Sunday, April 20, 2008

Don't Boycott the Olympics

Of all the mistakes Jimmy Carter made while President (and although I really like him, he did make a few), the one I always felt was the most misguided was boycotting the Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980. There is no doubt that his heart was in the right place. The Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan was a travesty and human rights disaster, and the US had every right to want to ostracize the USSR because of it, but choosing the Olympics as one of the platforms on which to do so was to play politics with an event designed to transcend politics.

First and foremost, choosing the Olympics as the place to score political points is unfair to the athletes for whom waiting another 4 years means very likely missing the chance they've worked so hard for their entire lives.


Secondly, choosing the Olympics as the place to score political points is lazy. Taking advantage of all the money and sweat and training it took the countries and their athletes to get there and to make it into the universally televised, worldwide platform that it is, is to piggyback on the dreams of not only the athletes but also their families, friends, and communities. Indeed, if you were truly committed to the cause you say outrages you so much that you simply must use the Olympics to make your statement, you'd be out there doing your own damn organizing to get the message out in every other forum available. In other words, you wouldn't need to co-opt the Olympics and exploit the efforts of people who want to compete, represent their country, do their small part to spread tolerance and understanding, and perhaps participate in promoting worldwide peace through their individual example of what the true spirit of humanity is all about.

Finally, what Olympians are working so hard for is a place in history. To win the Gold or break a world record. To be the first from their country to even place or compete. These are the dreams that lead athletes to sacrifice everything for years. To deny them a shot at a place in the history books just because lazy politicians and activists who can't find their way to get their message out otherwise leach onto the Games is unforgivable to me.

Indeed, it's history itself that show us how empty and meaningless (and therefore unfair and counterproductive) such gestures truly are. Did the American Boycott of the Moscow Olympics end the war in Afghanistan? Seriously, did it even contribute to it? It did squash the chance to compete in the Olympics for a wide range of Americans who earned their shot to do so, though. It was a foolish, hollow gesture.

More than that, history shows us that a hated enemy today can be an ally in a few years, and so denying someone their shot at making it into the history books over a temporary political situation is myopic. Moscow in 2008 is perhaps still somewhat unwelcoming to American goals and objectives, but would anyone suggest we boycott the Olympics there today if they won the campaign to host again? No. So what we see from our current point of view is that 1) the Boycott in 1980 did little if anything to halt the atrocities in Afghanistan, 2) we are now on much more friendly basis with Russia anyway (and now we occupy Afghanistan), and yet 3) a generation of athletes for whom 1980 was their window of opportunity were denied a shot at glory and history.

I note all this because today we have misguided folks calling for a Boycott of the 2008 Olympics in China. Yes, there are awful policies supported by the Chinese government and yes it's right for people to be outraged by them, but using the Olympics as a pawn in these struggles is lazy, myopic, and cruel. China is certainly much better on human rights issues today than it was 20 years ago, and it's a safe bet that as they rise in economic dominance (and wish to have more say in the more influential private clubs reserved for those nations who don't have such awful records) that they will become even better in the next 20 years. Perhaps that's not fast enough for some people (I can't blame them entirely), but as this contemporary state of affairs too will pass, it's entirely unfair to deny the athletes ready to grasp for their dreams the opportunity.

I feel passionately about this because the Olympics to me represent hope. Not only for a world in which people go to war less because they've seen how much they have in common through such worldwide events, but hope that the host country will be impacted by the event and its people will become a little more tolerant, a little better acquainted with people they thought they were right to hate, a little more inspired to travel and see more of the world, and as a result their leaders will become a little more empathetic and perhaps more concerned about what the world thinks of their actions. To my mind, regardless of the current political climate, it's entirely counter-productive to boycott hope. Hope is the one essential element of change. Fighting for change while squashing hope is asinine.

There are other, more appropriate platforms on which to take a stand. Using the Olympics to do so is lame.

Labels:

43 Comments:

Blogger honkies who ruined rock and roll said...

I AM COMING SOON WE ARE COMING SOON YOU ARE COMING

4/20/2008 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree. Not to mention - even if we would boycott the olympics [as if it could serve as anything more than a symbolic gesture] everyone is going to go home to their house or apartment FILLED with products from China. Perhaps our government could boycott BORROWING all that money from China?

4/20/2008 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Ed, I'm in complete agreement with you.

The China Daily is one of the world newspapers on my reading list. I’ve been following their Olympic coverage which I have found fascinating.

Farmer artist paints for the Olympics Ma Zengfu's…was commissioned to create 80 paintings which will be presented to foreign visitors during the Beijing Olympics.

Olympic Museum focuses on China the link has a photo of the "Smiling faces of the workers of the Olympic projects."

'Fingernailing' the Olympics
Crowds gather to watch an Olympic-themed picture made of fake fingernails by Jin Yu, a nail technician in South China's Nanjing city. Jin used more than 28,000 fake fingernails to create a picture, 146" long by 122" wide, which features the Fuwa mascots (L), the emblem of the Beijing Games (C) as well as the Olympic athletes.

Politics aside, there is something more than nationalism occurring here, I get a very real sense of national pride, it’s the coming out party for China.

4/20/2008 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it’s the coming out party for China."
Exactly, kinda like it was for Hitler's Germany. I have no problem with boycotting China. If for no other reason than the terrible quality of most of the hype driven contemporary art coming out of it. And yes, I know there is plenty of hype driven, crappy, western art. The thing is, with the stuff coming from China and selling for millions- almost without exception it sucks.

4/20/2008 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

What does that have to do with anything?

Sour grapes poison the soul.

There is NO parallel with prewar Germany, none, it is a good illustration of your lack of knowledge about world affairs.

4/20/2008 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

I might add, if you are worried that a couple of dozen or so, Chinese artists are going to take your slot in a gallery somewhere, you are correct.

4/20/2008 05:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There is NO parallel with prewar Germany, none, it is a good illustration of your lack of knowledge about world affairs."
Bullshit. Both totalitarian states. Tell the Tibetans there is "NO parallel". I stand by my statement. You are correct, the Olympics are a sort of "coming out party" for China- just as they were for Hitler's Germany.

4/20/2008 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

My, my, we have all the buzz words going here.

The Tibetan revolutionaries made a grave tactical error in trying to initiate political change during the pre Olympic period. Unfortunately they were unsucessfull and will be crushed.

4/20/2008 05:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Tibetan revolutionaries"
Calling Tibetans who crave freedom "revolutionaries"? That says it all.
"they were unsucessfull and will be crushed."
Hmmmmm? Do I detect a gleeful tone in your statement? If so, that's pretty sick IMO.
By the way, while I have no problem with people boycotting the Olympics because of the morally reprehensible nature of the Chinese gov't (cue the George Bush is a war criminal rhetoric) I personally think it will have no positive effect on the course of things in China or Tibet.

4/20/2008 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Not quite. From what I’ve read what occurred in Tibet was full fledged civil unrest, rioting, looting and burning of Chinese owned businesses in Tibet. Any government, anywhere in the world, would act to enforce civil order. It appears that the Chinese government did attempt to show some initial restraint but at some point I’m sure force was the only recourse.

This is a civil and political problem in a foreign country, it is unlikely that political protest occurring outside China will have any effect on their internal policies. Worse, for the nationalist Tibetans (revolutionaries or otherwise) they have succeeded in alienating a larger segment of the general Chinese populace, where they might have previously found a sympathetic ear, if not outright support, for a more negotiated resolution to their problems with China.

By timing the political unrest to correspond with the period of the Olympics, the Tibetan revolutionaries (as opposed to the general population) miscalculated in thinking it would aid their cause. This has turned out to be not the case amongst the general Chinese population, where it matters most. Frankly, Tibet is only one of several internal problems facing China at the moment, this is geographically a very large nation, with a huge population, that is undergoing major social changes, disagreement and civil unrest are just but one of the problems they face.

4/20/2008 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger John Hovig said...

Agreed with Ed. No boycott. On the contrary. The Olympics are the time to shine the light on a host country as brightly as possible. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant," and all that.

The Olympics are a major luxury. You can't just build a lot of stadia and host a huge throng of visitors unless your country is robust. The Olympics can cause major stress to a weak country.

And the media are sensationalist. They'll never pass up a chance to find a dark lining in a sliver cloud. I've already read the blog entry of a western man who witnessed an altercation outside his Beijing window. He understood Chinese well enough to hear the bystanders say, "Stop, there's a westerner looking."

Next Olympics in North Korea. Turn that sunlight up to eleven, people.

4/20/2008 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger CAP said...

I have no problem with a boycott because athletes have the IAAC games and countless other international meets to compete in.

The Olympics has become one big festering boil of marketing, politics and kitsch. I'd boycott it purely on aesthetic grounds, after seeing that monstrosity of a stadium (although the bondage theme to the construction is rather telling) and Stella's accompanying mindless doodles.

China has not done what it agreed to, when awarded the Olympics and it's outrageous corruption and exploitation deserve to be punished by an international gesture.

Athletics is meant to be just a game. Most athletes understand how meaningless their event is, and most would understand how important the issues with China are now.

4/20/2008 06:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay george. I apologize if I misread your tone. Still don't agree with you though. :) Well, guess I agree with some of what you said.

4/20/2008 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

The Olympics has become one big festering boil of marketing, politics and kitsch.

Yeh, I miss the good old days during the cold war when the press kept score

USA - 12 gold, 14 silver 10 bronze
Commies - 12 gold, 14 silver 10 bronze

that was fun, you betcha

By the way, I think the architecture is truly great, 21st century stuff.

4/20/2008 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Anon, 6:44

Likewise. I can appreciate your concern for Tibet. I just happen to feel that the current protests may have done more harm than good.

Tibet is stuck deep in the past, and in a modern world this inevitably cannot continue. China just completed a railway into the area, and it appears that they are trying to bring Tibet into the modern world.

While countries and places which languish in the past have great interest to us as outsiders (Cuba for example) this is not always the best situation for the local population. China may be heavy handed in trying to bring Tibet into the present, but ultimately it has to happen and that inevitably will cause changes, some of these will upset people, but in the long run I don’t see any other outcome.

FWIW, I saw Tianbing Li’s exhibition of paintings, "Me & My Brother" at L&M Art yesterday. It was one of the better painting exhibitions I’ve seen so far this season. Chinese artists, like American artists or German artists, or..., cannot fairly be held responsible for the actions of their government.

4/20/2008 09:01:00 PM  
OpenID ericgelber said...

Ed do you think it is fair to say that Charlie Finch will never review an exhibition that appears in your gallery? I know he has made disparaging remarks about your gallery before.

4/20/2008 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

every flower is different if you think about it. Pretty deep of me.

Let a thousand flowers bloom!

4/21/2008 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger CAP said...

Actually it might be sort of relief, knowing CF will keep his distance.

4/21/2008 01:02:00 AM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

I'm pretty sure I had heard Jimmy Carter say he did regret the boycott, and from what I'm understanding the French President is boycotting the opening ceremonies only, and calling on other world leaders to do the same, as far as Bush goes there has been a pretty hilarious interview with the guy who does the Presidents scheduling or something like that where he was asked if Bush was going to attend the opening ceremony and he gave a run around answer where he called Tibet Nepal about seven times.

Tibet has every right to live however they wish, and in whatever time, oppression is oppression, and government brutality is government brutality. once a riot starts there is little a government can do to stop the violence except add to it in a more brutal manner using tools of brutality. Ask anyone about the Sixties and they'll tell you that the police instigated many riots, I had a teacher who was hired by the FBI to instigate a situation at protests so the police had an excuse to disperse and beat the crowd. Loook as recent as the late eighties here in NY and the annual May Day Tompkins Square Park riots, an overly aggressive police presence intended on suppressing the will of the people and enforcing the governments will is always going to instigate a riot, in LA the best thing Gates did was not to send police into South Central during the riots, it would have thrown gas on the fire, and officers would have surely been injured or killed. I don't know what kind of insanity is operating that blames the rape victim for being raped, it most likely is from the perspective of a rapist.

4/21/2008 01:16:00 AM  
Blogger Betta said...

Tibet is stuck deep in the past, and in a modern world this inevitably cannot continue. China just completed a railway into the area, and it appears that they are trying to bring Tibet into the modern world.

Yes, George, let's go in and civilize those noble savages. The way you're justifying an act of colonialism seems pretty ignorant, and your pro-China bias is evident.

I would advise you to take anything you read in the China press with a huge grain of salt. China currently ranks 163 in the world press freedom index, just ahead of Burma and two steps ahead of Cuba. China Daily is widely acknowledged to be a mouthpiece of the government. We are familiar with that in Malaysia. Our press freedom isn't that hot either.

Do not forget that the Dalai Lama himself has reiterated that he does NOT condone a boycott of the Olympics. Furthermore he is NOT seeking independence (sovereignty) from China, but autonomy.

I'd ask you to think twice before you start using such terms as 'Tibetian revolutionaries' - when was the last you heard from Tibetian nationals in the global press? Do you have any way of knowing what is happening within Tibet?

I too think a boycott of the Olympics is not wise. I don't agree with the boycott.

But please keep in mind that the boycott has been used by BeiJing to further inflame the situation in Tibet and justify use of undue force.

China is certainly much better on human rights issues today than it was 20 years ago, and it's a safe bet that as they rise in economic dominance (and wish to have more say in the more influential private clubs reserved for those nations who don't have such awful records) that they will become even better in the next 20 years. Perhaps that's not fast enough for some people (I can't blame them entirely), but as this contemporary state of affairs too will pass, it's entirely unfair to deny the athletes ready to grasp for their dreams the opportunity.

Edward, I cannot agree with any of the above save for the last part. As I said I do not agree with the boycott. But why does respect of human rights have to be seen in light of economic advancement? If China is indeed a rising SuperPower, then the expression of that SuperPower as oppression should be checked at every instance - not 20 years later, but NOW. The ends do not justify the means.

4/21/2008 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

If China is indeed a rising SuperPower, then the expression of that SuperPower as oppression should be checked at every instance - not 20 years later, but NOW. The ends do not justify the means.

I'll confess to not being an expert on the circumstances involving Tibet and China, and I'll agree that checking the oppression of any nation at every (other) instance is important, but a country playing host to the Olympics is turning over a section of their land to the international community in my mind and just as with the UN or other such efforts, you have to separate the two issues for the tradition and symbolism of the event/effort to have any chance of succeeding.

What China does is relevant in every other arena of how we deal with them (and the number of US corporations setting up shop in Shanghai is a much better target for ire, IMO), and if boycotting would punish China more than it does the athletes, I might reconsider my position, but it doesn't. It temporarily embarrasses China, but entirely derails the hopes of those athletes (and their friends, families, communities, etc.), who had no role in choosing the host country.

4/21/2008 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Some days, he added, “We were able to click on every single station and every one of our folks were up there delivering our message. You’d look at them and say, ‘This is working.’ ”

-George Orwell

I was just reading about the great leap forward in the sixties - Proceeded by the five year plan.
Lots of people died I guess. And China hid those deaths, which were quite a few.

So I guess anything is possible.

4/21/2008 08:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

George:

We in heaven favorably regard your championship of all things Chinese. It is good to have an advocate in New York. But please do not shame your ancestors by using a Kiwi name. Proudly use your full Chinese name in the future. We have consulted with Max and he has no objection.

4/21/2008 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

OK, so that last comment, and the content of the article I linked to in general, go past measured and appropriate responses to China's excesses and begin to descend into out-and-out racism. One need not support China's stand on Tibet or its human rights record or its other abuses to understand that "all things Chinese" are NOT on trial here. Conflating the Olympics with Chinese art for example is moronic in my opinion. I have my reservations about much of the art in China (as I do much of the art anywhere), but to dismiss it all as "a mere, but lucrative, tool for Chinese hegemonic oppression" is grotesquely unfair to the artists whose projects began long before China's rise was so threatening to some in the West.

4/21/2008 08:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Mao Tse-Tung said...

The Tibetans are not revolutionaries. We in China are revolutionary. (Or at least we were, until we became the great engine providing international capitalism with its many goods.) But when we brought Tibet the benefits of civilization and the tenets of the Little Red Book back in 1950, they were positively feudal, medieval. We showed them the shining light but they didn't appreciate it. Instead they opted for "freedom", whatever that is.

4/21/2008 08:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Tibet is stuck deep in the past, and in a modern world this inevitably cannot continue.

Just like those awful people who insist on talking about formalism and conceptualism in the contemporary art world. It's over, they lost, they're part of the past, etc. Right, George?

The whole point of the original Olympics was to lay aside political differences and come together for some good sports, which is why the games were permanently assigned to the least politically important city-state in Greece. This is a fine attitude and we ought to continue it, even considering China's atrocious treatment Tibet. Frankly, China is going to implode anyway. Despite repeated insistence by the government that unemployent is about 4%, academics think it may be as high as 15%, which translates to 300 million people out of work in a country with growing wealth disparities and widespread hunger. 300 million people is about 4 million people short of the entire poplulation of the United States of America. When I was in Taiwan a few years ago, it made the NYT that China had recorded 70,000 acts of civil unrest for 2005 alone. Googling "china riot" brings back, well, interesting results.

4/21/2008 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

Jeez, what time did you all get up to start posting? It's just after 10:00 am and already there are over two dozen responses....

I agree with Ed that it's not a good idea to boycott, but given the quality of air there, some athletes--especially the ones who, uh, use their lungs--may wish they hadn't gone.

As for that topic within the topic, Chinese art, I have to say that I'm really taken aback by the low quality of much of what I've seen at the fairs. I realize there's an expected quid pro quo down the line--China IS the biggest market in the world, after all (just ask the cigarette and insurance companies and automakers who have established outposts already)--and what better way to pay a high Chelsea rent than by selling millions of dollars of American art in China. But for now, the flow is headed in this direction only.

If you really want to boycott China, start by putting back all the inexpensive things you might pick up when you go shopping. Buy American, even if it costs a bit more. And this is not just rah rah flagwaving; you don't want the chrome of a can opener to flake into your food, the lead of a toy to be ingested by your child (or pet). Building materials? Electronics? We have no idea what's in the imported products we buy. And for godsake stay away from the Heparin.

For the record, I love the ancient cultures of China, and I'm sure the majority of people are decent and hardworking, but I trust its government and business leaders even less than I trust our own.

4/21/2008 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Beneful Dog Food said...

Holy crap! Chairman Mao, back from the dead and kicking it old school on Ed's blog. I love your fashion sense dude.

4/21/2008 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

For the folks who suggest they're ok with a boycott this time because the host country is China, my sense of it is the Olympics as an idea loses something each time countries play with it like this. When the US hosted in LA in 1984, there was a much duller sheen to the games, not only because the USSR boycotted in retaliation, but also because it was us who had first played politics with them in that generation. The idea that we expected the world to take us seriously as the host, when we had exploited the games just four years before, was laughable.

4/21/2008 10:50:00 AM  
OpenID ericgelber said...

Who the hell is going to appear on boxes of Wheaties during 2008-09 if we boycott the Olympics?

4/21/2008 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Roger Bannister said...

On the Wheaties boxes, may I suggest Eric Gelber? Not good in the long or middle distances, but a world champion sprinter on the blogs.

4/21/2008 01:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but a country playing host to the Olympics is turning over a section of their land to the international community in my mind and just as with the UN or other such efforts, you have to separate the two issues for the tradition and symbolism of the event/effort to have any chance of succeeding.


Are you serious? The all around naivety in these posts are absurd---you all need to stick to the art world. China's abuses are far and above anything related to Tibet. Do you realize what section of land China is turning over--do you know what they did to build these Olympic sites? They destroyed the homes of thousands---they are systematically purging these areas. http://www.terradaily.com/reports/The_High_Cost_Of_The_Beijing_Olympics_999.html

And all this is only the tip of the iceberg of China's ways---people can believe all they want that capitalism will open up China, but I think we are about to see that China is subverting that capitalism for their own means...

4/21/2008 01:19:00 PM  
OpenID ericgelber said...

Wow. "Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister, CBE (born March 23, 1929), an English former athlete best known as the first man to run the mile in less than 4 minutes" is indeed quite clever but not correct. I bike about five miles a day up and down hilly terrain (not as hilly as these spunky blog comment threads are of course) so do not disqualify me from the long and middle distance races. But please, you brought me up not me. Let's focus on China.

4/21/2008 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Are you serious? The all around naivety in these posts are absurd---you all need to stick to the art world. China's abuses are far and above anything related to Tibet. Do you realize what section of land China is turning over--do you know what they did to build these Olympic sites?

You've done precious little to free us from our "naivety" here, though. The numbers of people displaced for the Three Gorges Dam, for example, is greater than those displaced for the Olympics by most accounts. And because it's difficult to tell what to believe as the numbers are simply incredible on all accounts (i.e., it's hard to relate to what that actually means for a country as populous) it seems foolish to argue on statistics here.

I can't agree to a boycott. The Games are about transcending politics. Everything people are citing as reasons they'd agree to a boycott is politics. How you move 1 million people, how you modernize, how you get the resources you need. I mean, if China boycotted an Olympics hosted in the US because we invaded Iraq, tortured suspected terrorists, and caused more than our per capita share of global warming, would you support their boycott?

Let the Games be as politics free as possible. There are better ways to make one's political views known than leaching on to an event that aspires to be about something bigger.

4/21/2008 02:19:00 PM  
OpenID ericgelber said...

Boycotting the Olympics is easier to do, less costly by far, than forcing all US corporate interests to leave the country or putting an end to the importing of goods manufactured in China. Has anyone ever looked around their living space just to see how many household items are actually manufactured in China? Multiply that by every US household and you will see how hypocritical and empty a gesture it would be to boycott the Olympics.

4/21/2008 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that really your argument? First, because a greater number of people were displaced in a different situation that makes this "displacement" not relevant or less relevant. Second, because the numbers are simply incredible on all acounts---6 millions jews were killed---too incredible to believe. Third, because the numbers are small in comparison to the whole population---6 millions jews out of 100 million---peanuts! Fourth, the old well, the US invaded Iraq, they committed these abuses, caused global warming, insert atrocity/hyprocrisy argument---doesn't this just further the tit for tat---doesn't someone have to "man" up and change things? For the US and for China instead using one's wrongs to justify another's? I think that's naive and shows an immaturity that will keep us stagnated in our current/future malaise.

Furthermore, when does the individual's athletic feat trump or take precedent over humanity's will and right to exist "freely." I think it would be quite the statement if the Olympic stadiums were empty, if only the chinese were out there competing and the whole world turned their collective backs---political or not. If the rest of the world had enough conviction they would do the same to the US if they disagreed on such fundamental levels.

4/21/2008 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

At least I'm honest about my argument.

You insist my parallel isn't valid in demonstrating how tying a boycott to the displacement of people (something happening all over China) for the Olympics is merely another political issue (i.e., and hence not a reason to exploit the Games, even though it might be a reason to ostracize China in other contexts).

And yet your parallel (with the Holocaust, no less) is supposed to be valid when you use it to drum up outrage to support your sense that a boycott is warranted.

My parallel with the imperialist ambivalence/excesses of the US isn't valid in trying to get you to see that anyone can play the "get you to change your ways by boycotting your turn to host the Olympics" game.

But your parallel (citing "humanity's will and right to exist 'freely'" no less) is supposed to be valid in comparing an athlete's desire to compete in a venue they're worked years to get to.

In other words, the use of parallels of grotesque inequality is fair game for your arguments, but more sensible ones to defend my position of not wanting the games to be exploited are naive and immature.

Perhaps you should back up a few moments, take a deep breath, and research the definitions of "naive" and "immaturity."

4/21/2008 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Beneful Dog Food said...

Just read an article about how the US and southern African nations are trying to block a Chinese ship from delivering a shipment of weapons to Mugabe's security forces in Zimbabwe. UNBELIEVABLE! You would think the Chinese would have enough sense to not try and pull that shit right before the Olympics.

4/21/2008 10:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BRAVO!

4/23/2008 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger christopherlee said...

I agree, the "Spectacle" should be left alone. The rhetoric of political and moral indifference.

4/23/2008 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

Re: contemporary chinese art... as in all things historical, i think the sculpture is better than the painting although i cant really explain why- other than it's a different language... for example ai wei wei at mary boone- perhaps its like what they are assaulting our country with is cheap objects- they are supreme object makers- who dont deal in illusions or narratives- instead use objects to communicate concepts...

4/23/2008 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

the other thing i have heard about contemporary art is how there is bascially a dearth in their museums of any modern art- there is hoardes of ancient art and antiquities but during the last century, due to repression there has been little more than a trickle of artistic output so perhaps it is a reaction to fill that perceived void in their cultural output... and cultural history...

4/28/2008 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

FINALISTS OF THE 2008 BEIJING OLYMPIC S SCULPTURE COMPETITION

An Olympic-themed cultural activity three years in the making, the search for this exhibition’s Olympic sculpture pieces officially began on August 8, 2005. By March 1, 2006, the organizing committee for the sculpture contest had received 2,450 submissions from artists in 82 countries. The wide-ranging designs creatively expressed the Olympic spirit and Olympic concepts in the form of high-caliber sports sculptures.

The collection of works were narrowed down to 386 pieces/groups by a committee of 17 experts from China, English, Germany, Russia, Italy, Australia, the United States, Korea and other countries from March 7-8, 2006. From the 386 sculpture pieces/groups, the final 290 Olympic landscape sculpture pieces/groups for the exhibition were finally selected.

Photos of each design can be seen at China.org site:

http://www.china.org.cn/english/feat.../204323_15.htm

There are 20 Pages of Photos with 15 photos on each page. Select page number and thumbnails at bottom.


http://beijingolympicsculpture.wordpress.com/

6/14/2008 08:40:00 AM  

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