Note from chosism


So I was rooting around my desk looking for something and found 170 Swiss francs (CHF). Always nice when you’re broke …

More importantly, I noticed that your boy Alberto Giacometti is on the money, so to speak. And by so to speak I mean literally. One of his sculptures is on the back, too. So cool.

Since I only know his incredible sculpture from your anecdote in Phil XXI or whatever (it involved a commission, a rich patron and a matchbox, me thinks), I thought you’d dig it.

Good link to get the ball rolling for World Philosophy Day on the blog.

5 thoughts on “Note from chosism

  1. I can understand why you would remember that story. It’s a winner! If you’ve make it as far as the Kunsthaus, in Zurich, Switzerland, don’t miss the chance to see the best permanent collection of Alberto Giacometti’s work in the world, now re-housed in its own separate galleries. It covers everything from the early self-portraits to the later angst-ridden paintings, via his marvellous surrealist sculptures, the famously distorted busts of his brother Diego, and his elongated men and women, lost in terrifying isolation.

    You can even get up close to the work which led to one of the 20th century’s finest art moments. Invited to provide a sculpture for the central courtyard of one the pavilions at the Swiss National Exhibition in Zurich in 1939, Giacometti showed up at the venue a few days early. A truck was ordered to collect the work from the station, but Giacometti – pulling a large matchbox from his jacket pocket – said “There’s no need, I have it with me”.

    Inside the box was a two-inch plaster sculpture, intended for the huge plinth in the central courtyard.

    The second best collection is outside of Copenhagen at the Louisiana Gallery.


  2. Great story. I recall a story about G and Beckett and the tree in W for G. Seems they worked together all night in Paris to get the tree right for the production.


  3. To prove my ignorance of Switzerland, I recognize only Giacommeti. First ‘real’ G. I ever saw was in the gallery at Louisiana at the top of the stairway. Can’t imagine a better ‘fit’ than Beckett and Giacommeti–both minimalists. How fortunate that they could create together.


  4. I think that what/who a country puts on its money says a LOT about the values of the country in question and the zeigesit at the time of minting. The Euro really ended the era of beautiful european currency unfortunately (CHF excluded) and replaced it with a much more utilitarian “USD” style currency, all meat n potatoes. (The loss of the 100 French Franc is a tragedy akin to a lost species if you ask me. Well, an aesthetic tragedy only..but still…)

    I think it’s funny how when I was a kid (70s/early 80s) all the Canadian money had log booms and pulp mills and smelters on the back to brag of our resource-extractive economy and now they’re more cartoony hockey players, a heavily Photoshopped Queen E2, nature with its teeth well-hidden etc.


  5. Soon we’ll have one universal currency. And one universal ID card. I have been proud of the Danes for holding on to their Kroner, but it looks like economics will trump art and tradition:

    The Danish government has famously asked voters to say “Yes” to the euro before and ended up red-faced, to the delight of Eurosceptics all over the continent.

    And yet it looks as if ministers are ready to risk embarrassment again. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has clearly signalled that he thinks the time is right for the euro in his country.



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