It was at the expense of good manners.Its an alternate method to engage oneself with memory. The burbling graphic images resurfaced later in etchings, paintings and collages like blood clots moving through hardened arteries. Alternating between the jarring and the provocative under the aegis of representations such as the Doom Show and the Vulgar Show it was an unvarnished representation, the bile of an epoch that displayed the violence and alienation they felt mirrored the bleak reality of modernism; an unfathomable evil marked by an absence of identifiable root, like a fungus that propagates without clear origin.The supposedly pornographic and filthy nature of Boris Lurie’s works and their aesthetic power disturb the ceremony of the solemn and self-righteous national memorial service. Lurie’s art did not follow society’s usual proscribed function of memory. …
…Unlike Himmler, his ultimate superior in the chain of command and a chief architect of the “final solution,” Eichmann never attempted to “negotiate” with the enemy when it became clear that the Nazi cause was lost. He declared, on the contrary, “that he had lived his whole life . . . according to a Kantian definition of duty,” and Arendt noted that “to the surprise of everybody, Eichmann came up with an approximately correct definition of [Kant's] categorical imperative,” though he had “distorted” it in practice. She admitted, moreover, “that Eichmann’s distortion agrees with what he himself called the version of Kant ‘for the household use of the little man,’” the identification of one’s will with “the source” of law, which for Eichmann was the will of the Führer….Read More:http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/arendthtml/essayc7.html
It was work that was a rebellion against Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art; a counter movement to what Picasso began with his death informed figures of life-negating rage; the numbness and mind fearing rage. Lurie’s work was life affirming not nihilistic. It was a contestation against dehumanizing influences like fascism, racism and imperialism. In effect, consumerism and its ordinal rankings and status of goods and services which fed the Beast and drugged the participants. A nether world of an imaginary fascination with fascism. Lurie’s work was a kick in the teeth to the line of argument that the darling Pop artists are to be celebrated as great artists not because of their complicity with the marketplace and the art-world, but because they are level-headed and skilful. Lurie never played the game. He abhorred and eschewed the art world of his day and it paid him in kind with utter disregard and shallow criticism. By his own volition, almost all of Lurie’s work remained in his possession at the time of his death.
It was a definite “No!” to a world that was saying yes, buy more, spend more; Lurie was intensifying the concept behind the capitalist print-media to an almost unbearable degree by heightening the contrasts, uncovering the politics of the media within a system whose profit-maximization forces profitable advertisements into close proximity to information. Post war stories on the holocaust in the same magazine layout that had ads for fuller hair and stories about meeting “Mr. Right.” Lurie used such documents and photos for a comprehensive critique of a system that ultimately despises human beings, especially after they cease to be “productive” and ultimately produces genocidal crimes.
…Perhaps the most provocative aspect of Eichmann in Jerusalem is its study of human conscience. The court’s refusal to consider seriously the question of Eichmann’s conscience resulted in its failure to confront what Arendt called “the central moral, legal, and political phenomena of our century.” The Israeli judges understood conscience traditionally as the voice of God or lumen naturale, speaking or shining in every human soul, telling or illuminating the difference between right and wrong, and this simply did not apply in the case of Eichmann. Eichmann had a conscience, and it seems to have “functioned in the expected way” for a few weeks after he became engaged in the transport of Jews, and then, when he heard no voice saying Thou shalt not kill but on the contrary every voice saying Thou shalt kill, “it began to function the other way around.”…Read More:http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/arendthtml/essayc7.html
Yes, its so much easier to identify oneself with the victims, heartfelt expressions of empathy being a numbingly comfortable way of not having to deal with the perpetrators. Solidarity with the victims is the comfortable solution for the surviving perpetrators and their descendants. Instead of documenting the hundred-thousand-fold involvement of Germans as offenders,the grief that is truly felt by only a few people in Germany, is turned into a lie on the level of a national declaration, absolved with a few token totems.
…Eichmann was not stupid; he knew but did not think what he was doing, not in the past and not in Jerusalem. He contradicted himself constantly, but he did not lie; his conscience did not bother him; and he did not suffer from remorse: “He knew that what he had once called his duty was now called a crime, and he accepted this new code of judgment as if it were nothing but another language rule”…The “Epilogue” to Eichmann in Jerusalem deals with the legality of the Jerusalem trial, which for the most part Arendt defended, but she thought it necessary to clarify what the Israeli court’s judgment left obscure. Eichmann was guilty of “an attack upon human diversity as such, that is, upon a characteristic of the ‘human status’ without which the very words ‘mankind’ or ‘humanity’ would be devoid of meaning.” Arendt recognized in Eichmann, who struck her as “not even strange” (nicht einmal unheimlich) , the exemplary criminal capable of committing “the new crime, the crime against humanity.” He “supported and carried out” the physical destruction of European Jewry and would have done the same for any group or anyone at all whom a power higher than himself had decreed unfit to live. Read More:http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/arendthtml/essayc7.html
—Capitalism-Fascism, this is not only the connection between Hugenberg, IG Farben and Auschwitz. It also consists of the experiences of community, of happy sensuality and accomplished collective change, elements that German fascism knew how to exploit. The point is that
Germany for most Germans was not a concentration camp. Just a few years ago the approach of this exhibition would have been criticized as minimizing and palliative, by those who term them selves antifascists. In the mean-time things have changed. Questions about the everyday of the Third Reich, about the subjective side of the system, about the tolerating of the system, about the approval and enthusiasm, have not only become admissible, but absolutely necessary. And when one traces these experiences, one discovers the eerie connection between violence and desires, wishes and fantasies, which the fascist system managed to capture and stage in pseudo-real fulfillment.” Read More:http://text.no-art.info/en/reichelt-germundson-lurie.pdf
Manfred Zach:“Nobody in Germany wanted to be reminded of the tertium imperium after it went up in smoke and flames. Everything was smoke, smoke from crematories, and smoke from ruins. A giant collective smoke-sacrifice, after whose burnout the people who lighted the fire joined the victims who they only recently had treated like animals. The indistinguishable ashes of the dead as catharsis for the living: what an elegant way to leave the disgusting event behind! How simple, how perfect, how fatefully definite.” Read More:http://text.no-art.info/en/reichelt-germundson-lurie.pdf