PRINT December 2003

Pamela M. Lee


1 Marine Hugonnier, Ariana (Venice Biennale) In the hothouse laboratory that was “Utopia Station,” French-born, London-based artist Marine Hugonnier’s 2003 film Ariana, a spare, poetic meditation on a trip to Kabul, might now be read as a fitting riposte to the blague and bombast of the “embedded” reporting of America’s other unfinished war. In attempting—and failing—to film a panoramic view of the city, Hugonnier assembled footage that was quotidian where mainstream media images of Kabul were traumatic, and reflective where others were reactive. Ariana represents a frustrated geography less of the non-Western other than of Hugonnier’s own perspective and culture.

2 Philip Guston (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) As myth would have it, Philip Guston abandoned abstraction because, as the artist himself once wrote, he was “sick and tired of all that Purity.” But what

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