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review 2012-11-22 00:00
The Manifesta Decade: Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennials in Post-Wall Europe
The Manifesta Decade: Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennials in Post-Wall Europe - Barbara Vanderlinden

Almost 20 years after its humble beginnings, Manifesta has definitely become one of the most important contemporary art biennials in Europe, and a famous one around the world. Its nomadic nature and the fact that it is so deeply concerned about the geopolitical situation in Europe set it apart from other, older and more established biennials, like Documenta and the Venice Biennial, to name only a couple. However, it is still a difficult project to understand, its process and so-called goals are fluid and constantly debated, and every edition has its own vicissitudes and subjectivities. This is why I picked up this book, and why it was so interesting to read.


The book itself is a bit like Manifesta: a complicated, at times confusing and apparently self-contradicting, open process. The essays vary wildly in their quality and style, but they all maintain a critical stance towards Manifesta and the so-called art world. Frankly, after a while all the negative criticism begins to feel a bit forced and superfluous, but I admit my point of view might be biased. I am, after all, reading this seven years after the book came out, a time when the biggest challenges that Europe is facing aren't exactly about bridging the gap between East and West (there is one essay that speaks about the North-South divide, but that's about it). Perhaps even more important, this book came out when the Manifesta Foundation was preparing its Nicosia edition, which ended up never happening for several reasons. Had this most interesting landmark in the history of Manifesta happened before this book was published, it would certainly have changed it a lot.


Still, this is an indispensable read if you want to learn more about Manifesta and contemporary art in Europe, specially concerning the period after 1989.

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review 2012-02-29 11:47
Sea Change
Sea Change: The Seascape in Contemporary... Sea Change: The Seascape in Contemporary Photography - Trudy W. Stack,Roni Horn,Trudy W. Stack Miranda didn’t plan on spending the summer on Selkie Island helping her mother sort out her grandmother’s estate. She’d planned on living her dream by interning at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. Instead, she’ll be up to her elbows in dust and debutantes.

Miranda doesn’t know what to expect when she arrives at the house known as The Mariner - the home on Selkie Island her mother visited every summer as a child. What she finds is a beautiful beach house filled with family history. A history Miranda knows nothing about because her mother and grandmother were on the outs for years.

Miranda’s mother immediately gets swept up in old summer ways, attending parties with old friends - dragging Miranda along with her and expecting her to fall into step with the customs of the Island’s summer inhabitants. Miranda doesn’t feel like she belongs with this upper crust crowd and when she meets a local boy named Leo at The Selkie Island Center for Marine Discovery, she knows exactly where she wants to be - with him. But, spending time with a local isn’t looked kindly upon by her mother or her mother’s circle of friends.

Mysteries surround the island and Leo. Mirandra struggles with her feelings of wanting to know more and afraid to find answers.

Aimee Friedman has written a beautiful novel. You’ll be able to feel the sand beneath your toes and taste the sea salt on your lips. Your heart will pound with each electrifying scene between Miranda and Leo and you’ll want to explore Selkie Island hoping to catch a glimpse of mermaids in the water.

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review 2011-08-18 11:19
Revelation (Interpretation Bible Studies)
Revelation (Interpretation Bible Studies) - William C. Pender Long, but good.
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review 2011-08-18 11:13
The Discovery (Animorphs)
The Discovery (Animorphs) - Katherine Applegate As a kid, I loved reading juvenile fiction. Although I enjoyed series and authors such as Judy Blume, "The Bailey School Kids", and "Wishbone," Gordon Korman was my favorite back then. It's been years since I've even began reading one of his books, and I had this sitting on my shelf, so I thought I'd give it a try. My opinion? Well, the writing style wasn't bad, and the story was decent. However, the whole thing seemed really generic. It almost seemed like a novelization of some TV movie starring a starlet popular with the younger set, such as Corbin Bleu or Brenda Song. Maybe Korman's books aren't as good as I remember them to be; I'll have to reread some of the ones I remember fondly from my childhood to see if they're really that great.
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