Afterimages / Afterthoughts on Newspapers and the Crowd

Words are events, they do things, they change things - even on the page.

Turn, turn thy wheel above the staring crowd;
When the crowds of people saw that Moses was taking so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods”.
And so, we all open our newspapers, already archaic (decaying) objects hoping to find new gods, who has been crowned, who has been lynched - who are our daily gods?
(I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for something.)
I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.
“You don't look historical. You look hysterical.”
I am the audience that witnesses history.
(But history is not something that takes place elsewhere; it takes place here.
Here inside the pages of yesterdays’ newspaper.)
Here I am, tapping one furious finger on tomorrow’s newspaper -
Yesterday’s newspaper is already today’s trash.
The crowd always wants to grow. A crowd exists so long as it has an unattained goal.
Safeguard the image of the common man. Somewhere, the crowd is always cheering, the crowd is laughing - if it’s at the beach or at the guillotines.

Enjoying a crowd is an art.

The (subverted) drive of this work is to recollect the fundamental difference of the physics of the newspaper in contrast to “news on the screen”.

There is something about the “newspaper” which is no longer jour-nalism (the daily debris) - but in these works there is an aura of a forgotten technology. The decaying object becomes re-installed as a document of art for the future.

The works thereby become an iconographic object, within which the crowd becomes visible in a new way. This is “the temporary alliance of the mob and the elite” (Arendt).

In these works the crowd is covered up (compact edition) by the sumptuous velvet blanket - and recovered (broadsheet edition) and named for what it is.

– Rachel Libeskind –

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