and even if one of them pressed me suddenly against his heart:
I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence.
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
Every angel is terrifying.
And so I hold myself back and swallow the call-note of my dark sobbing.
Ah, whom can we ever turn to in our need?
Not angels, not humans, and already the knowing animals are aware
that we are not really at home in our interpreted world…
–Rainer Maria Rilke / from Duino Elegies
We are now well into the new year. Still, 2020 continues to taunt us in our backward gaze. We are not yet free from its embrace.
Today is February 8, 2021. On this day in history, the Supreme Privy Council is established in Russia (1726); Goethe’s play Stella premieres in Hamburg (1776); New Roman Republic is established in Italy (1849); The U.S. government initiates the mass imprisonment of Americans of Japanese descent to preempt opposition to U.S. war efforts, becoming the Japanese Internment Bill and executive order in the days following (1942); Cult classic Taxi Driver directed by Martin Scorsese is released (Palme d’Or, 1976). Today is the birthday of Brazilian master documentary photographer Sebastião Salgado (1944); and the anniversary of the death of Max Liebermann, German impressionist painter and graphic artist (1935).
Welcome to the .123rd edition of Prescriptions. Here is our review of the week in the arts.
Joe Beal, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Stefan Henrix and Stuart Hilliker
Beazley Designs of the Year
Beazley Designs of the Year highlights the innovations across fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product, & graphic design, as nominated by the public and design experts from around the world. Featuring works of Banksy and Z33, among others. Through March 28, 2021 at The Design Museum.
Peter Mitchell, Early Sunday Morning, RRB Books
Welcome to the Castle
“It is first of all necessary to identify the features of the discourses and the desires which have led us to this grim and demoralizing pass, where class has disappeared, but moralism is everywhere.” –Brad Feuerhelm, American Suburb X. Featuring works of Stephen Shore, Paul Graham, William Eggleston, Christopher Anderson, Tom Wood, Gordon Parks, Alessandra Sanguinetti, and publishers Mack, Aint-Bad, Aperture, among others.
Martin Luther King Jr.
American civil inequities have been transformed into legal institutionalized violence and continues today; the very notion of equality as an ideal coming under attack, even by its very governing body. Following Martin Luther King Jr. Day and now in Black History Month, we honor MLK’s legacy. Photography by Bruce Davidson, Yoichi Okamoto, Gordon Parks, James Karales, Steve Schapiro, Marion S. Trikosko, and Bob Adelman.
For The Sake of Calmness
“Landscape provides the backdrop for my visual narrative while sound intertwined with my monologue adds a third dimension to my portrayal speaking of the contradiction of being unmoored.” –Newsha Tavakolian. On view through February 13, 2021 at Thomas Erben Gallery.
Irving Penn Photographism
Spanning from 1939 to the early 2000s, the works in this exhibition is accompanied by rarely seen archival materials and preparatory sketches, which articulate Irving Penn’s notion of “photographism.” At Pace Gallery, New York through February 18, 2021.
Dave Hullfish Bailey
The ties between here/there and past/present are not uncontested; they represent attempts to understand the present from a political, social, and material vantage points that can be highly variable. On view through February 21, 2021 at Lunds Konsthall.
Newsha Tavakolian, whose film and photographic works For The Sake of Calmness are featured at Thomas Erben Gallery; Banksy and Z33, among the several shortlisted for Beazley Designs of the Year at The Design Museum; Stephen Shore, Paul Graham, William Eggleston, Christopher Anderson, Tom Wood, Gordon Parks, Alessandra Sanguinetti, and publishers Mack, Aint-Bad, and Aperture featured in Welcome to the Castle by Brad Feuerhelm, American Suburb X; Bruce Davidson and Gordon Parks among others honoring Martin Luther King Jr. with their historic photography of the American Civil Rights Movement; and the legendary Irving Penn whose Photographism is on view at Pace Gallery, New York.