Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mai 68 : une révolution sociale

NY Times photo essay: Paris, May 1968

IHT: May 1968 - a watershed in French life
Reuters: Forty years on, France still fascinated by May 1968

And let's not forget that today is International Worker's Day.

The Brief Origins of May Day: "The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today."

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Mended spiderwebs

Artist Nina Katchadourian lists The Mended Spiderweb series as an uninvited collaboration with nature, and I don't know what is more impressive: that she tried to repair broken webs, or that the spiders rejected her mends and properly repaired them.

"The Mended Spiderweb series came about during a six-week period in June and July in 1998 which I spent on Pörtö. In the forest and around the house where I was living, I searched for broken spiderwebs which I repaired using red sewing thread. All of the patches were made by inserting segments one at a time directly into the web. Sometimes the thread was starched, which made it stiffer and easier to work with. The short threads were held in place by the stickiness of the spider web itself; longer threads were reinforced by dipping the tips into white glue. I fixed the holes in the web until it was fully repaired, or until it could no longer bear the weight of the thread. In the process, I often caused further damage when the tweezers got tangled in the web or when my hands brushed up against it by accident.

The morning after the first patch job, I discovered a pile of red threads lying on the ground below the web. At first I assumed the wind had blown them out; on closer inspection it became clear that the spider had repaired the web to perfect condition using its own methods, throwing the threads out in the process. My repairs were always rejected by the spider and discarded, usually during the course of the night, even in webs which looked abandoned. The larger, more complicated patches where the threads were held together with glue often retained their form after being thrown out, although in a somewhat 'wilted' condition without the rest of the web to suspend and stretch them. Each 'Rejected Patch' is shown next to the photograph showing the web with the patch as it looked on site."


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