Oy Vey!

This topic contains 53 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Christopher Raven 12 years, 9 months ago. This post has been viewed 3367 times

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  • #8529

    Westlake
    Participant

    Can I suggest that everyone calms down, and takes the opportunity to read the site rules relating to posts on discussion topics on this site. A healthy discussion and different viewpoints are fine, but this is degenerating into personal issues. It is not a case of what you say, but how you say it.

    #8530

    007
    Participant

    Great responses guys, I have tried to pick out your questions, please try to be succinct if you can though … JackSparrow.Q: The actual question was are there elements within Robert's figurative painting and social enquiry that can reasonably be ascribed to a cultural perspective and set of sensibilities that derive from Lenkiewicz's experiences as the son of Jewish emigres?A: Clearly no, if the socio group Jewish émigrés projected such strong cultural messages they would be both well understood by now and manifest in a wide number of artists within that socio group, particularly those artists that were susceptible (Lenkiewicz being the least susceptible on a scale of all possible susceptibilities, in my opinion).Q: Why do you resist so strongly the suggestion that even a thinker as independent and radical as Lenkiewicz could nevertheless owe some of his traits, habits of thought, attitudes, etc., to his cultural upbringing and his particular family drama?A: I don’t resist anything, I seek evidence, I also hold the opinion that Lenkiewicz desensitised himself to extraordinary levels – would that have made him susceptible to traits, I say no, but maybe you could list these unique traits, habits and thoughts of the Jewish émigrés. Ockham’s razor holds true JS.ChristopherRaven.Q: I think that the most recent post by Jack cannot be denied, with respect to the fact that nobody can be unaffected by their background. Everything that preceeds us will have some effect - albeit nature or nuture, we have little choice about these ripples that permeate our lives. I think that is obvious to all of us.A: No CR, Jacks post is the sharpest of the set but is easily rebuffed. I think CR you might be getting confused between direct life shaping experiences (being bullied at school) the foreground, and the manifestation of culture within a given set of aesthetics (Roberts) which is under discussion. Francis.Q: From this one would have to conclude that the terms "figurative painting and social enquiry" are interchangeable with the term "Lenkiewicz's work"! Surely even you can see the absurdity of this?A: No, it’s a higher level grouping that’s all, lets look at the specific case in your next question.Q: Could Lenkiewicz's own particular work have been produced without his Jewish émigré background?A: If the group called ‘Jewish émigrés’ could project high levels of specific cultural identity there would be many Robert Lenkiewic’s all with similar/same work cluttering up the place. Since there was only one RL and one set of his work (unique), we can safely assume he was not manufactured by something called ‘Jewish émigrés’.Westlake.Q: Can I suggest that everyone calms down, and takes the opportunity to read the site rules relating to posts on discussion topics on this site.A: I am very calm, I know the rules of the website, and Dave runs a very tidy ship.If anyone wants to run a thread on What is/is not Secular Jewish Culture, Chassidic Judaism, Historic Jewish Pogrom-diaspora and more importantly why we should not play the Jewish Card then I might be able to put some time in.Jack – If you get a chance to scan that doc ‘R.O.Lenkiewicz 1997’ (or whatever it is) and put it on the website that would be great I think it needs a very serious, critical review.

    #8531

    Francis
    Participant

    Can I suggest that everyone calms down...It is not a case of what you say, but how you say it.

    OK Westlake, I'll take a yellow (sorry) card.I had been meaning to talk about Kevin's earlier mention of the Ben Uri Museum. Its homepage describes it as the London Jewish Museum of Art. It goes on to say that "it is no coincidence that the history of the Ben Uri and that of 20th century British art are so intertwined. The blossoming of the immigrant generations of Jewish artists was mirrored by the development of modern painting in Britain..."(www.benuri.org.uk)I recall discussing with Robert donating a copy of The Mary Notebook to the Ben Uri library. I can't remember now why it didn't happen. Maybe Kevin's right and they disowned him.Going back to the quote from the Ben Uri, Kevin asks for evidence about this link between the Jewish experience and certain types of art produced in certain places in the 20th century. I've no time now but will post on this later.

    #8532

    marlowe
    Participant

    Jack – If you get a chance to scan that doc ‘R.O.Lenkiewicz 1997’ (or whatever it is) and put it on the website that would be great

    Umm, isn't that from the first White Lane Press book?

    #8533

    007
    Participant

    It is. 'R.O. Lenkiewicz 1997 ISBN 0953137007' to be exact.I think we can quote briefly for effect but I doubt a full-scale scan would be feasible or legal!Interesting that Kevin doesn't seem familiar with it. You'd think reading a 60-page published interview with the painter might be a good starting point for anyone who wanted to discuss his work.Let's all chip in and buy him a copy from eBay?I don't know what reading I would recommend to improve on this kind of reasoning though:

    A: If the group called ‘Jewish émigrés’ could project high levels of specific cultural identity there would be many Robert Lenkiewic’s all with similar/same work cluttering up the place. Since there was only one RL and one set of his work (unique), we can safely assume he was not manufactured by something called ‘Jewish émigrés’.

    Isn't that like saying that not all New York Jews are funny, therefore Woody Allen doesn't do Jewish humour? And since Woody's jokes are different from Jackie Mason's, there's no common cultural reference point?Logical fallacy, indeed.

    #8534

    Francis
    Participant

    Isn't that like saying that not all New York Jews are funny, therefore Woody Allen doesn't do Jewish humour? And since Woody's jokes are different from Jackie Mason's, there's no common cultural reference point?

    You won't be watching that film at 10.55 on BBC1 tonight then? "Fatima and Her Sisters".

    #8535

    007
    Participant

    One of the most common forms of logical fallacy the Non Sequitur is ably demonstrated by JS in these statements. However by adding in the Modus Tollens he makes it a more interesting example.

    not all New York Jews are funny, therefore Woody Allen doesn't do Jewish humour? And since Woody's jokes are different from Jackie Mason's, there's no common cultural reference point?

    For those interested, books could be found under deductive reasoning, logic or philosophy. Other forms of Logical Fallacy, I am sure Jack can and will ably demonstrate in due course.However, of much more importance is the correct interpretation of what I am suggesting re “R.O.Lenkiewicz 1997” (out of print). I have no interest in the filler material that turned a 60 page transcript into a 170 page fetishised ebay object.I assume the QnA with Robert has no residual commercial value for Francis and it would certainly provide a moral advantage (I am sure this is not lost on you Francis) when requesting TLF to do similar with Robert’s own journals. So I propose that the 60 pages of text are to be published on this site. I don’t think a private information store arms race between TLF and others is remotely useful. Tell us Francis are you prepared to decommission your ROLenkiewicz stock pile?

    #8536

    Site Admin
    Participant

    I assume the QnA with Robert has no residual commercial value for Francis and it would certainly provide a moral advantage (I am sure this is not lost on you Francis) when requesting TLF to do similar with Robert’s own journals. So I propose that the 60 pages of text are to be published on this site. I don’t think a private information store arms race between TLF and others is remotely useful. Tell us Francis are you prepared to decommission your ROLenkiewicz stock pile?

    White Lane Press have kindly provided me with the first 2 Chapters of RO Lenkiewicz (1997) for publication on this site (it will probably be in the next couple of days, as I need to do some preparation of the text and decide upon the best way of publishing them here).I am sure that many people will appreciate the apportunity of reading this text, and it will be a significant addition to the resources available on .org. This should also help to provoke more informed discussion and debate on Lenkiewicz's influences and philosophies.A big thank you to WLP 🙂

    #8537

    Francis
    Participant

    I must say, Kevin, that

    #8538

    007
    Participant

    Care to elaborate on this Kevin?

    Kevin wrote:I have no interest in the filler material that turned a 60 page transcript into a 170 page fetishised ebay object.

    By 'filler material' I hope you don't mean Robert's paintings?

    #8539

    007
    Participant

    Hmmm … lets fix some of this

    "It’s indisputable that a disproportionate number of artists across the wide spectrum of the arts in the 20th century have Jewish emigre backgrounds.""The Ben Uri Museum website reflects upon this phenomenon in this country."

    No, it’s indisputable that people are expected to think this. The Ben Uri simply does its bit by being a Jewish funded single purpose PR machine for Brit-Jewish Art. Open any decent reference book on Brit Artists in 20th c. you will see 1000’s of artists and these are only the ones that are recognised. Jewish artists are neither prominent, leading nor original.

    Anti-Semitism began to rear its head again towards the end of the century, nowhere more so than in fin-de-siecle Vienna.

    Anti-Semitism in Germany was widespread and growing throughout the 19th c. one root embedded in the Philosophical divide that opened after the death of Hegel in 1831, the ‘Young Hegelelian’ faction under Bruno Bauer mounting a sustained critique on the attempted Jewish Prussian emancipation. This work being amplified by Karl Marx (atheist or Jew Hater, take your pick) who published “Zur Judenfrage” (On the Jewish Question) in 1844 widely considered a prescient anti-Semitic statement. None of this centred on Vienna, it was driven out of Berlin.

    “This coincided with the rise of Modernism in art, exemplified by many artists of Jewish descent in all artistic forms, so much so that as early as 1849 in his essay “The Art-Work of the Future” Richard Wagner had termed this “Jewish

    #8540

    Francis
    Participant

    A few remarks on your general misunderstandings, Kevin.Of course, Nordau praises traditional German art – that’s the point!“Entartete Kunst” was invented long before the Nazis. As you say, much of the art banned as degenerate by them wasn’t actually by Jewish artists – again that’s the point! You’re missing the bigger point as usual, Kevin. It’s not a question of how many Secessionist artists were Jewish (or later how many “degenerate artists”), it’s the perceived link (as some of your quotes actually reinforce) between Modernism and Jewishness due to the crucial influence of Jewish artists and thinkers. In his essay on the great Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, Matthias Konzett observes:"Indeed, the association of culture and Jewishness in turn-of-the-century Vienna, which saw all modern and progressive cultural production as Jewish, is so strong that even a non-Jewish painter like Gustav Klimt is accused of possessing a “gout juif” upon presenting his radical ceiling murals for the university of Vienna."Again, in his study “Vienna and the Jews”, Stephen Beller concludes:"The Jewishness of the cultural elite in Vienna gave the capital of the Habsburg Monarchy a cultural and intellectual importance for that time which it had never known before and certainly no longer possesses. The awkward but inescapable conclusion seems to be that it was indeed the Jews that made Vienna what it was in the realm of modern culture."Undeniably, as you say (and so did I), Berlin was another important artistic and cultural centre. Paris was certainly influential in the visual arts (painting rather than design) but in other art forms (literature and music) and intellectually, it can’t compare. However, back to our main purpose. Presumably, Kevin, you’ve been so overworked drafting your reply that you’ve not had a chance to read any more of the R.O.Lenkiewicz interview? Some more relevant quotes:-Asked about Zionism at the Hotel Shemtov, Lenkiewicz replies quite vehemently:"I remember developing quite early on a strong dislike of Israel. I’ve never been there abd I don’t know what I’m talking about but I resent the image of it to this day, its policies and its attitudes. It’s made of different stuff to the European Jew."And when asked about the influence of contemporary thinkers on his theory of Aesthetic Fascism, he responds:"I should explain that my views about fascism didn’t stem form sociological or political enquiries or readings; they stemmed entirely from observing human behaviour, where, in a state of crisis, that behaviour treated another human being as property." Now, without being tricked by any further questions, he continues:"Obviously, on reflection I would think that this was in some way linked to my indirect experience of the Holocaust but consciously I didn’t associate them in this way."So Lenkiewicz himself recognised the link between his own background and experiences with his main theory of human behaviour. Are you telling us, Kevin, that you know better? PS great photos!PPSJust one more historical inaccuracy, Kevin. The main work of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, key dramatist of the German “Aufklarung” (Enlightenment), was “Nathan der Weise” (Nathan the Wise), which was hugely influential as the first “Ideendrama” (ideological play) and a plea for religious tolerance and individual freedom, specifically in relation to Judaism. Christianity and Islam (where is he when you need him?). In the late 18th century in German –speaking Europe, the profound message of this work was the catalyst for a new liberalism. Jews were awarded civic equality and political rights, which had been previously denied. This emancipation largely continued until the latter part of the 19th century, when the emerging nationalism (especially in German-speaking Europe) began to restrict those rights. In 1881 amazingly 75% of the world Jewish population lived in Eastern Europe. The Pogroms then caused the mass exodus west. The huge cultural and artistic implications of this trend have already been described

    #8541

    marlowe
    Participant

    In 1881 amazingly 75% of the world Jewish population lived in Eastern Europe. The Pogroms then caused the mass exodus west.

    I'm reminded of the BBC "Power of Art" last week by Simon Shama about Rothko. Born Marcus Rothkovitch in Russia, Rothko talked about the persecution and murder of Jews by the Cossacks when he was young. His parents fled to America. Rothko said the memory of this had never left him and was an influence on his paintings.

    #8542

    007
    Participant

    Francis, you set out on a mission to try to identify some link between "Jewish Emigre" and "Robert Lenkiewicz's specific work". I give you as much latitude as you need to establish this, you choose to make your pitch in Vienna (of all places!), post a shoddy sixth form (I am being generous) write-up and claim some link to Lenkiewicz - At which point I correct the misquotes, misunderstandings and associated nonsense.Are you really offering 'cut n past' from someone else’s books now? Is that it?Having left Vienna it seems we are now back with "ROLenkiewicz" whilst Marlowe raises an interesting point regarding Rothko which is connected to what I am about to say on Lenkiewicz.

    And when asked about the influence of contemporary thinkers on his theory of Aesthetic Fascism, he responds:(1) "I should explain that my views about fascism didn’t stem form sociological or political enquiries or readings; they stemmed entirely from observing human behaviour, where, in a state of crisis, that behaviour treated another human being as property." Now, without being tricked by any further questions, he continues:(2) "Obviously, on reflection I would think that this was in some way linked to my indirect experience of the Holocaust but consciously I didn’t associate them in this way."

    Lenkiewicz couldn't be clearer.(1) He separates his views from sociological, political enquiries or readings first.(2) He then tells us that he has no direct experience of the Holocaust (obviously), and his theory is consciously not associated with it.The question is what is Lenkiewicz’s indirect experience of the holocaust, the answer is a direct, visceral exposure to human suffering at the Hotel Shemtov (Shem-Tov), a direct experience that stimulated sufficiently (like Rothko) to set them on a path. Let’s be absolutely clear on this, so receptive was the young Lenkiewicz to this influence that it mattered not to him what creed, colour, background or ethnicity this human suffering came from.Unlike Francis, who then wields his mallet and suggests that

    Lenkiewicz himself recognised the link between his own background and experiences with his main theory of human behaviour

    He provides Lenkiewicz with the words he does not use like ‘background’ and then provides the word a context ‘Jewish Émigré’.Direct experiences tend to shape human beings, like Rothko, Lenkiewicz is shaped by these events, like his bother John who set out on his own path of human understanding in a way that seemed appropriate to him.PS. Where are we going next Francis – Brazil in the 1950’s.

    #8543

    Francis
    Participant

    Well, funny you should say that, Kevin. It’s something else that fascinates me.

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