Ed Phillips on Sat, 26 Jul 2008 03:38:24 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover

> Empire has always been so. When I first saw Velasquez's portrait of that
> grandly dominant despot, Felipe el Segundo, I could see as clearly as I see
> the profound weakness and insecurity and even pathos of our "fearless"
> pygmy leaders, felipe's profound insecurity before the gaze and the brush
> of the artist, of the other. 

It's funny how as I typed that up, I replaced, in a kind of slip, Felipe el
cuarto with el segundo, his dead ancestor, in comparison to which el cuarto
came off as some kind of dandyish pygmy, even as Bush II is to his father.
The state as Empire grows in power as it decays in form and representation.
Velazquez's realism is a kind of leading, testing edge of a regime deeply
committed to hallucination and counter-reformation. It needs the labyrinth
of a tentative, delayed realism to keep alive the obscenity of its
hallucination.  Velazquez plays with and represents that labyrinth of
representation in which the ghostly sovereign appears in a glass darkly.


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