9
Sep 04

The Webs We Weave

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 114 views

The Webs We Weave
Mark Lombardi at the AGO

Lombardi draws the connections between money, people and power?the famous ones mostly, the connubial bliss of the Papal states and the Banco Ambrosia in Italy, The Charles Keating S and L Wall Street Orgies, the Contras and Ollie North, the legitimization of the Mob as power source from the 30s to the early 90s, the nonsense Bush and Company were involved in with Arbusto, basically the dozens of interconnected corruptions and scandals that have been fairly well known for decades in the circles t hat wear tinfoil hates and hate America. Recently teasing out these connections has come slowly into mainstream focus, as what was assumed to be the paranoiac of the left has turned out to be good sense. (Lombardi is leftist, and although there is one diagram of the Clintons here, there are no discussions of Alger Hiss or the Cambridge Spies or any of the other problems that his side of the fence engaged in)
When I say draw, I mean it literally?they are in art galleries, supported by New York institutions and down around the world because of the delicacy of the mark making, of the clear and gentle lines, and how they resemble post minimalist graphite drawings. The political nature of the text is denuded by having them in the hard word floors and white cubes of the biggest art gallery in Ontario.

The works, with there easy to read codes mapping the hidden and the known secret international power in the last forty years are unique. Reading about these connections in articles and books, in pulp and academic theory, it became almost impossible to find where everything was leading, you assumed (everyone assumes since the 60s), a mutual belief that the male, stale and pale are taking advantage of us, but this quickly becomes fogged in, basic details impossible to trace in these Byzantine labyrinths. Lombardi makes it elegant, allows you to find one name, and trace it through one graph, and when you exhaust that one, move to another, find how Charles Keating was involved in Peru, Nicragugia, and London or find out the origins of Sir Mark Thatcher?s decade long history of unsettling Africa with Guns.

They are sometimes too simple though, one dark solid line for personal relationships, one spotted line for money, he always notes the money, 10 million here, 500 000 here (always tiny sums, in the grand scheme of things), what he doesn?t note is how close the relationships are?Dianne Feinstein?s Husband was a New York bankers who?s company did mean things in Central America, does this mean that the California Senator was complacent?
This leads to the most unsettling question that surrounds Lombardi, his work has the care to attention and detail, the obsessive longing towards sense that marks Schizophrenic Paranoid Delusions, but what he is saying has been carefully documented in a million sources, and is knowing making play in places like the New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly and Economist, what was assumed has become gospel?even though these works show a new, and better way of finding patterns, are they as solid as we think they are ? His is political discourse as graphic intervention, necessary and powerful, and aesthetically forward. They need to be told, but they are more ambiguous then we think.

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