There’s a vast difference between history and historical fiction. I tend to prefer the latter, finding myself in awe of writers who can carry readers into a world that’s both factual and imagined. Obviously, there’s the underlying question of trust: How do we know when and whether we can trust an author who presents a mélange in which fact and fiction aren’t easily teased apart? We don’t.
Discomfort with German art might seem like a problem that's particular to the Jewish community. It's another part of the "I would never set foot in Germany" statement that I often heard in response to my frequent German trips and my subsequent working in Berlin
"Walter Goldfarb: D+Lirium," on view at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach through May 18, should reassure viewers that our art-jaded world still provides the occasional joy of discovery. The mid-career view of this talented Brazilian artist is also his first solo exhibition in the U.S., and the work is much more interesting than the show's somewhat precious title suggests.
I don't recall anyone ever classifying Schnabel as a "Jewish artist" -- even if his mother was a Hadassah president and his father an active member of B'nai B'rith. Unlike the parody of pushy Jewish parents aiming their son at medical school, Schnabel says that his parents encouraged him to do anything he wanted -- which may explain a kind of restlessness as an artist that sometimes feels like a lack of focus, and an oeuvre of uneven quality and interest. But if the result is a work of art as accomplished as Schnabel's latest film, then such antsy-ness is laudable.
Early in the last century, when film was a newer medium, many artists were intrigued by its kinetic visual possibilities, and for a fantasist like Dali, the opportunities must have seemed especially rich.
With the fastest-growing Jewish community in Europe, Germany is both a somewhat comfortable haven for recently arrived Jews from the former Soviet Union, and a rather settled home for those Jews (mostly former displaced persons) who ended up there shortly after the war.
Regarding either Jewish or feminist art, we may ultimately be stuck with Justice Potter Stewart's comment about pornography, "I know it when I see it." And perhaps that will be the most valuable contribution of this exhibition.