November 29th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Why AIPAC Took Over Brookings - by Grant F. Smith

Why AIPAC Took Over Brookings - by Grant F. Smith

* The following is an excerpt from // Foreign Agents: The American
Israel Public Affairs Committee From the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the
2005 Espionage Scandal

Martin Indyk, an Australian and naturalized US citizen, is the former
deputy director of research at the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee. Indyk helped establish the Washington Institute for Near East
Policy <> (WINEP) in
1984 with the support of AIPAC board member and activist Barbi Weinberg.
Weinberg "had for over a decade privately wrestled with the idea of
creating a foreign policy center." ^1
After the establishment of WINEP, Indyk stated that he was still
dissatisfied and wished to establish an institution capable of escaping
AIPAC's reputation as a "strongly biased organization."^ 1
Indyk would later go on to found the Saban Center for Middle East Policy
at the Brookings Institution. The center was initially funded by a $13
million grant from Israeli dual citizen and television magnate Haim
Saban, ^2
famously quoted by the //New York Times// as saying, "I'm a one-issue
guy and my issue is Israel."^ 3
He also funded and established the Saban Institute for the Study of the
American Political System within the University of Tel Aviv.^ 4

WINEP's role within the AIPAC power constellation is clear. While AIPAC
lobbies with brute force for yearly aid allocations and enforces
adherence to Israeli doctrine in Congress, WINEP polishes and shines
Israeli policy objectives as pure expressions of US foreign policy
interests. AIPAC is secretive about its internal deliberations and
activities, but the highly sociable WINEP cultivates the image of a
serious group of objective "scholars and wonks" deliberating Middle East
policies in a rigorously academic fashion. WINEP not only hosts
symposiums and conferences, but also conducts closed-door meetings with
US politicians and distributes books and other publications rich in
toned-down AIPAC ideology.

While AIPAC officials are loath to do live media events, especially with
call-in or other potentially interactive audience segments, WINEP
analysts and authors are omnipresent across major news- and
policy-oriented programs. However, media announcements rarely mention
WINEP's overlap with AIPAC and other members of the Israel lobby or its
close connections to Israel, although this would provide listeners and
viewers with useful context for understanding the organization's
sophisticated positions. WINEP is also a place for grooming future
presidential appointees, and it is perceived as a less controversial and
more credible stepping stone to power than AIPAC.

Although AIPAC does not list WINEP as an affiliate in its IRS filings,
in 2004 26% of AIPAC's board of directors were also trustees of WINEP.

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Chris Keeley

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” and “The Savages.”

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” and “The Savages.”
by David Denby
What the patient sees: Marie-Josée Croze and Olatz Lopez Garmendia.

ost filmmakers regard subjects like illness and despair as dangerous traps—mawkish sentimentality lying on one side of the high road of art, pleasureless suffering on the other—but the challenge of an impossible subject can bring out the best in a director, and now, after Paul Haggis’s mournful and touching “In the Valley of Elah,” there are two more dark victories, Tamara Jenkins’s “The Savages” and Julian Schnabel’s “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” The Schnabel movie is about an unlucky man—Jean-Dominique Bauby, the real-life editor of French Elle, who, in 1995, at the age of forty-three, suffered a massive stroke. Lying speechless and outraged in a hospital near Calais, a victim of “locked-in syndrome,” Bauby (Mathieu Amalric) was restored to full mental clarity but could move nothing but his left eye. Yet Schnabel’s movie, based on the calm and exquisite little book that Bauby wrote in the hospital, is a gloriously unlocked experience, with some of the freest and most creative uses of the camera and some of the most daring, cruel, and heartbreaking emotional explorations that have appeared in recent movies.

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Chris Keeley

Bertucci’s photographs combine the natural and the psychological in an eerie and poetic manner. Alte

Bertucci’s photographs combine the natural and the psychological in an eerie and poetic manner. Altering photographs of actual landscapes with her personal input (such as the digital insertion of figures), Bertucci presents nature as a spiritual and a cultural construct. Working mainly in California and the Indiana/Michigan dunes, she refrains from identifying any of her works by place, adding to their surreal quality. Later, Bertucci returns to the images and makes digital alterations, adding or subtracting figures or physical characteristics. She occasionally rephotographs a work, resulting in intense, almost artificial, color with subtle textural variations.

Untitled (Castle Rock), 2002
Untitled (Presence), 2002
Untitled (Visitors), 2002

Lina Bertucci attended the Aegean School of Fine Arts in Greece and the University of Wisconsin (1978) for her undergraduate degree, continuing on to the Pratt Institute in New York for her MFA (1980). Bertucci has exhibited extensively, including group shows at the Chicago Cultural Center as well as in Italy, France, and Germany. Bertucci’s photographs have appeared in Vogue, Life, Entertainment Weekly, and The Village Voice, among other magazines. Her book Railroad Voices, a collection of her photographs and short narratives by Linda Niemann from their days as the first female brakemen on the Milwaukee Road Railway, was published in 1998 by the Stanford University Press.
Chris Keeley

An artistic couple: Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake.

Mr. Binstock approached a friend, David Sigal, a documentary filmmaker and videographer, to help unlock Mr. Blake’s intended arrangements. “I was concerned about the material being treated with the greatest sensitivity and the need to preserve the integrity of the artist’s work in process,” Mr. Binstock said, “and I knew I could trust David to exhaustively examine the material and do that.”
After Death, Unfinished Artwork Gets a Life

After Death, Unfinished Artwork Gets a Life

In the dark days and weeks after the suicide of the artist Jeremy Blake in July, his friends and colleagues were left to pick up the pieces, literally.

When he walked into the Atlantic Ocean off Rockaway Beach in Queens, despondent over the suicide of his companion a week earlier, Mr. Blake was just three months away from an exhibition of his recent video art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington and another show at the Manhattan gallery Kinz, Tillou & Feigen. Many wondered what would become of his unfinished work and whether it would shed any light on his life, and his death at 35.

His work in progress, “Glitterbest,” is a video portrait of the 1970s punk-music impresario Malcolm McLaren, with whom he collaborated on the piece. Having toiled on it for a year and a half, Mr. Blake left behind a completed audio track bursting with romping punk riffs, video-game blasts of intergalactic battles and clanging church bells and an impish 11-minute voice-over by Mr. McLaren.

But most of the visual presentation was unfinished. Embedded in his computer hard drive were numerous image files evoking an enchanted world populated by pirate ships, psychedelic phalluses and neon graffiti. The still frames were virtually a mere slide show, a far cry from the rich dimensionality of his previous animated, abstract work, featured in museums throughout the world and in the film “Punch-Drunk Love.”

Jonathan P. Binstock, the curator of the Corcoran exhibition, and Lance Kinz, a director of Kinz, Tillou & Feigen, decided to incorporate “Glitterbest” into their exhibitions in its incomplete state out of deference to Mr. Blake, who had approved inclusion of some of the images in the Corcoran exhibition catalog and advance announcements for the New York show. They hoped the unfinished work would give viewers insight into his creative process and provide a glimmer of what the video might have become.

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