country that prides itself in promoting democracy the police are very haphazard and bias when it comes to dealing with the members of the public specially the youth, especially after the terror attacks that shook the foundation of our society.

 

I myself have observed the metropolitan police officers stopping and searching youngsters at random with less than amicable attitude, swearing and threatening them should they make a wrong move. The number of Black and Asian people having their cameras confiscated because of fears of terrorism has become unbearable and the public knows this and more than any other group the youngsters feel threatened, abused, and mistreated in their own country, city and borough.

 

The coalition government which is fast becoming just a conservative government has excluded the young even more, and with the cutting of much of the public sector budgets the hardest hitting groups are those who are supporting the community and people from the poorer backgrounds.

 

To many of the people in UK this is just a beginning. Just a preview of what’s to come if the government doesn’t step in and amend the mistreatments of its citizens.

Some thought about the Norway Attacks

posted 23 Jul 2011, 06:39 by Taymaz Valley

The fact remains that people unhappy about some aspects of their lives target a certain group of minority without proper reason, and when doing so build within themselves an irrational hatred which lasts their whole lifetime. When these individuals form groups, and gain power and influence they become majority with reason to discriminate against those minorities be they Jews, Christians, Muslims, Asians, Gays, Women, Blacks, Whites, Gingers, Albinos... Stop Yourself, Don't Fear Your Fellow Man, Don't Hate Another Being. Equality in all its senses is the key.

Tuition Fee 2010

posted 3 Nov 2010, 08:52 by Taymaz Valley   [ updated 7 Feb 2013, 15:51 ]

Today the students of England are outraged as the plans by the government to increase the limit of University tuition fees to £9000 unravelled. These plans come as a particular shock because the Liberal Democrats all through their campaign earlier this year promised to abolish tuition fees all together. Again one is assured that all promises made by politicians are hollow and worthless once they grab power.

Throughout history leaders have managed to compromise their ethics and moral stance once they achieved the thrown so to speak. From Alexander the Great to Napoleon Bonaparte; from Stalin to Barack Obama; from Blair to Nick Clegg, they have all become nothing but idealists who ultimately lost what they had set to achieve. And who can blame them? After all man’s morals is as frail as his body, once hungry he will steal, lie, kill and betray his fellow man to feed himself. A few lies here and there; a few backtracking; a few scare tactics; a few publicity photo shoots with the latest celebrity and all is forgotten. Well, wrong my dear friends. History has a way of remembering the truth. You can write your own; you can pay others to say it out loud the way you wanted it; you can cry a river to wash away the blood yet you cannot wash those grievous lines away.

Tomorrow when that student who has to work two jobs and takes out a loan to pay for his education asks why our great country is worse off than others? You Mr Clegg and You Mr Cameron are the names that History shall vomit out from the depth of his stomach, and then none of your excuses and justifications for this betrayal shall be remembered.  

Labour Party is in trouble

posted 12 Sep 2010, 03:39 by Taymaz Valley   [ updated 7 Feb 2013, 15:52 ]

Labour Party is in trouble, this is a simple fact. After losing the government this year, they have ascended into a frenzy trying to decide who will be their leader for the next elections, and that is by far the single most important decision Labour Party and Supporters must take in order to survive. The ideology of Labour or New Labour is fast becoming obsolete, and the blame game they have adapted to disrepute the Right is becoming too much for the wider public to stomach. All we seem to hear from the Labour candidates is how they are the solution for the current economical problems yet they were the party that allowed UK to suffer from the setbacks in the first place. They talk of change, yet they have the same old attitude. At the time when a coalition government has been formed to take us out of the recession, the Labour party wants to act like a single minded dictatorship. The next leader of the Labour Party should start by a big change in the blame game attitude, and indulge in some humility. In my honest opinion Labour Party from their policies to their basic name is fast becoming a thing of the past; and with the emergence of Liberals as the young vibrant party with experience in the leadership, Labour better watch out.           

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