It was awesome not so much the astronomic sum (the highest estimated $6.5m) paid for the black-and-white photograph “Phantom” by Peter Lick, but the coward way the Guardian (!) journalist pulverized into specks both the photographer and the “foolish” rich man who squandered his money on a “hackneyed cliché”. Jonathan Jones enters arrogantly the debate of whether photography should be considered an art form by categorically denying it, claiming that it is pure technology, technological output, at the disposal of anybody in possession of a good camera or sensitive gadget. He goes so far in his diatribe by asserting that in the era of digital coloured photography, that pic in point which is black-and-white suggests only about an ambition of the author to imitate “ape” classic style. Moreover, the author of that annihilating article digs deeper suggesting that if we would like to find out more about that spot which is in Antelope Canyon Arizona, we could make a search on the net, in any encyclopedia about nature to enjoy more takes, equally impressive of that phenomenon, that he decodes and details in the most minute, anatomic elements, the photographer’s style being called “Victorian age, outmoded, nostalgic, affected”.
At any rate, what is it if not an absolutely awesome hovering ghost, shaped by, be it the unique rough rocky frame, the sand ripplets that make the impression of a crowd, legion, having passed through there, and maybe still fretting there; the current, the draft, draught and the astirred floating particles in that hollow trap – the dynamic stillness and the resounding, echoing deafening silence. Indubitably, I admired it greatly, that is a kind spirit unlike some grotesque frightening Loch Ness monster and any other haunting werewolves or stalking vampires.
However, I would mention nothing about the queer spending habits of the wealthy people, they have their whims and weaknesses, their little secrets and sweet imperfections, addictive twitches, glitches.
Take for example another controversial case of the Russian richest man according to Forbes rating, Alisher Usmanov, a steel, mining and communications magnate, who announced that he had been the bidder who acquired through telephone from Christie’s auction the Nobel Prize medal offered by the biologist James Watson who received it in 1962 for the revolutionary discovery of the DNA double helix. Now the most sensational moment is that Usmanov declared he intended to return the medal to the owner who earned and deserved it. Asked about the motives of his behavior he replied that he felt distress for the decision of Mr Watson who wanted to discharge the money earned through such a procedure to a charitable cause, so that he let him fulfill his philanthropic impulse without departing from the “physical manifestation of the prize”!!! If so, we must pay our respects to the misanthrope!!! The grandiose discovery opened our eyes, gave us insight on the encrypted inherited immune system in genes, the data bore by one gene that could genuinely turn to be genial, setting an individual far apart and above the mob who have not; the tiny particle that makes the big difference. Now science is preoccupied about experimenting with the culture, engineering, seasoning, conditioning, manipulating genes, inactivating or inserting some which are responsible for indispensible traits. But it is up to me to develop and take care myself about the feeding, boosting and securing those subtle little details of my unique character. I am entitle to it and owe it to myself.
I would digress to return to another awaited award of reference – the Person of the Year chosen by the Time magazine’s editor-in-chief. Each year it is a much speculated about moment, for 2014 it was not a prominent personality but a personification of the Ebola virus fighter. The photo perfectly conveys a message and reflects the perceived anxiety and worry of the entire humanity caused by this deadly enemy and the need for protection precautions that should be rigidly observed.
This end of the year is characterized by an unusual concentration of events. The debate that burst out in connection with the report presented to the US Senate about the so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques otherwise said – torture, applied by the CIA during the period of 2001-2006 in rapport with the detainees suspected of terrorism, marked and divided the public opinion. On one side there are the CIA that allege, the eyes in their paper, so as to quote exactly – that it wasn’t possible otherwise. In the opposite denouncing, accusing camp there are those that have raised a Tweeter fed tornado of activity and together with the orchestra of human rights groups and campaigners claim for punishment of those involved. Not that I would be totally insensible to another’s suffering but a beaming association comes to my mind, the fact that I and another three quarters of the globe population work hard, are honest and educated get $100 per month and LIVE on that. Doesn’t it by chance compare with being confined in a coffin-like steel box for not an hour or a day but for life!!! Isn’t that one of the 13 infamous inhuman torture procedures that is used against, this time, innocents! My impression is that Madeleine Albright former US State Secretary, who challenged those principles and the people who endorsed them, has the purpose to wreck a scandal and gain some prominence from that, took advantage for some visibility and credit.
My country’s end of the year is on the contrary a happy-ending story. The recent winners in the parliamentary elections are sharing and dividing, negotiating and trading the key positions in the state for the next five years. In the meanwhile the people are left in the expectation without a government, without a projective budget adopted for the next year, but with a rejoicing bright perspective of having a raft of national, religious holidays and vacations. Nobody curtailed us of our right to leisure and celebration!!! At least nobody stole our Christmas!