“Once hip-hop culture is ubiquitous, it is also invisible. Once it’s everywhere, it is nowhere. What once offered resistance to mainstream culture (it was part of the larger tapestry, spooky-action style, but it pulled at the fabric) is now an integral part of the sullen dominant. Not to mention the obvious backlash conspiracy paranoia: Once all of black music is associated with hip-hop, then Those Who Wish to Squelch need only squelch one genre to effectively silence an entire cultural movement.”
Nicki Minaj, Vibe Magazine #4
“The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.”
“I remember standing in a field in Switzerland at dusk, surrounded by cows with bells around their necks, and reading John Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale” out loud from an open book I was holding in my hands, and I started to weep — weep is a better word for it than cry — and I remember the tears slowly streaming down my face, it was that beautiful to me, and I loved poetry that much. I was eighteen.”
— Mary Ruefle, from “I Remember, I Remember,” Madness, Rack, & Honey
A shower of blossoms
“Years later, when he tried to remember what the maiden idealized by the alchemy of poetry really was like, he could not distinguish her from the heartrending twilights of those times. Even when he observed her, unseen, during those days of longing when he waited for a reply to his first letter, he saw her transfigured in the afternoon shimmer of two o’clock in a shower of blossoms from the almond trees where it was always April regardless of the season of the year.”
— from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto is back with an amazing, new installation all made out of salt. Floating Garden resembles the ominous image of a tropical storm, similar to the satellite shot you’d see during a weather forecast. Using ordinary table salt, Yamamoto meticulously constructs his incredible works, this time spending more than 10 hours a day for over a week on the floor of The Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery of Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
The artist started working on the installation on February 24 and just completed it last night. The opening reception is tonight and it will remain on display until April 12. The salt, which was donated by The Morton Salt Company, will ultimately be dispersed into the Great Salt Lake.
For those unfamiliar with this artist, Yamamoto began working with salt in 1994 after his sister, just 24 at the time, died of brain cancer. In order to cope with her death, he began making art that reflected his grief. In Japan, salt is used as a part of rituals in some funeral ceremonies and also used to ward off evil spirits and welcome good ones.