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"Method of this work:
literary montage.
I have nothing to say only to show."
(Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)

2005, Aug 26; 14:10 ::: Ferdydurke (1937) - Witold Gombrowicz

Ferdydurke (1937) - Witold Gombrowicz [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

First sentence
"Tuesday morning I awoke at that pale and lifeless hour when night is almost gone but dawn has not yet come into its own..."

From Library Journal
Originally published in 1937, this novel was banned by the Nazis and suppressed by the Communist regime in Gombrowicz's (1904-69) native Poland. While modern readers may not find the book's satire particularly subversive, the author's exuberant humor, suggesting the absurdist drama of Eugène Ionesco, if not the short fiction of Franz Kafka, is readily apparent in this new translation. --Richard Koss, "Library Journal" Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. via Amazon.com

Ferdydurke is a novel by the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz, published in 1937.

Considered a masterpiece of European modernism, Ferdydurke was published at an inopportune moment. World War II, Russia's imposition of a communist regime in Poland and the author's decades of exile in Argentina nearly erased public awareness of a novel that remains a singularly strange exploration of identity and cultural and political mores. In this darkly humourous story, Joey Kowalski describes his transformation from a 30-year-old man into a teenage boy. Kowalski's exploits are comic and erotic -- for this is a modernism closer to dada and the Marx brothers than to the elevated tones of T.S. Eliot or Ezra Pound -- but also carry a subtle undertone of philosophical seriousness.

Gombrowicz is interested in identity and the way time and circumstance, history and place impose form on people's lives. Unsentimental, mocking and sometimes brutal, Kowalski's youthfulness is callow and immature, but it is also free to revel in desire. Gombrowicz weaves into the book his theme that immaturity is the force behind our creative endeavors.

Gombrowicz himself wrote of his novel that it is not "... a satire on some social class, nor a nihilistic attack on culture... We live in an era of violent changes, of accelerated development, in which settled forms are breaking under life's pressure... The need to find a form for what is yet immature, uncrystalized and underdeveloped, as well as the groan at the impossibility of such a postulate -- this is the chief excitement of my book."

Danuta Borchardt made a fresh translation of the novel, published in 2000, that deftly captures Gombrowicz's idiosyncratic style, allowing English speakers to fully experience the text. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdydurke [Aug 2005]

Witold Gombrowicz
Witold Gombrowicz (August 4, 1904, Ma?oszyce, near Kielce, Poland – July 24, 1969, Vence, near Nice, France) was a Polish novelist and dramatist active from the 1930s until the end of his life. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witold_Gombrowicz [Aug 2005]

Inspired by Joost

See also: Poland - literature - 1937

2005, Aug 26; 14:10 ::: Piero Gilardi

Anguria (2002) - Piero Gilardi
Image sourced here.

Cactus (1972) - Piero Gilardi
"CACTUS" - Coat stand originally designed by Piero Gilardi and later on by Guido Drocco & Franco Mello in 1972. Made of polyurethane foam and covered by a green rubbery paint. H170 CM, produced by Gufram

Piero Gilardi (1942, Turin, Italy) is an Italian designer and artist. In 1963 he held his first one-man show,entitled “Machines for the future”. In 1965 he created his first piece in polyurethane foam and exhibited in Paris, Brussels Cologne, Hamburg, Amsterdam and New York.

See also: Italian design - Piero Gilardi - 1972

2005, Aug 26; 13:21 ::: A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (1993) - Richard Kostelanetz

A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (1993) - Richard Kostelanetz [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Library Journal
Kostelanetz, an independent writer, filmmaker, performing artist, and self-described collective composed of twelve industrious elves, has added 462 pages and an eight-page glossy photo insert to the first edition of this work (LJ 2/15/94). Updates include revised entries and bibliographies, entirely new entries, and helpful new name and subject indexes. Covering artists, performers, movements, and styles from music, film, literature, the visual arts, dance, and theater, the entries demonstrate a unique subjectivity and distinctive flair without sacrificing quality or standards.

Kostelanetz has two main criteria for including avant-garde works: aesthetic innovation and initial unacceptability, plus his own tastes and preferences for art that is extreme, unique, distinct, coherent, witty, technological, and esthetically resonant. Simply choosing Las Vegas as an entry, for example, is in itself interesting; Kostelanetz!s full theory of what is avant-garde emerges as one explores the entries and their Ambrose Bierce$like definitions. The avant-garde aspects of mainstream artists (e.g., John Lennon, Henry Ford, Daryl Dawkins) are also investigated. Web-weary students researching avant-garde art will be quick converts to the pleasures of browsing over surfing if guided to this work by au courant librarians. Since the Dictionary of Art (LJ 9/15/96) has meager coverage of the avant-garde, this book is recommended for all libraries."Marc Meola, Coll. of New Jersey Lib., Ewing --Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. via Amazon.com

From Booklist
In the words of the author, a prolific writer and student of avant-garde topics, "this book was written not just to be consulted but to be read from beginning to end." It draws upon his knowledge of literature, art, architecture, performing arts, movements, and esthetics. He is admittedly opinionated in his judgment of artists and their works. The artists included are mainly twentieth century, with no birth date earlier than Edward Lear's (1812). They include such well-known subjects as Muybridge, Bierce, and Stravinsky and such contemporary figures as environmental-artist Christo and performance-artist Laurie Anderson. The entries for Kinetic Art, Serial Music, Mixed-Means Theater, Zaum (poetry), SoHo, and Something Else Press create a rich image of a period.

Entries are alphabetically arranged, with dates and alternative names. The work is highly readable. One entry leads to another quite seamlessly through the use of asterisks placed after the mention of related entries (e.g., Slonimsky, Nicholas leads to Var{Š}ese, Edgard; Ives, Charles; Dada; and Constructivism). There are cross-references to appropriate headings, "Kovacs, Ernie see Television." Most entries include one or more references at the end, and the "Postface" includes a bibliography of 19 works consulted. The initials of nine scholars, authors, and critics appear on the entries they have contributed. Small black-and-white photographs add interest.

This work is shaped by names so familiar that, in some cases, they no longer seem avant-garde: Eisenstein in film, James Joyce in literature, Merce Cunningham in dance, Buckminster Fuller in architecture, Mary Quant in fashion, Allen Ginsberg in poetry. Some entries, such as Futurism (Russian), lead to numerous related entries that may be less familiar.

This small volume, bringing together a wealth of information on esthetic innovation, will make avant-garde art more accessible to everyone and will be a welcome addition to art reference collections. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. --via Amazon.com

See also: art - avant garde - 1993

2005, Aug 26; 13:21 ::: Mimesis : The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (Paperback) - Erich Auerbach

Mimesis : The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (Paperback) - Erich Auerbach [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

German philologist, educator, critic, and literary historian. Auerbach's famous account of the genesis of the novel, Mimesis (1946), has been since its appearance among the most widely read scholarly works on literary history and criticism. René Wellek, Auerbach's colleague at Yale University, wrote: "The work is a strikingly successful combination of philology, stylistics, history of ideas and sociology, of meticulous learning and artistic taste, of historical imagination and awareness of our own age." (from A History of Modern Criticism 1970-1950, Volume 7, 1991) --http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/auerb.htm [Aug 2005]

"He who represents the course of a human life, or a sequence of events extending over a prolonged period of time, and represents it from beginning to end, must prune and isolate arbitrary. Life has always long since begun, and it is always still going on. And the people whose story the author is telling experience much more than he can ever hope to tell. But the things that happen to a few individuals in the course of a few minutes, hours, possibly even days - these one can hope to report with reasonable completeness." (Auerbach in Mimesis)

Erich Auerbach (1892-1957) was a German philologist, comparative scholar, historian, and critic of literature. His best-known book was Mimesis, a history of representation in literature from ancient to modern times in many languages.

Auerbach was trained in the German philological tradition (and would eventually become, along with Leo Spitzer, one of its best-known scholars). After fighting in World War I, he earned a doctorate in 1921 and in 1929 became a member of the philology faculty at the University of Marburg, publishing a well-received study of Dante Alighieri. But with the rise of the Nazis, Auerbach, who was Jewish, was forced to vacate his position in 1935. Exiled from Germany, he took up residence in Istanbul, where he wrote Mimesis, which is generally considered his masterwork.

He later moved to the United States, in 1947, teaching at Pennsylvania State University and then working at the Institute for Advanced Study of Princeton University; finally he was made a Professor of Romance philology at Yale University in 1950, a position he held until his death in 1957. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Auerbach [Aug 2005]

Mimesis in its simplest context means imitation or representation in Greek.

Both Plato and Aristotle saw, in mimesis, the representation of nature. However, Plato thought all creation was imitation, and so God's creation was an imitation of the truth and essence of nature, and an artist's re-presentation of this God-created reality therefore was twice-removed imitation.

Aristotle thought of drama as being "an imitation of an action", that of tragedy as of "falling from a higher to a lower estate", and so being removed to a less ideal situation in more tragic circumstances than before. He posited the characters in tragedy as being better than the average human being, and those of comedy as being worse.

Aristotle's most well known work on this subject is his Poetics. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimesis [Aug 2005]

See also: literature - Germany - reality - representation - 1946

2005, Aug 26; 10:05 ::: Storytelling

Storytelling is the art of portraying in words, images, and sounds what has happened in real or imagined events. The oldest forms of storytelling were oral. Later, stories could be conveyed by sculptures or writings on stone, wood, or parchment.

Modern technology adds to all of the previous techniques for storytelling the motion picture, together with oral dialog, images, sound effects, and musical accompaniment. But whether in olden times or in modern times, the challenge of storytelling was the same: How do you get across the complexity in the events of the story? --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storytelling [Aug 2005]

See also: story - narrative

2005, Aug 26; 00:25 ::: Who Goes There? (1938) - John W. Campbell, Jr.

Who Goes There? (1938) - John W. Campbell, Jr. [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Who Goes There? is a science fiction novelette by John W. Campbell, Jr. under the pen name Don A. Stuart, published August 1938 in Astounding Stories.

Who Goes There? has been twice adapted as a motion picture: rather loosely in 1951 as The Thing From Another World; and more faithfully in 1982 by director John Carpenter as the film The Thing, from the Bill Lancaster screenplay. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Goes_There%3F [Aug 2005]

See also: thing - USA - pulp - science fiction - 1938

2005, Aug 25; 18:55 ::: The Thing from Another World (1951) - Howard Hawks (uncredited)

The Thing from Another World (1951) - Howard Hawks (uncredited) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Amazon.com essential video
With its modest special effects, lean plot, and small cast of lesser stars, this 1951 thriller remains a sturdy blueprint for fusing horror and science fiction. The formula has been employed countless times since, fleshed out with more extensive and elaborate production values, and manned by higher profiled marquee names, but the results have yet to improve on The Thing from Another World, Howard Hawks's lone foray into sci-fi. --Sam Sutherland for Amazon.com

The Thing From Another World is a 1951 science fiction film which tells the story of scientists at a remote Arctic outpost who fight an alien being.

The movie was loosely adapted by Charles Lederer from the story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr..

The film took advantage of the national feelings of the time to help enhance the horror elements of the story. The film's release in 1951 coincided with the Korean War and the upswing in anti-communist feelings brought on by McCarthyism. The idea of Americans being stalked by a force which was single of mind and "devoid of morality" fit in well with the parallel feelings of the day on communism.

The screenplay changes the fundamental nature of the alien as presented in Campbell's short story: Lederer's "Thing" is a humanoid monster whose cellular structure is closer to vegetation although it must feed on blood to survive. One character describes it as an "animated carrot". In the original story, the "Thing" is a lifeform capable of assuming the physical and mental characteristics of anyone it chooses.

In 1982, John Carpenter made a more faithful version of the story "Who Goes There?" under the remake-suggestive title The Thing. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_From_Another_World [Aug 2005]

Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks (May 30, 1896 – December 26, 1977) was an American film director, producer and writer of the classic Hollywood era. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Hawks [Aug 2005]

See also: thing - American cinema - horror - science fiction - 1951

2005, Aug 25; 17:08 ::: Genre studies

Genre studies is a structuralist approach to literary criticism, film criticism and other cultural criticism. It looks at the structural elements that combine in the telling of a story and find patterns in collections of stories. When these elements (or codes) begin to carry inherent information, a genre is emerging. A simple example of this is a Western movie where two men face each other on a dusty and empty road; one dons a black hat, the other white. Independent of any external meaning, there is no way to tell what the situation might mean, but due to the long development of the Western genre, it is clear to the audience that it is a gunfight showdown between a good guy and a bad guy.

It has been suggested that genres resonate with people because of the familiarity, the short-hand communication, as well as nature of genres to shift with public mores. Many have considered genre storytelling as lesser forms of art because of the heavily borrowed nature of the conventions. However, admiration has grown. Proponents argue that the genius of an effective genre piece is in the variation, combinations, and evolution of the codes.

Genre studies has perhaps gained the most recognition in cinema theory, where it directly contrasts with the auteur theory of film criticism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genre_studies [Aug 2005]

See also: fiction - genre - genre theory

2005, Aug 25; 16:47 ::: Fanny (1980) - Erica Jong

Sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities” (Erica Jong)

Fanny (1980) - Erica Jong [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Erica Jong's 1980 novel Fanny purports to tell the story from Fanny's point of view, with Cleland as a character she complains fictionalized her life. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Hill#Publishing_history [Aug 2005]

Erica (Mann) Jong (born March 26, 1942) is an American author and educator. Born in New York City, Jong graduated from Barnard College in 1963. She sometimes resides in Weston, Connecticut.

She is best known for her first novel, Fear of Flying (published in 1973), which created a sensation with its frank treatment of a woman's sexual desires. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erica_Jong [Aug 2005]

See also: 1980 - Fanny Hill - erotic fiction - adaptation - USA

2005, Aug 25; 15:47 ::: Fanny Hill adaptations

Fanny Hill book cover
image sourced here.

Fanny Hill (USA/West Germany, 1964) - Russ Meyer

Fanny Hill (Sweden, 1968) Mac Ahlberg

Fanny Hill (Italy, 1991) - Tinto Brass

Because of the book's notoriety (and public domain status), numerous film adaptations have been produced. Some of them are:

  • Fanny Hill (USA/West Germany, 1964), starring Letícia Román, Miriam Hopkins, Ulli Lommel, Chris Howland; directed by Russ Meyer, Albert Zugsmith (uncredited)
  • Fanny Hill (Sweden, 1968), starring Diana Kjær, Hans Ernback, Keve Hjelm, Oscar Ljung; directed by Mac Ahlberg
  • Fanny Hill (West Germany/UK, 1983), starring Lisa Foster, Oliver Reed, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Shelley Winters; directed by Gerry O'Hara
  • Paprika (Italy, 1991), starring Deborah Caprioglio, Stéphane Bonnet, Stéphane Ferrara, Luigi Laezza, Rossana Gavinel, Martine Brochard and John Steiner; directed by Tinto Brass
  • Fanny Hill (USA, 1995), directed by Valentine Palmer
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Hill [Aug 2005]

Sorry for the crappy video covers, although I do like the Paprika typeface. The point I wanted to make was that certain stories are more likely to be adapted and translated than others.

See also: 1700s - Fanny Hill - John Cleland - adaptation - erotic fiction - erotic film - Russ Meyer - Mac Ahlberg - Tinto Brass

2005, Aug 25; 12:47 ::: Jahsonic film section introduction

Welcome to my pages on film. My love for cinema started at young age, fostered by my father. My omnivorous tastes in film are reflected on these pages, where you will find films considered as "high art" and films considered as "low art". Geographically the films are from Europe, the US and Japan.

I tend to follow the work of certain directors and actors but for now I have mainly focused on directors. The first wave of directors whose work I started to appreciate-mainly under the influence of the wonderful book Cult Movie Stars, the Antwerp arthouse cinemas and television-were Roger Corman, David Cronenberg, Pedro Almodóvar, Peter Bogdanovich, Larry Cohen, Peter Greenaway, Jonathan Demme, Roman Polanski , Stanley Kubrick, Nicolas Roeg, John Sayles and Alex van Warmerdam.

The second wave of directors and associated titles were discovered with the help of the internet and the Antwerp film museum. They include Catherine Breillat, Georges Franju, Michael Haneke, Todd Haynes, Juzo Itami, Patrice Leconte, David Lynch, Radley Metzger, François Ozon, Jacques Tati and Lars von Trier.

You will find cross-referenced information on these directors and their films, as well as info on genres which are dear to me, but maligned in mainstream circles. I refer to erotic films and horror and science fiction films, or the combination of the above. In academic circles referred to as paracinema, they are perhaps overrepresented on Jahsonic.com. The reason for this is straightforward: there are numerous sites out there covering the films of canonized directors such as Scorsese, Bresson, Hitchcock and Tarantino; authors whose work I appreciate but who receive enough attention as it is. I try to find beauty in unexpected places and redress-what I perceive as-a ruling publication bias.

A word of thanks here to three books, Cult Movie Stars, Incredibly Strange Films and Immoral Tales which have fed my encyclopedic interests.

The film section is a work in progress (I started it in 1996), and I have tried to include links to Wikipedia entries on most of the title and director entries, so you can help to keep the info up-to-date and accurate. --Jahsonic, Aug 2005

See also: film - director - actress - actor

2005, Aug 25; 11:32 ::: OSS 117 - Jean Bruce

Dick Bruna cover for Dutch translation of Jean Bruce's OSS 117
image sourced here.

OSS 117
image sourced here.

German poster for Furia à Bahia pour OSS 117 (1965) - André Hunebelle
image sourced here.

Jean Bruce was a French writer (22 March 1921) who died in 1963 in a car accident. He is particularly known for the adventures of secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath, aka OSS 117, of which many novels have been adapted for the screen in the 1960s. After his death, his wife Josette Bruce (who died in 1996) continued to write new titles for the OSS 117 character. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Bruce [Aug 2005]

See also: European comics - French cinema - France

2005, Aug 25; 01:15 ::: La morte ha fatto l'uovo (1968) - Giulio Questi

La morte ha fatto l'uovo (1968) - Giulio Questi
image sourced here.

inspired by http://www.pimpadelicwonderland.com/ [Aug 2005]

Pimpadelic Wonderland Google gallery

See also: Italian cinema - giallo film - 1968

2005, Aug 24; 23:20 ::: La Rose Ecorchée (1969) - Claude Mulot

La Rose Ecorchée (1969) - Claude Mulot
image sourced here.

La Rose Ecorchée (1969) - Claude Mulot
image sourced here.

Google gallery for fantafilm

See also: French cinema - Claude Mulot - 1969

2005, Aug 24; 13:30 ::: Genre fiction and popular fiction

The term popular fiction, formerly contrasted with literary fiction, is no longer often used. It appears that genre fiction is essentially a successor term. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genre_fiction#Genre_fiction_and_popular_fiction

See also: culture - culture theory - literary fiction - genre fiction - popular - popular fiction - popular culture - pulp fiction - bestseller - paraliterature - merit

2005, Aug 24; 16:42 ::: Avant-garde and kitsch

[Kitsch] is perhaps most clearly visible where love poetry changes into pornography ... perverting the infinite goal of love ... into a series of finite sex acts..... Whoever produces kitsch ... is not to be evaluated by esthetic measures but is ethically depraved; he is a criminal who wills radical evil.
Hermann Broch, Evil in the Value System of Art, 1933

The word kitsch became popularized in the 1930s by the theorists Theodor Adorno, Hermann Broch, and Clement Greenberg, who each sought to define avant-garde and kitsch as being opposites. To the art world of the time, the immense popularity of kitsch was perceived as a threat to culture. The arguments of all three theorists relied on an implicit definition of kitsch as a type of false consciousness, a Marxist term meaning a mindset present within the structures of capitalism that is misguided as to its own desires and wants. Marxists suppose there to be a disjunction between the real state of affairs and the way that they phenomenally appear.

Quaerens Quem Devoret (1888) - Jean-Léon Gérôme

Adorno perceived this in terms of what he called the "culture industry", where the art is controlled and formulated by the needs of the market and given to a passive population which accepts it — what is marketed is art that is non-challenging and formally incoherent, but which serves its purpose of giving the audience leisure and something to watch. It helps serve the oppression of the population by capitalism by distracting them from their alienation. Contrarily, art for Adorno is supposed to be subjective, challenging, and oriented against the oppressiveness of the power structure. He claimed that kitsch is parody of catharsis, and a parody of aesthetic consciousness.

Starry Night over the Rhone (1888) - Van Gogh
Oil on canvas; 72,5 x 92 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Broch called kitsch "the evil within the value-system of art" — that is, if true art is "good", kitsch is "evil". While art was creative, Broch held that kitsch depended solely on plundering creative art by adopting formulas that seek to imitate it, limiting itself to conventions and demanding a totalitarianism of those recognizable conventions. To him, kitsch was not the same as bad art; it formed a system of its own. He argued that kitsch involved trying to achieve "beauty" instead of "truth" and that any attempt to make something beautiful would lead to kitsch.

Greenberg held similar views; believing that the avant-garde arose in order to defend aesthetic standards from the decline of taste involved in consumer society, and seeing kitsch and art as opposites. He outlined this in his essay "Avant-Garde and Kitsch". One of his more controversial claims was that kitsch was equivalent to Academic art: "All kitsch is academic, and conversely, all that is academic is kitsch." He argued this based on the fact that Academic art, such as that in the 19th century, was heavily centered in rules and formulations that were taught and tried to make art into something learnable and easily expressible. He later came to withdraw from his position of equating the two, as it became heavily criticized. While it is true that some Academic art might have been kitsch, not all of it is, and not all kitsch is academic.

Other theorists over time have also linked kitsch to totalitarianism. The Czech writer Milan Kundera, in his book The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), defined it as "the absolute denial of shit." His argument was that kitsch functions by excluding from view everything that humans find difficult to come to terms with, offering instead a sanitised view of the world in which "all answers are given in advance and preclude any questions."


For Kundera, "Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass! It is the second tear that makes kitsch kitsch." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsch#Avant-garde_and_kitsch [Aug 2005]

Compare Quaerens Quem Devoret by Jean-Léon Gérôme with Van Gogh's Starry Night over the Rhone, both works painted in 1888, one is considered kitsch, the other high art.

see also: kitsch - avant garde - aesthetics

2005, Aug 24; 11:05 ::: High and low culture

Three points appear self-evident.

  1. First, there is no conflict whatever between popular and more demanding culture, and no need to choose.
  2. Second, that the majority of popular culture is commercially produced ephemera of mostly lamentable quality which needs absolutely no help or encouragement from government, still less nauseous ingratiation.
  3. Third, that there is such a thing as high art, and that some things will always remain for the privileged few - privileged not in the tired old class-conscious meaning of the word, but in the sense that by hard work and/or natural ability they are able to appreciate, eg highly refined musical forms or classical literature that it is not given to everyone to understand, even if we are given every opportunity to do so.
-- George Walden, source unidentified (website offline), please mail me if you know the source

see also: high - low - culture - culture theory

2005, Aug 24; 01:05 ::: Odd Nerdrum

image sourced here.

Shit Rock (2001) - Odd Nerdrum

Currently reading impressive work by Odd Nerdrum On Kitsch (2001). Odd considers himself a kitsch painter, and he maybe a kitsch painter as far as technique goes, he certainly is not with regard to subject matter, as Shit Rock illustrates.

A different tactic is taken by the Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum, who composed a manifesto entitled "On Kitsch", where he makes a political point of declaring himself a Kitsch painter rather than an artist, even though very few critics would actually think of his artwork as kitsch.

Nerdrum has claimed that in his career and the career of many other artists, the art establishment, what he calls the Curatoriat, imposes values and prevents honest personal expression — he turns around the formulations of Adorno and Kundera. He states that while art serves the public, kitsch serves personal expression; art serves politics, while kitsch loses itself in the eternal and is pure sensuality, "naked talent exposing itself". Nerdrum declares: "Art exists for art itself and addresses the public. Kitsch serves life and addresses the human being."

Postmodernism is also under attack by Nerdrum, because it holds to a camp taste, which only appreciates kitsch in terms of the irony of a "failed seriousness", while he argues that kitsch should in fact be looked at as real, sincere expression of beauty.

In any case, whatever difficulty there is in defining its boundaries with art, the word kitsch is still in common usage to label anything felt in bad taste.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsch#Postmodernism [Aug 2005]

see also: kitsch - art - art theory - modernism - modern art - Immanuel Kant - 2001 - human condition - Aristotle - Plato - Ernst Bloch

2005, Aug 24; 01:05 ::: Tampopo (1985) - Juzo Itami

image sourced here.

see also: 1985 - film - food - Japan - Japananese cinema - Juzo Itami

2005, Aug 23; 20:41 ::: Forbidden Zone - (1980) - Richard Elfman

Forbidden Zone - (1980) - Richard Elfman [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
image sourced here.

Susan Tyrrell (born March 18, 1945 in San Francisco, California, USA) is an American actress. Her best known role is as Oma in Fat City, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress in 1972. Her movie debut was in the film Shoot Out (1971).

In early 2000, she suffered the loss of both legs as a result of blood clots due to the rare blood disease essential thrombocythemia.

She is sometime credited as Susan Tyrell. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Tyrrell [Aug 2005]

Tyrrell also starred in Marco Ferreri's impressive Tales of Ordinary Madness. A scene of which described as follows:

He (Ben Gazzara) meets a middle-aged blonde at the beach (played with incredibly believable mania by Susan Tyrrell in an unforgettable performance) who lures Serking to her apartment for a few bouts of rough sex and rape fantasies before calling the police on him and having him arrested for "carnal violence." --Nick Burton http://www.pifmagazine.com/SID/788/ [Aug 2005]
In another scene from Tales, Ornella Muti sidles up to Gazzara at the bar, full of world-weariness and self-loathing, and in a scene of Bunuelian cruelty, promptly takes a huge safety pin and pushes it straight through both of her cheeks. --Nick Burton http://www.pifmagazine.com/SID/788/ [Aug 2005]

see also: actress - 1980 - film

2005, Aug 23; 18:24 ::: M - (1931) - Fritz Lang

M - (1931) - Fritz Lang [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

see also: Weimar - 1931 - Fritz Lang

2005, Aug 23; 18:20 ::: Lustmord (1995) - Maria Tatar

The Rough Guide to Cult Fiction (2005) (Paperback) - Michaela Bushell, Helen Rodiss Paul Simpson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

First sentence:
"In Fritz Lang's film M, which opens in a subtly unnerving manner when the innocent voice of a child chants this grisly rhyme, the words..." (more)

SIPs: sexual murderers, sexual killers, murderous aggression, evil urges, sexual murders (more)

CAPs: World War, George Grosz, Otto Dix, Berlin Alexanderplatz, Jack the Ripper (more)

Patrice Petro, Art in America
A compelling chronicle of Weimar Germany's disturbing and pervasive fascination with the sexually motivated murder of women, Lustmord breaks new ground in our understanding of German art and culture during this turbulent period between the two world wars.... Tatar has written a brilliant book of art and cultural criticism, a book that scholars and theorists of the Weimar period will have to contend with for some years to come.

Barbara Kosta, The Women's Review of Books
Tatar's book is particularly relevant today, amid the heated debates over violence, even as the images become more brutal and sensational, and the camera more voyeuristic and merciless.

see also: Weimar - Germany - lust murder

2005, Aug 23; 18:03 ::: Sex Murder (1922) - Otto Dix

Sex Murder (1922) - Otto Dix
image sourced here.

Otto Dix (December 2, 1891 - July 25, 1969) was a German expressionist and anti-war painter and a veteran of First World War. His most famous paintings were Metropolis (1928) and a 1932 triptych Trench Warfare. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Dix [Aug 2005]

Like the work of his friend and fellow veteran George Grosz, Dix's material was extremely critical of contemporary German society and often dwelled on the act of Lustmord, or sexual murder.

See also: Maria Tartar: Lustmord. Sexual Murder in Weimar Germany. Princeton UP, 1995.

see also: art - 1922 - lust murder - expressionism - Germany

2005, Aug 23; 17:45 ::: Wrapped Coast (1969) - Barbara Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Wrapped Coast (1969) - Barbara Christo and Jeanne-Claude
image sourced here.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude are an artistic duo known best for wrapping objects and buildings, as well as other types of environmental art. Married since November 28, 1962, they are arguably the best-known practitioners of what is called installation art. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christo [Aug 2005]

see also: art - 1983 - gaze - USA

2005, Aug 23; 17:33 ::: Barbara Kruger

Untitled (Your gaze hits the side of my face) (1981-83) - Barbara Kruger
image sourced here.

Barbara Kruger (b. 1945) is a photographer and guerilla artist from the United States.

Kruger's work almost always consists of black-and-white photographs with overlaid captions set in white-on-red Futura Bold Italic. The phrases included in her work are usually declarative, and make common use of such pronouns as "you," "I," "we," and "they." Her creations are often critical of sexism and misogyny.

Her work is described by H.W. Janson:

Kruger's works are direct and evoke an immediate response. Usually her style involves the cropping of a magazine or newspaper image cropped and enlarged in black and white. The enlargement of the image is done as crudely as possible to monumental proportions. A message is stenciled on the image, usually in white letters against a background of red. The text and image are unrelated in an effort to create anxiety by the audience that plays on the fears of society. (Janson 992).
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Kruger [Aug 2005]

see also: art - 1983 - gaze - USA

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