Madrid – At the Museo Reina Sofía, the artist Luis Camnitzer has piled up a grid of 80 blocks, approximately 12 by 12 inches each, and wrapped them in brown gauze. Imprinted with the word “LEFTOVER,” followed by a Roman number, each block appears to have been shot, dripping fake, plastic blood on the museum’s floor. The piece, “Leftovers” (1970), is an homage to those of Camnitzer’s generation who died in the hands of the Uruguayan repressive state.
As an essayist, art critic, curator, teacher, lecturer and a creator of objects, actions and musical compositions, Luis Camnitzer’s multi-faceted work spans nearly 60 years… The work Failed Utopias gives the exhibition its name, at the express wish of the artist. Chiming with his usual irony, Camnitzer alludes to the ‘dark’ history of the Sabatini Building as a hospital and as a place for ‘lunatics, or the insane’. The retrospective also constitutes a time frame of Camnitzer’s utopia, which he defines as “a process through which one seeks perfection, where perfection, like a mirage, constantly grows distant at the same speed one believes oneself to be nearing it. Something similar to the revolution in the revolution”.
Born in Lübeck (Germany) and raised in Uruguay, Luis Camnitzer moved to New York in the 1960s, where he focused on his art, essays and teaching work. He is currently professor emeritus at the State University of New York. Camnitzer regards himself as a Latin American artist exiled in the contemporary art capital, and is unquestionably a key figure in the development of twentieth-century Conceptualism.
Hospice of Failed Utopias, the title of Camnitzer’s retrospective at the Reina Sofía, features 100 of his works produced since the 1960s.
Camnitzer’s newest piece, “About War” (2016–2018), considers the influence of military strategy in contemporary mappings of the world. “About War” juxtaposes quotes from Carl von Clausewitz’s military strategy treaty On War with Google maps locations of US military bases in Latin America. Zaya cites from Camnitzer’s emails: “We are now returning to the most reactionary kind of nationalist fragmentation, […] all of this within the context of a kind of neo-feudalism, where the weapon industry is provoking new military clashes.”
(New Yorker excerpt) …On a cool evening in early November, I rented a car in Wichita, Kansas, and drove north from the city through slanting sunlight, across the suburbs and out beyond the last shopping center, where the horizon settles into farmland. After a couple of hours, just before the town of Concordia, I headed west, down a dirt track flanked by corn and soybean fields, winding through darkness until my lights settled on a large steel gate. A guard, dressed in camouflage, held a semiautomatic rifle.
He ushered me through, and, in the darkness, I could see the outline of a vast concrete dome, with a metal blast door partly ajar. I was greeted by Larry Hall, the C.E.O. of the Survival Condo Project, a fifteen-story luxury apartment complex built in an underground Atlas missile silo. The facility housed a nuclear warhead from 1961 to 1965, when it was decommissioned. At a site conceived for the Soviet nuclear threat, Hall has erected a defense against the fears of a new era. “It’s true relaxation for the ultra-wealthy,” he said. “They can come out here, they know there are armed guards outside. The kids can run around.”
We stopped in a condo. Nine-foot ceilings, Wolf range, gas fireplace. “This guy wanted to have a fireplace from his home state”—Connecticut—“so he shipped me the granite,” Hall said. Another owner, with a home in Bermuda, ordered the walls of his bunker-condo painted in island pastels—orange, green, yellow—but, in close quarters, he found it oppressive. His decorator had to come fix it.
That night, I slept in a guest room appointed with a wet bar and handsome wood cabinets, but no video windows. It was eerily silent, and felt like sleeping in a well-furnished submarine.
In the first seven days after Donald Trump’s election, 13,401 Americans registered with New Zealand’s immigration authorities, the first official step toward seeking residency—more than seventeen times the usual rate. The New Zealand Herald reported the surge beneath the headline “Trump Apocalypse.”
“…We are clearly living in dangerous and changing times that the uninformed will never understand until the threats are evident. We cannot predict, but we can prepare,’ the company said in a statement to MailOnline. The biggest facility is in Germany – Europa One – and is ‘one of the most fortified and massive underground survival shelters on Earth, deep below a limestone mountain’ and ‘safely secured from the general public, behind sealed and secured walls, gates and blast doors’.
…Journalist Lynn Parramore visited the facility in Indiana, US – and reported the gigantic bunker was like walking into a hotel, describing it as the ‘Ritz Carlton of doomsday shelters’. The cheapest of the bunkers will set you back $35,000, while the most delux costs up to $3 million. The state of the art facilities also include a hospital, and armed guards on duty to keep the 99 percent from breaking into the hideaway. To avoid a Lord of the Flies scenario, the designers have also implemented a handbook that outlines by laws for the bunkered community….” (Top photo of Europa)
I have been wanting to post about bunkers a long time. My good blog buddy Dan who blogs at TUBULARSOCK (see my interview) has his own virtual bunker tour. It got me thinking.
I want to let you all know I’m NOT going bonkers for bunkers. Yet it haunts my sleep. I would not be any good in one… Claustrophobic? That would be me.
But a compound might work! Above-ground would be good, right?!
Many years ago, my aunt in Aurora Illinois told me she’d heard that the BUSH dynasty had a ranch aka compound in Paraguay, next door to the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon (former Head of the Moonies). I’d heard the southern hemisphere would be best to relocate on the globe if our planet took a big revolving turn.
Why Paraguay? Here’s some fun facts about Paraguay.
Then it’s reported everywhere but here in America:
… astonishingly large land purchases (298,840 acres, to be exact) by the Bush family in 2005 and 2006. In 2006, while on a trip to Paraguay for the United Nation’s children’s group UNICEF, Jenna Bush (daughter of former President George W. Bush and granddaughter of former President George H.W. Bush) reportedly bought 98,840 acres of land in Chaco, Paraguay, near the Triple Frontier (Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay). This land is said to be near the 200,000 acres purchased by her grandfather, George H.W. Bush, in 2005.
So the Bush people want their compound to be above “WATER” which some might call the new “gold.” What? Are they planning to sell water to Texas or to the world?
WAIT! Didn’t the Nazis relocate to South America?… “…Paraguay…where Simon Weisenthal famously hunted down Nazi fugitives? The story gets wierder….”
So we’ve got panic in the rich who are relocating to Paraguay and New Zealand or buying bunkers in Kansas, Texas and Indiana plus the chaos that it’s getting even weirder with Trump at the helm. Some guy has his helicopter gassed, ready to evacuate?