Archive for the ‘Art and illustration’ Category


Observer blog

– Edouard Malingue Gallery (Hong Kong) will showcase a neon text installation by French artist Laurent Grasso (*1972). Over seven meters wide, Visibility is a Trap, 2012, is a direct reference to Michel Foucault’s theory of Panopticism as elaborated in the theorist’s seminal text ‘Discipline and Punish’ (1975).

Picture from the archello site

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Work by Michele Khazak, Cats and Quotes

Work by Michele Khazak, Cats and Quotes

Work for sale on Michele Khazak’s Quotes and Cats site

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Editor: Although Rodrigo Firmino’s long running Panopticam project has stopped working, this is worth knowing about.

Watching Jeremy, Watching Me, Watching Jeremy

About this Project
The idea of this project came from the irony of having the skeleton of the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham (with a wax head and real clothes) – known, among other things, for designing and proposing the panopticon, later explored by the French philosopher Michel Foucault – recording images of passers-by and visitors in one of the rooms in the main building of the University College London (UCL).

In his will, Bentham requested that after his death, his body be displayed in public, in what he called the “Auto-Icon”. At the UCL now, it is possible to see what is left from his body in a glass case. As part of a research project called PanoptiCam, from UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial AnalysisUCL Centre for Digital HumanitiesUCL Public and Cultural Engagement, and UCL’s Bentham Project, a webcam was installed on the top of the Auto-Icon watching the reaction of passers-by looking at Jeremy’s remains, and broadcasts the images live online via twitter and youtube.

read more

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Re-posted with updated links and youtube videos

For full story see the Foundation for Art and Public Domain site. (Now only available on wayback machine).


On Thursday 24 June 2010, a piece of sculpture by Harmut Wilkening was placed on the first floor of the De Burcht nursing home in Hoogezand. It is a head weighing more than seven tons and is titled Vrij geestig (Quite witty). Just before a start was made with laying the roof in 2009, the sculpture was installed with the aid of an enormous crane. Prior to the installation, a programme was held in the carcass of the building with a presentation by the artist and an introduction by Douwe Draaisma, titled ‘Wisdom comes with the years, but is preceded by forgetfulness’. Douwe Draaisma is Professor in the History of Psychology at the University of Groningen.

The building of the De Burcht residential nursing home has the form of a panopticon. From the open well on the first floor there is an all-round view of the galleries on the upper floors where the entrance doors of the apartments are located. Inspired by the idea of a central point in the building from which everything can be seen in a single glance, and which can itself be seen from all angles, Harmut Wilkening proposed to make a large sculpture depicting the head of Michel Foucault, the theoretician of ‘panopticism’. The concrete portrait of the French philosopher sports a broad smile, his arm emerges from the floor and his hand is resting on his bald head.


As its first inhabitant, Wilkening’s sculpture is being incorporated into the construction process, as a built-in part of the building. Before the placing of the roof, the sculpture was hoisted in with a crane, under the watchful eyes of the future residents and other invited guests. After that the building work has been completed, during which time the sculpture was protected in a wooden crate. At the festive moment on June 24, 2010, when the building comes into service, Foucault’s head will be unveiled again. A large panel with a photographic account of the making of the work of art will hang next to the building’s entrance. The story of Foucault as the ‘first inhabitant’ can then be told to visitors and newcomers.

For the residents of De Burcht, Wilkening’s sculpture will be a fixed component of their changing entourage. The central open well will be used in diverse ways: as a reading room, theatre and party room. The sculpture refers further to the philosopher’s ideas and to the fact that the human head is the storeroom of memory – that essential mental function, particularly for the people who live here. Wilkening compares the building with a library, as a great collection of the knowledge and experience of all the residents together. He also sees the library as a translation of the social order. For him, the piece is about panopticism: the form in which knowledge is generated, ordered, disseminated and guarded. In De Burcht, Foucault’s head – with a wink – occupies the place of the globe that was also centrally displayed in old libraries, symbolising the all-seeing world.

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A few people enjoyed this strip today at the Foucault @ 90 conference, so I am reposting.


This strip is from Hugging the Horse. Philosophy, Literature, Narcissism and Nonsense

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The Art of Thought


Sam Kaprielov, Foucault 2016

Sam Kaprielov, Foucault 2016

Press release PDF

April 13th – May 6th 2016

Exhibition at The Cob Gallery
205 Royal College Street
London NW1 0SG

All artworks are available for purchase.

The Cob Gallery is delighted to present celebrated Russian artist Sam Kaprielov’s new exhibition ‘The Art of Thought’ on 14th April.

The show is a series of 40 oil on canvas portraits depicting renowned thinkers. They range from history’s founding Philosophers to modern day Royalty and Rock Stars.

Kaprielov suggests that the mind is the most potent tool known to mankind. Its used by the philosopher to ponder metaphysics and by the artist to create images that lead to thought and inspiration. With ‘The Art Of Thought’ he has brought these two fields of human endeavour together as friendly bedfellows.

His extraordinarily agile and, yet, very precise brushwork has conjured up on canvas a collection of some of the most influential thinkers of centuries past so that we may retain a modicum of cognition, lest we forget the contribution that these fellows have made to the development of humanity throughout history, leading us to where we are now.

Amongst the portraits of more traditional philosophers such as Plato and Socrates, Kaprielov has included a few of what he describes as ‘red herrings’, such as Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, Prince Philip and Roberto Cavalli, to name a few.

The works are straightforward painterly interpretations of likenesses found on Google, and not an attempt to visually represent philosophical concepts of the thinkers. The mono coloured canvases represent those personalities in the history of philosophy whom we know nothing about.

In most of the paintings the ice-cold precision of the philosopher’s outlook is nicely balanced out with the warmth of palette. During his formative years, Kaprielov spent countless hours in Leningrad’s Hermitage Museum contemplating somewhat yellowish old master works and came to firmly believe that a truly good oil painting should be yellow.


Artist biography

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Best wishes for the festive season from Foucault News!


You can purchase this poster and related merchandise from the Keep calm-o-matic website.

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