23 June 2005

Cubist slugs

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An article on the art of camouflage. Written as a review of Hardy Blechman et al (eds.), DPM Disruptive Pattern Material: an Encyclopedia of Camouflage: Nature, Military, Culture, London: DPM, 2004. Published in London Review of Books, Vol. 27 No. 12, 23 June 2005, pp. 16-20.

‘I well remember at the beginning of the war,’ Gertrude Stein wrote in 1938, ‘being with Picasso on the Boulevard Raspail when the first camouflaged truck passed. It was at night, we had heard of camouflage but we had not seen it and Picasso, amazed, looked at it and then cried out, yes it is we who made it, that is Cubism.’ Stein went on to suggest that the entire First World War had been an exercise in Cubism. Hailing Picasso as the first to register an epoch-making change in the ‘composition’ of the world, she concluded that a great convulsion had been necessary to awaken the masses to his discovery: ‘Wars are only a means of publicising the thing already accomplished’…

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 23rd, 2005 at 8:18 pm and is filed under Art & its applications, Articles General, Potemkinism and Camouflage, War & peace. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.