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Re: unpleasant leathers



> but if I was Jewish or something

I am Jewish, and grew up in an apartment house with survivors of the camps
who had been maimed by the "doctors" and otherwise mutilated. As a child I
had six years of violin lessons from Hugo Kauder, who lived in the apartment
below us. He was a hunchback because they had broken his back while they
made him watch them kill his father. Every week he would press my fingers
into the strings until I cried so I would learn to make a firm tone. So
don't go telling me what you might feel IF you was Jewish or something.

But this isn't about genocide or torture or anti-semitism or anything else
like that. It's about personal choices, ethics, aesthetics, materials and
metaphor.

If a tattooed woman spends her life creating herself as a work of art and
wants that work preserved and displayed, what's your problem with that? If
she wants it to be a bookcover or lampshade, that's her work and that's
important to her. Likewise if she wants her buttocks binding love poems.

Remember that Jeremy Bentham, the godfather of Utilitarianism, had his
corpse stuffed and displayed in a case in the lobby of the school he
founded, and wrote into the bylaws that if a quorum of the trustees was
short by one, the case was to be wheeled in and the minutes were to be noted
that Mr. Bentham was present but not voting.

This is book art we're supposed to be creating, and if a human skin
ethically obtained is the appropriate material to express the metaphor of a
text, it's appropriate for the artist-bookbinder to employ it. Death camps
were not an ethical means of obtaining human skins.

This is an important discussion, so my apologies Peter for continuing it
beyond your request for cessation. It goes to the issues of What is art?,
What is the relation of material to metaphor?, What is a perceptual boundary
of good taste? and a slew of similar topics which I'd like to see opened up
here.

            Richard
            http://www.minsky.com


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