July 10, 2007

Hirst Skulls, 'Nam Skulls & the Whitney's Summer of Love

On the subject of Damien Hirst's diamond encrusted cranium, here's an article in the Washington Post about GI's psychedelic painting and graffiti on VC skulls brought home from Vietnam. The photo by the Post's Gerald Martineau is available online, but not with the story. For now, the skulls are stored at Walter Reed's National Museum of Health and Medicine. (I told you to go to there, remember? But, sorry, the skulls are not on view.) Instead, a last minute loan has just been announced to the Whitney Museum for its Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era. That's false, of course, but you heard it here first, anyway. For that matter, Summer of Love, up until September 16, is required viewing. Check the film schedule before you go and plan to spend a couple of hours. (I especially recommend the documentaries: Peter Whitehead, Tonite Let's All Make Love in London, 1967, 70 min.; Paul Sharits, Piece Mandala/End War, 1966, 5 min.; Howard Lester, One Week in Vietnam, 1970, 3 min.; Third World Newsreel, America, 1969, 31:30 min.)

Re: macabre souvenirs, it's old news that Rumsfeld secured a piece of the plane that flew into the Pentagon. I prefer Constantin and Laurene Leon Boym's Buildings of Disaster (see, Design Intel sidebar). At any rate, souvenirs are, generally speaking, better than memorials. They take up a lot less space and accomplish more or less the same thing. The mall is getting crowded.

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