Tuesday, December 14, 2010


The car, the road and driving for many symbolize freedom,

... and with these rims on your car it will be a gamble which way they will take you, I suppose.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Gambling is often warned about being a negative attitude towards life

... and to gamble with your health a VERY unwise thing to do.

That'll give you something to chew over!

(Award winning advertsiment by JSM Concepts.)

Friday, December 10, 2010


In the 19th century the Swiss liquor Absinthe was the favored poison among European artists. By the 20th century governements and anti-drink movements were campaigning heavily against the neurotoxic and hallucinous drink.

Prohibition followed soon, starting in Switzerland, where a father killed his entire family after having a few Absinthe drinks. Anti-prohibition movements also emerged soon. The result a battle between the anti-alcohol league of the Blue Cross and the free individual under the Swiss Red Cross.

The prohibition of Absinthe was lifted only a few years ago.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Brooklyn artist Stukenborg leaves no room for chance in his 'letterpress dice prints': classical patterns emerge when arranging the dice to plan.


To break the monotony of army life, gambling your wages playing cards has been the solution for centuries.

To break the monotony of a crippled veteran's life, gambling your pension playing cards turns out to be a good solution as well.

Otto Dix, a german machinegunner in the trenches of Flanders in the First World War, made many drawings, etchings and paintings both about the soldier on the battlefield as well as about his distorted post-war life in the big modern city.

Otto Dix, 'Skatspieler' (1920)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The abolishment of slavery in the 19th century is recognized as one of the major turning points in the struggle for freedom. However, at the moment more people are 'owned' or forced to work then ever before.

The struggle to get rid of slavery started in Haïti in the wake of the French Revolution around 1800. Slave trade was illegal in the British Empire by the 1830's, by the 1840's in France and by the 1860's the United States and most other nations in the world followed.

As disagreements over slavery directly led to the American Civil War the abolition of slavery is an essential part of the history of the United States of America.

In this awkward cartoon from 1863 the American Bird of Freedom is congratulating the Black Bird.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Traveling is to many a journey into uncertainty.

One of the most anxious moments is waiting for your luggage to turn up on the airport's luggage belt ... remebering the mixed feelings we had checking-in our luggage at the check-in counter at the start of our journey, a gamble in itself.

The Venetian Casino thought to use these emotions as a way to promote themselves.

While waiting for your luggage you can make a bet with your fellow travellers which number your suitcase will land on.

On 'zero' the house wins of course!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Risking ones personal health, building a house of cards -or cardstacking- is one of the most dangerous games.

Bryan Berg takes cardstacking to the limit and is recordholder of the largest construction in free standing cards: a 15-foot replica of Disney World's Cinderella Castle.

'New York City Skyline' (2005)

'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' (2006)

'Disney’s Cinderella Castle' (2004)

Sunday, December 5, 2010


The 'card of death' it is called, the ace of spades, famous for it's use in black ops of the Vietnam war.

London based artist Wolfe von Lenkiewicz made a large drawing of a Warholian double-Elvis-Presley-gunslinger with skulls and aces of spades imposed. Death is present in both the death artists as well as the iconography.

Wolfe von Lenliewicz, 'Elvis' from the Plura Culture series (2009)

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Limiting our movement in a very unconscious and abstract way, the prohibitive warning sign seems to be an entity in itself.
Usually black on yellow, colors indicating danger, some simple words or graphics make us turn back on our heels.

Timm Ulrichs, 'Keep Out Of The Exhibition' (1968/69)

Robert Barta
, 'World Closed Ahead' (2008)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Dutch artist Jan Robert Leegte mostly uses the virtual world of the computer screen to create installations, media art and sculptures. The empty architecture becomes structure. The same approach he uses for his 'Slot Machine': an actual slot machine with it's graphics removed.

Being void of any means of telling wether you win or lose this slot machine offers true liberation, one might say.
Very Zen!

Jan Robert Leegte, 'Slot Machine' (2010)


Freedom for one person will come at the cost of freedom for others. That's how it works.

The video 'Reserved' made by artist Bani Abidi illustrates this perfectly. While a motorcade with governement officials gets freedom to move unhampered through the city the citizen traffic comes to a halt behind the traffic police blockades.

The artist lives and works in Karachi and New Dehli.

These images are stills from her video.

Bani Abidi, 'Reserved' (2006)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Canadian artist Patrick Bérubé made his installation 'Demi-Mesure' by putting a trampoline in a half-height room.

The installation was among others shown in the exhibition 'Ceci n'est pas un Casino'. In this context the trampoline wonderfully resembles the roulette wheel ... and the chance of winning at the roulette table is probably as big as not bumping your head in Bérubé's installation (not to mention the frustration of lack of freedom inherent to the use of the trampoline!).

Patrick Bérubé, 'Demi-Mesure' (2005)