January 23rd, 2009

Chris Keeley

Israel's Lies

London Review of Books 

29 January 2009 

Israel's Lies 
by Henry Siegman 

Henry Siegman, director of the US Middle East Project at the prestigious Council of Foreign Relations in New York, is a visiting research professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. 

He is a former national director of the American Jewish Congress and of the Synagogue Council of America

Western governments and most of the Western media have accepted a number of Israeli claims justifying the military assault on Gaza: that Hamas consistently violated the six-month truce that Israel observed and then refused to extend it; that Israel therefore had no choice but to destroy Hamas's capacity to launch missiles into Israeli towns; that Hamas is a terrorist organisation, part of a global jihadi network; and that Israel has acted not only in its own defence but on behalf of an international struggle by Western democracies against this network. 

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Chris Keeley

Weird Beauty

Fashion Forward (Not for the Fainthearted)

There are days when it seems as if you’ve been subscribing to all the wrong fashion magazines. A little bit of your world crumbles, or maybe a lot.

A visit to the International Center of Photography may cause such a day. The center is inaugurating a year of fashion photography exhibitions called “2009 Year of Fashion” with four synergistic exhibitions. They culminate in an engrossing survey of pictures from Edward Steichen’s years at Condé Nast (1923-37), when that pioneer photographer more or less invented fashion photography and celebrity portraiture.

But the leadoff of the foursome — and the whole year — is a blast from the present: a snapping, crackling survey of fashion photography from the last two years. With a few exceptions (usually from W magazine) the most impressive spreads are from magazines that are European, obscure or both. At least none of them have ever graced my mailbox.

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Chris Keeley

Crips + Bloods

Looking for the Origins of the Gangs of Los AngelesBy MANOHLA DARGIS

Published: January 23, 2009


If the historical record (and common sense) did not insist otherwise, you might walk away from the documentary “Crips and Bloods: Made in America” thinking that the story of two of the most notoriously violent gangs in Los Angeles and the story of that city’s nongangbanging African-American population are one and the same.



That they are not identical goes without saying. And yet, in his excavation of Los Angeles gang life past and present, the director Stacy Peralta conflates these separate if at times overlapping black histories to such a ridiculous degree that he undermines even the most persuasive parts of his argument.



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Chris Keeley

Monologues and Hallucination

Saul Steinberg: Works from the 50's-80's

Monologues and Hallucination Saul Steinberg... Monologues and Hallucination (Ink, watercolor, colored pencil on paper). From the exhibition Saul Steinberg: Works from the 50's-80's at Adam Baumgold Gallery. "...Included in the exhibition will be several emblematic works from Steinberg's retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1978, and from the Steinberg 'Illuminations,' retrospective at the Morgan Library & Museum in 2006. The exhibition will feature the autobiographical drawing, 'Album,' 1953 and 1968, replete with Steinberg imagery - a 'fake' letter, photo, and passport that was the cover of the Whitney catalog. 'Dancing Couple,' 1965 also from the Whitney Retrospective, shows a precisely rendered man dancing with a stick-figured woman. The drawing 'Bleecker Street,' 1971, was a famous New Yorker cover that was in both the Whitney and Morgan retrospectives - it depicts the promenade as a locus of culture of all types, from the commercial to the martial to the downright seedy."