Time for a History Lesson? (Invoking Guernica)

by Joe Scarry

The review in The New York Times compared the installation “Labyrinth: I Dreamt I Was Taller Than Jonathan Borofsky,” in the new show by Jim Shaw, to Picasso’s Guernica. (See “Jim Shaw at the New Museum: A Kaleidoscope of Giddy Delirium” by Ken Johnson)

“Part of the installation ‘Labyrinth: I Dreamt I Was Taller Than Jonathan Borofsky,’
from the ‘Jim Shaw: The End Is Here’ show at the New Museum of Contemporary Art.”
(Credit Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times}

(The comparison is apt, though I would suggest people take a closer look at that flying vehicle — it’s not a B-52, as the reviewer seems to think it is.)

Picasso, Guernica

“Labyrinth” and “Guernica”: I wonder how many viewers will make the effort to tease out the parallels — and contrasts — between these two works.

Related posts

Alfred C. Barnes encouraged people to consider art objects in juxtaposition with each other, to try to see possibilities brought up by seemingly unconnected objects, and to decide for themselves what the significance of the objects is. (No “expert opinion” needed.)

(See 9/11 Fourteen Years On – A Visual Reflection (á la Alfred C. Barnes) )

The Futurists loved airplanes, and other fast machines. Considering how we, in the U.S. today have been seduced by drones and drone warfare, we would perhaps do well to reflect on why people find these things so appealing.

(See A Future Inspired by Kinetics? )

I don’t think Alanna and I ever talked about what it must be like to be trying to escape a shower of sparks and hot ash. But she seemed to know that the sparks and hot ash are too important a part of the picture to be left out.

(See The Children Are Waiting )

Coming off our experience this past weekend once again protesting against drone killing, drone surveillance, and related acts of militarism at the Chicago Air and Water Show, I am more confirmed than ever in my view that air shows are a very effective place to get our message out to the public.

(See Why Air Shows Are a Very Effective Place to Protest Drone Killing and Drone Surveillance )

I’m marveling at the adjacency of a piece of public art — one with a very clear message about the risk of human ambition and self-absorption and heedlessness — to the center of political power in the city of Chicago.

(See NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Who will bring us down to earth? )

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