(2015) ET AL. Michael Lett, Auckland. Photographer Alex North.
Emptying the world of its joyful distractions. And Everything is political. Dead ends, complications and doubts, Thinking is incapable of shifting conflicting ideologies, instrumentality too Built on the anxiety of irresolvable conflicts and oppositional ideologies, divisions undissolved Fault lines.
Internal divisions. Crushing irrationality. The weak subsumed by the strong, the individual by the mass, the classless by class, dissenter by conformist, indigenous by proletariat… Hesitating A piano will be heard. Functional but strangely outmoded sensibility. Nonetheless, we watch and learn submissively The aesthetic is cold Demands are exhausting… So exposed economically to the political turmoil caused by Europe’s many wars and sanctions, were permitted to settle in Amsterdam It was never rescinded. Planned mass housing, new settlements, illegal outposts…
The potential for the poetic (the imaginative life of people) is subjugated to absolute utility, to instrumentality, to local politics, to the congested interests/apathies that reverberate through the channels of global concern. Breathe, inhale, exhale, the air is thick. In compensation, they were assigned a bit of grassland The most miserable of patches! Uneven, muddy, desolate terrain, Closed off the space between some caravans with planks and petrol cans, they’d made an enclosure, a ‘Gypsy Town.’”
Each society gives rise to its own peculiar spatial form. Space is made up of political and social effects corresponding with the concerns of the predominant By the dominant mode of production. “The Government here would certainly not be displeased if ten or fifteen thousand … were to obtain the hotly contested “certificates” [of immigration] … But as much space as there is in Palestine now for workers, there is precious little room for the academics who arrive with every ship in greater numbers, particularly from Germany. One recent ship alone had fourteen architects and engineers on board, and before long we will be receiving doctors from municipal hospitals, professors, and lawyers.” I was watching a film about two men driving from Lebanon to Palestine for a weekend with friends. Such a gentle film about visiting Ramallah.
(for the common good continued)
They are tourists. The mood is light and playful and they talk about the way the drive evokes memories of films they have seen. Some of the banter is more serious. Should they get separate beds since homosexuality is illegal here? But the air is full of the expectation and excitement of visiting a new place. This is the first trip to Ramallah for one, Ibrahim. Youssef acts as guide. They visit friends. They drink in a bar. They watch the World Cup. It is 2010. They laugh. The camera is always present. (I think they’re filmmakers)… It is not long into the weekend when Ibrahim’s mood changes and the general lightness of the film begins to fade. He is morose and silent. They visit one of the sites that have made the West Bank famous, the place where supporters from across the world are protesting and locals are throwing rocks over the wall at Israeli soldiers who retaliate with smoking grenades. Later, they climb what looks like a communications’ tower. Way up here, the whole of the city is on offer, the streets, the white buildings holding tightly to the dipping and rising ground, the mountain in the distance.
A voice tells us the mountain was “once called Jabal El Deir”, and then, in the same tone—he is just imparting information—he says, “It is almost here”. And we look across to the hills, a pink ring of sky at the horizon, to see what is clearly visible from here. Edging their way down into the city is the relentless growth of the settlements. Ibrahim says he wants to return to Lebanon early. He is sad. They drive through streets, passing houses, pedestrians, a petrol station, but these familiar images of urban life, these everyday scenes, undisturbed by conflict, are not comforting. “Youssef”, Ibrahim says, “have you ever felt Ramallah is disappearing”? (This film is a fantasy. Since people from Lebanon are not permitted to travel to Palestine.) Forced into the symbolic forms of an art that is itself abstract. Thoughts may return as repetition, as the repressed. Thought is circular.
Jan Bryant, for the common good West, Den Haag 2015
(2015) the f….. common good, Michael Lett 2015 the third revision Popular Productions and Samuel Holloway. Digital film / 20 minutes 2015
The etal. document evolves as expanded references on the dialectical object as sites of neutrality and engagement, transparency and opacity, art and non-art.
For the common good, through real-time streaming of Google Earth. Caliphate-Earth reviews historical caliphate sites – defined as the political-religious. The non-site as terra nullius (land belonging to no-one) are marked out through models and drawings of actual and envisaged sites reflecting models of community that seek to improve-upon current social conditions and create communal prototypes that aim to minimize the destructive impact on the earth.