Archive for September, 2008

The Old Ferguson Place 1980

Posted in Uncategorized on Thursday, September 25th, 2008

THE OLD FERGUSON PLACESometimes the meaning of a photograph transforms from what the taker felt when he/she took it to a new meaning dictated by events. So it is with “ The Old Ferguson Place 1980 “  Prince  Edward Island Canada.

I took this scene after vowing I would not. I didn’t want to show how beauty could be demeaned by circumstances and neglect.

Finally one day in 1980 I said to myself: “ Soon this house won’t be there. It will collapse and there will be only be rubble to mark the spot”.  That made me very sad.

So I did photograph it and  the print was well  received .  Daile Kaplan at Swann auctions asked me to send it along with one of my  Marilyns  which was  scheduled for auction. Imagine my perverse joy when Daile  later told me that the Marilyn did not sell, but that The Old Ferguson  Place did!

The reason I took the photograph was emotional and the initial response was generally emotional, but when someone looks at it today, Sept. 25, 2008, the reaction has to do with the financial meltdown in  the U.S. housing market. In a way it  is a symbol of  the dispossessed .  I feel like I would like to post it next to an ad for a 15 million dollar condo in the New York Times real estate section. Of course, that would be considered political.


A Presidential Debate…..1960

Posted in Media on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Nixon -Kennedy TV Debate 1960My self generated project on U.S. politics which started in 1954  had slowly run out of steam by 1960..or maybe I had run out of steam. I decided not to go on the  road to shoot the political circus. It didn’t add up -  serious  national business turning into show business. I couldn’t stop cold turkey, so when I decided to watch the Nixon – Kennedy TV Debate I set up a tripod in front of my b/w television set and “documented”  the event.  What happened when I caught a  Camera 1 to Camera 3  crossover  was a surprise  graphically and for what it said about the political process.

My debate photographs became part of my “Still Movies”  project which was first exhibited at Art 45 in Montreal in the early 1980’s. This work has  been in many exhibitions and is now  in the permanent collection of Musee D’Art Contemporain de Montreal and the private collections of Jurg Schaub of Basle and Lawrence K. Grossman of New York.

I am preparing a list of existing prints which are for sale. Contact me in this regard at:  george.zimbel @

More important, watch the upcoming tv debates in  the U.S. and  Canada with the wise eyes  of someone who is seriously interested in the world.


More Politics –A Canadian Election..comments from two wise men of the past

Posted in Uncategorized on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

final-rene-pierre.jpgFor those of you who don’t recognise these  titans of Canadian politics, they are (L) Rene Levesque, founder of the Parti Quebecois, a believer in Quebec as a separate nation with close ties to Canada, a humanist and social activist.  Next to him  (R), his nemesis, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, head of a modernised Liberal party of Canada who believed in a united  bilingual country. They fought monumental battles, but I think they would  have come together at this time in Canadian politics.  They are both deceased, but I believe this  is what they would have to say: (en Francais, certainment)

Rene: ” Well, Mr. Harper called an  election even though he  had pushed through a bill for fixed elections..he must have heard opportunity knocking on his door and couldn’t wait.”

Pierre  “What he heard  was a  chorus of anti Bush talk below the border  and he is a Bush clone, so it must have made him nervous.  So he seized the moment, even if it’s against his own law. Stephane Dion and the Liberals are weak right now, but they will come back..the Liberals  know how to come back.”

Rene:   ” I thought Harper  was a smart politician and maybe I am out of date, but for him to savage the arts community with all those cuts will have a  negative effect for years, not mention his Rambo posture on the Canadian military. I’m no lover of the military, but at least we did a lot of peacekeeping and were respected for it.”

Pierre: ” Well, let’s be clear.  I don’t like his right wing agenda and you don’t either.  If we were alive, it is possible that we could have finally agreed on something ….keeping this country as a moderate welcoming society. Then again, maybe we’d still be sparring.”

Rene: ” He is clever  and has a possibility of forming  a majority government. Then watch all our work dissolve in right wing acid.”

Pierre:  ” Well, I have had a lot of time to think about this and there is hope.   The solution is mathematic.

Rene  “  Merde, alors!!”

Pierre: ” Here is how I see the situation:  There are 308 seats in the House of Commons (For the USA’ers, equivalent to  the House of Representatives). Today the polls gave the conservatives 38%, the Liberals 28%, the NDP  (i.e., social democrats) 19%., the Bloc Quebecois 8% and the Green Party 7%. If the future of the Canada is at stake, and I believe it is, after the vote is in the Liberals and the NDP and  the  smaller parties  can form a coalition of the center left, certainly better for everybody than Stephen Harper’s right wing vision. As of today that would give the Liberals and NDP 145 seats. If the other parties went along, it would be a strong coalition for the next four years. The numbers are there, they just have to work out a sharing formula. I don’t think that is too much to ask. Sorry we’re not there.”

NOT  the end of this story….


ps: Meanwhile south of the border………

Sorry Ms. Palin, Harry Truman you ain’t.

Posted in Opinion on Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Harry S. Truman at 80  ©George S. Zimbel 1964/1980In the New York Times of  4 Sept. 08, Adam Nagourney  wrote:

“She went as far to compare herself to a haberdasher from Missouri who became vice president and later president, Harry S. Truman.”

This was taken at Mr. Truman’s office in Independence Missouri on his 80th birthday in 1964. He took time out from signing books to tell me  about  his passion for reading history , and some of the lessons he had learned.  The past eight years of U.S. history were conspicuously absent from the Palin speech.

©George S. Zimbel 1964/2008

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