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On Expo - Film - In concert

WWW jahsonic.com

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

The "rhizome" allows for multiple,
non-hierarchical entry and exit points
in data representation and interpretation.
--Mille Plateaux - Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari,
volume 2 of Capitalisme et Schizofrénie (1980)

2005, Mar 09; 21:24 ::: Wood s lot

Sunny Day () - George Grosz
image sourced Wood s lot [Mar 2005]

Wood s lot is a website/weblog produced by Mark Woods in Perth, Canada.

He edits using Notetab (free version). --http://www.ncf.ca/~ek867/wood_s_lot.html [Mar 2005]

I found his site by looking for carnival images [Google] and finding this:

Ash Wednesday Carnival
August Sander, 1930
image sourced here.

2005, Mar 09; 21:24 ::: The grotesque is essentially physical

"Feejee Mermaid" from the New York Sunday Herald

For Bakhtin—and one finds it difficult to disagree with him—the grotesque is essentially physical, referring always to the body and bodily excesses and celebrating these in an uninhibited, outrageous but essentially joyous fashion. The carnival, that favourite popular arena for the indulging of physical excess, is seen by Bakhtin as the grotesque event par excellence, the place where the common people abandoned themselves to exuberantly obscene excesses of a physical kind. One can see a whole popular tradition of the grotesque here, ranging from the ancient satyr-plays to the commedia dell'arte (cf. Jacques Callot's marvellously grotesque illustrations of commedia dell'arte characters and scenes), with important links with dramatists as far apart as Aristophanes and the 'pataphysicist' Alfred Jarry, creator of the monstrously grotesque Ubu figure. It might be objected that Bakhtin's view of the grotesque is idiosyncratic and narrow (he develops it principally in connection with Rabelais, to whom it applies very well), but his insistence on the physical nature of the grotesque and on the primitive delight in what is obscene, cruel and even barbaric is quite justified. We would only wish to add that this delight constitutes only one possible aspect of the response to the grotesque.

The often intensely physical nature of the grotesque is logical when one recalls that the term was originally applied to the visual arts. Although the extension of 'grotesque' to the verbal arts occurred fairly early, the word has always been applied to the visual rather than the purely verbal. There is nothing abstract about the grotesque. I do not know of a grotesque piece of music, nor does it seem likeley that the term could be legitimately applied to music, except in a very extended sense. But that possibly most visual of all art-forms, the film, there are countless examples of the grotesque. Among the well-known contemporary film-makers (who are, collectively, as given to the grotesque as their writer colleagues), Federico Fellini perhaps stands out: his Satyricon, for example, is an outstandingly and consistently grotesque film. --Philip Thomson via http://mtsu32.mtsu.edu:11072/Grotesque/Major_Artists_Theorists/Theorists/Thomson/thomson4.html [Mar 2005]

See also: grotesque - carnival - Mikhail Bakthin - Body

2005, Mar 09; 19:47 ::: Form follows function

Red and Blue Chair (1918) - Gerrit Rietveld

Gerrit Rietveld (1888 - 1964) who designed the 'Red and Blue Chair' in 1918. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrit_Rietveld [Mar 2005]

Form follows function is a slogan and principle of Modern architecture, including specifically:

It is meant to suggest that architecture should let the physical characteristics necessary to creating a structure dominate in its appearance, rather than elaborating and decorating. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_follows_function [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 09; 12:06 ::: Carnival of Souls (1962) - Herk Harvey

Still of SaltAir Pavilion from film Carnival of Souls (1962) - Herk Harvey
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

Carnival of Souls (1962) [Amazon.com]

Carnival of Souls is a horror cult film released in 1962. Produced and directed by Herk Harvey for $33,000, the 78-minute movie never gained widespread public attention, but it did strongly influence the later work of filmmakers such as George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead); it also anticipated the plot and concept of such well-known films as The Blair Witch Project and The Sixth Sense by more than thirty years. Set to a remarkable, eerie organ score by Gene Moore and shot in a surrealistic style reminiscent of the work of Jean Cocteau, Carnival of Souls relies more on atmosphere than on special effects to create its mood of horror. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnival_of_Souls [Mar 2005]

Saltair (Utah)
Saltair is the name which has been given to several resorts located on the southern shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, about fifteen miles from Salt Lake City.

The first Saltair, completed in 1893, was jointly owned by a corporation associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called "Mormons") and the Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railroad Company (which originally served the site). Saltair was not the first resort built on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, but was the most successful ever built. It rested on over 2,000 posts and pilings, many of which remain and are still visible over 110 years later. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saltair%2C_Utah [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 09; 12:06 ::: Sam Haskins

photography by Sam Haskins
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

This is a collection of unrelated images bound together in book form. It is a product of, and is immersed in, the idiom of the late sixties. My studio was near the King's road in Chelsea, the focal point of Swinging London. Those were informal times. Friends calling at the studio to say hello frequently found themselves in front of a camera collaborating in the experiment of the moment. The pictures were embraced by a wide ranging audience. The Flower People decorated their lofts with them and the New York Art Directors Club honoured the publication with their Gold Award. --http://www.haskins.com/HsksPstr/HsksPstrs_p01.html [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 09; 09:44 ::: Jean Ray (1887 - 1964)

poster for Malpertuis (1971), film adaptation by Harry Kümel
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

Malpertuis (1943) est le premier roman fantastique de l'écrivain belge Jean Ray, publié en 1943. Le ton est onirique et le suspense, inquiétant. Le fantastique repose sur les grands mythes grecs et l'abolition de l'espace et du temps.

Le vieux Cassave, qui se sent proche de la mort, contraint une quinzaine de personnes à vivre ensemble dans une vieille maison flamande, Malpertuis. Jean-Jacques Grandsire, le jeune héros « candide », vit parmi ces êtres étranges et se trouve, à la fin de la première partie, seul face à Euryale dont le regard pétrifie. Dans la suite, Jean-Jacques essaie de dénouer l'énigme de Malpertuis mais les scènes terribles auxquelles il assiste, l'ombre des maléfices et le souffle du sacré vont perturber gravement sa santé.

Construit sur un enchâssement de manuscrits, le roman multiplie les voix narratives. --http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malpertuis [Mar 2005]

See also: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0067386 [Mar 2005]

Malpertuis, A Pagan and Catholic and Gothic and Carnivalesque and Modernist and Surrealist Tragedy

The term “grotesque” originates in Italy during the early Renaissance, when decorative motifs representing a then unknown Roman aesthetic were uncovered during the excavation of some old bathing grottos. Plants, animals, people, monsters and gods all woven together in long slender ribbons of illustration on the walls; these grotesques were pictorial where arabesques were abstract, and seemed to trace an open-ended sequence of transformations through a play of interlacing forms. The term swiftly developed all sorts of applications as European art became more diverse, and, by the time it was applied to works of literature, it had come to mean especially fanciful, even weirdly imaginative. The grotesque was still the underworld, and it referred to that art most saturated with imaginary things, and the most wildly imagined things. The grotesque was associated with the seemingly incessant European carnivals, in which all established order would be inverted, opposites like ugliness and beauty, life and death, comedy and tragedy, would be brought so close together as to be crushed nearly into each other. --Michael Cisco via http://www.themodernword.com/columns/cisco_005.html [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 09; 08:45 ::: Jacques Callot (c. 1592 - 1635)

Varie Figuri Gobbi (‘Various Hunchbacked Figures’) - Jacques Callot
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

Jacques Callot (c. 1592 - 1635) was a French baroque graphics artist, draftsman and printmaker.

He was born in Nancy, Lorraine. He died in Nancy.

He was the author of etchings of times great chronicle of societal perceptions of soldiers, clowns, drunkards, wanderers, beggars, various outcasts, often contrasted with spectacular landscapes.

See, for instance, "The Temptations of St. Anthony". His seamless transitions in shading and use of different tones were seminal to etchings and prints; only Albrecht Dürer was his equal. His work was a record of the times; compare "The Fair at Gondreville (1624) with "The Battle of Avigliana" --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Callot [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 08; 21:54 ::: The Five Obstructions (2003) - Lars von Trier, Jørgen Leth

The Five Obstructions (2003) - Lars von Trier, Jørgen Leth [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Once upon a time--1967, to be precise--Danish director Jørgen Leth released The Perfect Human. In The Five Obstructions, fellow countryman Lars von Trier (Breaking the Waves) challenges his "hero" to remake the short five times and provides a different set of "obstructions" for each. Because Leth likes cigars, von Trier suggests the first be made in Cuba. For the second, however, he sends Leth to "the worst place on earth"--Bombay's red light district. The obstructions keep coming, interspersed with conversation and clips from the original film, in which actors engage in a variety of activities, like eating and dancing, while the narrator posits oblique questions like "Why is joy so whimsical?" (Von Trier claims to have watched it "at least 20 times.") In the end, the two Danes have whipped up an unclassifiable concoction that plays less like documentary and more like a duel between friendly adversaries. --Kathleen C. Fennessy via Amazon.com

See also: Lars von Trier - film - Denmark

2005, Mar 07; 12:16 ::: Venus in Pink (2002) - Candice Black, Romain Slocombe

Venus in Pink: An Illustrated Tribute to Japanese Pink Movies & Softcore Porn Starlets (2002) - Candice Black, Romain Slocombe [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

About the Author
Candice Black is the series editor of the erotic fiction imprint, Velvet; she lives in London. Romain Slocombe is a writer and photographer, based in Paris. His third novel is being published by Gallimard. Of his two Creation titles, Tokyo Sex Underground was accompanied by a London exhibition, now touring Europe.

Product Description:
A visual tribute to the many girls who bared all in the erotic Japanese adult films known as 'pink movies.' Pink movies flourished in 1970's Japan, contradicting the seemingly conservative culture, and pushing the artistic boundaries of porn. The beautiful, enigmatic actresses who dominated the films are featured in 100+ rare and exotic black and white portraits and film stills.

Leading Tokyo documentarist Romain Slocombe introduces 'pink movies' from a historical perspective: • how and why they flourished during the 70's • their place within Japanese culture • the increasingly popular Japanese sex scene. --via Amazon.com

See also: Japanese pink films - Romain Slocombe - softcore - pornography

2005, Mar 06; 21:07 ::: Hannah Höch (1889 - 1978)

Grotesk (1963) - Hannah Höch (1889 - 1978)
Foto: Liedtke & Michel
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

Die Kokette I (The Coquette I) - Hannah Höch (1889 - 1978)
1923 – 25
Photo: Liedtke & Michel
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

In Love Höch mockingly looks at conventional relationships of enraptured love between men and women.

Hoch used images of a popular dolls that at the time were mass produced and marketed as being innocent, and full of wonderment. The doll's eye looms large and her lips portay a nice polite smile, yet it has a strange sinister looking face enhanced by the fact that it has been cut at odd angles. On the other hand we see a man staring not directly at the doll, but outwardly. The doll is used to represent the modern women's altered ego. Both male and female seem to be caught in a mechanized state of mind presumably the effects of enraptured love. --http://www.yellowbellywebdesign.com/hoch/love.html [Mar 2005]

Hannah Höch - born in Gotha, Germany in 1889. From 1912 to 1914 she studied at the College of Arts and Crafts in Berlin under the guidance of the director of the class for glass organization, Harold Bergen. She resumed her studies in 1915, this time entering the graph class of the National Institute of the Museum of Arts and Crafts. Also in 1915, Höch began an influential friendship with Raoul Hausmann, a member of the Berlin Dada movement. Höch's involvement with the Berlin Dadists began in earnest in 1919.

Höch's personal relationship with Hausmann grew from friendship to romantic over time. While this was the first crucial relationship to have bearing on Höch's artistic work, she often reflected upon her relationships in such pieces as Love (http://www.yellowbellywebdesign.com/hoch/love.html) (1926). Some of Höch's work suggests that she carried on lesbian relationships during her life as well romantic relationships with men. Höch and Hausmann separated in 1922, at which point Höch was well on her way to becoming an artist in her own right, independent of her involvement with Hausmann. Incidentally, it was during Höch's relationship with Hausmann that both artists entered into the world of collage, pioneering what was to become a completely new artform.

Höch made more influential friendships over the years, with Kurt Schwitters and Piet Mondrian among others. Schwitters, along with Höch, was one of the first pioneers of the artform that would come to be known as photomontage.

Höch's most famous piece is Cut With The Kitchen Knife (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/davepalmer/cutandpaste/hoch_big1.html), a critique on Weimar Germany in 1919. This piece combines images from newspapers of the time re-created to make a new statement about life and art in the Dada movement.

Hannah Höch died in Berlin in 1978. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_H%F6ch [Mar 2005]

See also: montage, collage - Germany - Weimar

list of Dadaists
The following is a list of Dadaists. It includes those who are generally classed into different movements, but have created some dadaist works.

- Guillaume Apollinaire - Louis Aragon - Hans Arp - Johannes Baader - Johannes Theodor Baargeld - Hugo Ball - André Breton (1896 - 1966) - Arthur Cravan - Jean Crotti - Salvador Dalí - Marcel Duchamp - Paul Eluard (1895 - 1952) - Max Ernst - Lyonel Feininger - George Grosz - Raoul Hausmann - Wieland Herzfelde - Hanna Höch (1889 - 1978) - Richard Huelsenbeck (1892 - 1974) - Barry Humphries - Marcel Janco (1895 - 1984) - Francis Picabia - Man Ray (1890 - 1976) - Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes (1884 - 1974) - Hans Richter - Kurt Schwitters - Walter Serner - Philippe Soupault (1897 - ?) - Sophie Täuber - Tristan Tzara (1896 - 1963) --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Dadaists [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 06; 17:09 ::: The sleep of reason produces monsters (1797-98) - Francisco Goya

The sleep of reason produces monsters (1797-98) - Francisco Goya
from Los Caprichos

Francisco Goya was a portraitist of royalty and chronicler of history who produced a series of eighty prints that he titled Los Caprichos depicting what he called "the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Goya [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 05; 17:38 ::: Paul Scheerbart (1863 - 1915)

Grandville, image sourced here.

Paul Karl Wilhelm Scheerbart, auch unter seinem Pseudonym Kuno Küfer bekannt, (* 8. Januar 1863 in Danzig, † 15. Oktober 1915 in Berlin) war Schriftsteller fantastischer Literatur und Zeichner. --http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Scheerbart [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 05; 16:49 ::: Grandville (1803 - 1847)

Les Réliques (?) - Grandville, image sourced here.

Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard (September 13, 1803 - March 17, 1847), French caricaturist, generally known by the pseudonym of Grandville the professional name of his grandparents, who were actors was born at Nancy.

He received his first instruction in drawing from his father, a miniature painter, and at the age of twenty-one came to Paris, where he soon afterwards published a collection of lithographs entitled Les Tribulations de la petite proprieté. He followed this by Les Plaisirs de toutdge and La Sibylle des salons; but the work which first established his fame was Metamorphoses du jours published in 1828, a series of seventy scenes in which individuals with the bodies of men and faces of animals are made to play a human comedy. These drawings are remarkable for the extraordinary skill with which human characteristics are represented in animal features.

The success of this work led to his being engaged as artistic contributor to various periodicals, such as Le Silhouette, L'Artiste, La Caricature, Le Charivari; and his political caricatures which were characterized by marve1lous fertility of satirical humour, soon came to enjoy a general popularity.

Besides supplying illustrations for various standard works, such as the songs of Béranger, the fables of La Fontaine, Don Quixote, Gulliver's Travels, Robinson Crusoe, he also continued the issue of various lithographic collections, among which may be mentioned La Vie privée et publique des animaux, Les Cent Proverbes, L'Autre Monde and Les Fleurs animées.

Though the designs of Gérard are occasionally unnatural and absurd, they usually display keen analysis of character and marvellous inventive ingenuity, and his humour is always tempered and refined by delicacy of sentiment and a vein of sober thoughtfulness. He died of mental disease on the 17th of March 1847.

A short notice of Gérard, under the name of Grandville, is contained in Théophile Gautier's Portraits contemporains. See also Charles Blanc, Grandville (Paris, 1855). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Ignace_Isidore_G%E9rard [Mar 2005]

See also: caricature, satire, France

The French have jokes, but do they have a sense of humour?

'Baron, how did you find the English?
'Very distracting. They have a form of conversation
called humour, which makes everyone laugh a lot.'
‘Humour—is this like esprit?'
‘No, not really.'
‘But then how do you translate it?'
‘Well, I can't. We in France don't have a word for it.'-

This scene in the film “Ridicule”, by Patrice Leconte, shows a marquis at the court of Louis XVI in Versailles telling other courtiers and their crinolined companions about his discovery of humour during a trip to England. He tries to illustrate this peculiar phenomenon by telling a joke he has heard in England. No one laughs until another courtier adds a witty, slightly dirty remark to the English joke.

Does humour exist in France? Before the French revolution of 1789, the word humour was hardly known. People knew esprit (wit), farce (prank), bouffonnerie (drollery) and humeur (a state of mind, or mood), but not humour. Only in 1878 did the French Academy, the institution that stands guard over the French language, accept humoristique as a French word. A year later Edmond de Goncourt used humour without italics as a French word in his novel “Les Frères Zemganno”, but not until 1932 did the academicians give their approval to the noun humour.

Writers and intellectuals musing about English humour searched for an equivalent in France. François Marie Arouet de Voltaire, France's best-known writer in the 18th century, tells the Abbot d'Olivet in a letter in 1762 that the English pronounce humour yumor, and think they are the only ones to have a term to express that state of mind. Madame de Staël, the daughter of Jacques Necker, a finance minister of Louis XVI, wrote in a discourse on literature: “The English language created a word, humour, to express a hilarity, which is in the blood almost as much as in the mind ...What the English depict with great talent is bizarre characters, because they have lots of those amongst them.” --http://www.economist.com/diversions/PrinterFriendly.cfm?Story_ID=2281647 [Mar 2005]

See also: caricature, satire, France, Ridicule, La, humour

A caricature is a humorous illustration that exaggerates or distorts the basic essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable visual likeness.

Although caricatures can be made of inanimate objects such as cars or buildings, the art form is usually reserved for illustrations of people, especially celebrities and politicians.

Caricatures can be insulting or complimentary and can serve a political purpose or be drawn solely for entertainment. Caricatures of politicians are commonly used in editorial cartoons, while caricatures of movie stars are often found in entertainment magazines.

The art form was popularized in the early 18th century, when satirical drawings of politicians and local celebrities would be printed in newspapers. Caricatures would often be less than warmly received by their powerful targets, and for many years the art form was one of anonymous mischief.

In the years after World War I the art form experienced a renaissance in the United States, and in some magazines caricatures became more common and in higher demand than actual photographs. A new wave of artists like Al Hirschfeld and Miguel Covarrubias showed that caricatures could be fun, colorful, and graceful, and not always the crude, vicious insults found on the editorial page. In the UK Punch magazine kept the tradition alive through the 1950 to 1980 period. The cartoonist Steve Bell maintained the tradition thereafter to great effect. The puppet show Spitting Image on British television during the 1980s brought an awareness of caricature to a new generation, combining rod-operated puppets with accurate vocal impressions. Politicians, media stars and sporting celebrities remained the main targets and the grey finish of a much used John Major puppet played a very significant role in establishing his unadventurous public image in the UK.

Today, the art of caricature is still around, though nowhere near as prevalent as the "Golden Age" of the 20's and 30's. In recent years there has been a rise of amateur "On-the-spot Caricaturists" who can be found on street corners or fairs and will draw a quick sketch of anyone willing to pay their fee.

The word "caricature" can also apply to a person or thing that displays behaviour or mannerisms that are ridiculously exaggerated and overly stereotypical.

An early definition of the origins of 'caricature', an Italian word meaning 'to load', occurs in the English doctor Sir Thomas Browne's Christian Morals (first pub.1716) --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caricature [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 05; 13:54 ::: Comic Grotesque: Wit And Mockery In German Art, 1870-1940 (2004) - Pamela Kort

Comic Grotesque: Wit And Mockery In German Art, 1870-1940 (2004) - Pamela Kort[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Publishers Weekly
A skeleton urinates in a river, demons torment sobbing broken men, and the devil mates with Salome to infect the Pope with syphilis in this history of the mania for the bizarre in German visual art, performance and literature. The book, produced in conjunction with an exhibition at the Neue Galerie in New York, begins with curator Kort's essay on the symbolist painter Arnold Bocklin, who produced lushly painted scenes of mythic figures and monsters at play. As the book goes on, the genres become less traditional, encompassing the fields of photography, collage and even puppetry. In addition, the images themselves become more abstract, as lurid mélanges of male, female and animal bodies form comic nightmares. Certainly, the horror of two world wars and the rise of fascism had an influence on the explosion of art produced in the comic grotesque mode in Germany, particularly in the Expressionist, Dada and Surrealist schools. However, as Frances S. Connelly and Robert Storr point out in this book's essays, the comic grotesque style has been something of a constant in Western Art, and is well represented today by artists like Cindy Sherman. The degree to which the works on display in this handsome collection still disquiet, shock and move us is a testament not only to the imagination of the artists who produced them, but also to the ongoing depravities of war and violence. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --via Amazon.com

Product Description:
Filled with irreverent wit, comical elements, and absurdist humor, the concept of the grotesque has fascinated artists since ancient times, but it achieved importance as a novel aesthetic approach in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Starting with Arnold Böcklin’s grotesque pictorial compositions, this volume, accompanying an exhibition, brings together a dazzling array of artists who drew inspiration from grotesque ideas about disorder, distortion, and inanity, including Lovis Corinth, Paul Klee, Max Klinger, Otto Dix, Alfred Kubin, Kurt Schwitters, and Emil Nolde. Essays consider the frequently overlooked connection between the visual arts and other media, specifically the rise of cabaret culture and humor magazines. In addition, the authors examine the legacy of the grotesque movement as seen in modern drama, art, and performance. With nearly two hundred color and black-and-white illustrations, this striking collection traces the evolution of a largely ignored, but hugely influential, movement in modern art. --via Amazon.com Product Details

See also: 2004, comic, grotesque, Germany

2005, Mar 05; 12:52 ::: La Sirène (1887) - Arnold Böcklin

La Sirène (1887) - Arnold Böcklin [aka La Mer calme], image sourced here.

In Greek mythology, the Sirens or Seirenes were sea nymphs who lived on an island called Sirenum scopuli which was surrounded by cliffs and rocks. Approaching sailors were drawn to them by their enchanting singing, causing them to sail on the cliffs and drown. They were considered the daughters of Achelous (by Terpsichore) or Phorcys (Virgil. V. 846; Ovid XIV, 88). Their individual names are variously reported as Aglaope, Leucosia, Parthenope, Pisinoe, and Thelxiepia.

According to some versions, they were playmates of a young Persephone and were changed into the monsters of lore by Demeter for not interfering when Persephone was abducted (Ovid V, 551).

The term "siren song" refers to an appeal that is hard to resist but that, if heeded, will lead to a bad result. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siren [Mar 2005]

See also: 1877, Arnold Böcklin, symbolism, femme fatale

2005, Mar 05; 12:52 ::: Hommage à Böcklin (1977) - H.R. Giger

"Hommage à Böcklin" de R. Giger, Acrylique de 1977, image sourced here.

See also: 1977, Arnold Böcklin, symbolims

2005, Mar 05; 12:28 ::: Spacelander bycicle (1946) - Benjamin Bowden

Spacelander bycicle (1946) - Benjamin Bowden, image sourced here.

See also: 1946, design, biomorphism

2005, Mar 04; 14:39 ::: Chimera () - John Barth

Chimera () - John Barth [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Product Description:
In Chimera John Barth injects his signature wit into the tales of Scheherezade of the Thousand and One Nights, Perseus, the slayer of Medusa, and Bellerophon, who tamed the winged horse Pegasus. In a book that the Washington Post called "stylishly maned, tragically songful, and serpentinely elegant," Barth retells these tales from varying perspectives, examining the myths" relationship to reality and their resonance with the contemporary world. A winner of the National Book Award, this feisty, witty, sometimes bawdy book provoked Playboy to comment, "There"s every chance in the world that John Barth is a genius." --Amazon.com

In Greek Mythology, Chimera (Greek [Khimaira]; Latin, Chimæra) was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna.

Descriptions vary – some say she had the body of a goat, the hindquarters of a snake or dragon and the head of a lion, though others say she had heads of both the goat and lion, with a snake for a tail. All descriptions, however, agree that she breathed fire from one or more of her heads.

Her offspring by Orthros were the Sphinx and the Nemean Lion.

Chimera was finally defeated by Bellerophon with the help of Pegasus, the winged horse, at the command of King Iobates of Lycia. There are varying descriptions of her death – some say merely that Bellerophon ran her through on his spear, whereas others say that he fitted his spear point with lead that melted when exposed to Chimera's fiery breath and consequently killed her.

(Chimaira) is Greek for "billygoat" : behind the myth may be a real battle against a war-leader or bandit whose name or title or symbol was 'Billygoat'.

The term "chimera" or "chimeric" is often used metaphorically to describe things that have combined attributes from different sources. In genetics, for example, an organism or tissue created from two or more different genetic sources is called chimeric, as in transplant patients with organs from other donors. See Chimera (animal) --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(creature) [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 04; 14:33 ::: Holy Terrors: Gargoyles on Medieval Buildings (1997) - Janetta Rebold Benton

Holy Terrors: Gargoyles on Medieval Buildings (1997) - Janetta Rebold Benton [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Almost every tourist who has ever climbed to the top of the North Tower of Notre-Dame de Paris has taken a photo of his or her companion leaning over the balustrade between two gargoyles (technically 'chimeras'), and surveying the streets below. It's the ultimate gargoyle photo-op. I'm surprised this author was able to photograph the gargoyles without a tourist leaning between them. I was only slightly disappointed to learn from this book that much of the stonework on this tower is nineteenth-century restoration by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, "started in 1845 to repair damage done to the cathedral during the Revolution." However, he did attempt to use molds of the originals. [...] --E. A. Lovitt via Amazon.com

2005, Mar 04; 14:02 ::: Mooning gargoyle

Mooning gargoyle

Gargoyle mooning another building, Frieburg, GER, photographed by macg.stiegler on 4/9/2004, image sourced here.

Mooning is the act of displaying one's bare buttocks by lowering the backside of one's trousers and underpants without exposing the front side, bending forward. It is generally considered a rude and disrespectful or insulting act, but is much less offensive than flashing. It is often performed as a form of protest or simply for fun. Mooning is sometimes performed from a moving vehicle. The act of placing one's buttocks against glass while mooning (for example, a car window) is known as a pressed ham.

Formerly, mooning was slang for wandering idly and romantically pining.

Mooning in popular culture
The film Braveheart contains a scene in which over a thousand Scottish warriors mooned the English forces. Mooning scenes were included in the 1950s-set films American Graffiti and Grease. At the 2004 MTV Movie Awards, Eminem and his band mooned the crowd. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooning [Mar 2005]

see also: indecent exposure

see also http://www.stratis.demon.co.uk/gargoyles [Mar 2005]

From the site above:
Gargoyles in the strict plumbing sense of the word (see Etymology) have been around since the time of the Ancient Greeks or before. They became very popular on architecture in Medieval times, with a resurgence in the Victorian era, and to some extent more recently. Other periods have none or few carved ones. Saxon churches (a little before Medieval times) that I've seen usually have troughs but whether these are original or later additions is hard to say. Large buildings of the Elizabethan period (a little after Medieval times) did use channels or troughs but I've never seen or heard of carved ones.

Their first usage in the last thousand years or more seems to have been in the early 1200's as channels or tubes to shed rainwater from buildings, to keep the rainwater off the buildings themselves and away from the foundations. Strong evidence for this purely plumbing interpretation is that initially most were made of wood, some made of the more expensive stone, and were generally undecorated.

As time progressed, more stone ones appeared as did lining some with lead and decoration in the form of carvings of people or animals or grotesque representations of these (grotesque in the sense of being extravagantly formed, bizarre, ludicrous, absurd, fantastic and also in the sense of being ugly and frightening). Often these carvings are so imaginative as to bear little or no resemblance to any conventional creature and are the products of fertile imaginations and skilled hands.

They are common on the more expensive buildings from medieval times, particularly cathedrals and churches, and particularly France, and particularly the Gothic style. A few plain ones survive on non-religious buildings like the odd castle but rarely compared with religious buildings. Presumably, as today, the average wage did not run as far as paying for ornate stone guttering for your own humble dwelling.

It seems that this increasingly ornate carving extended to non-functional architectural features resembling them, so that "gargoyles" appear on the sides of towers and walls, and to stretch the term even further, inside the buildings (though these are more correctly called "grotesques" and "chimeras", of which gargoyles are only one kind). --http://www.stratis.demon.co.uk/gargoyles/gg-ety-hist-myth.htm#gargoyle_architectural_history [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 03; 14:11 ::: Mise-en-scène

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - Robert Wiene [Amazon.com]

In film theory, mise-en-scène [mizA~sEn] refers to everything that is to appear before the camera and its arrangement -- sets, props, actors, costumes, camera movements and performances. The term was coined by early French film critics and means literally "put into the scene" or "setting in scene." In auteur theory, less creative directors are sometimes disparagingly called "metteurs en scène".

German filmmaking in the 1920s excelled at conveying tone, meaning, and information through mise en scene. Perhaps the most famous example of this was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari where the doctor's internal state of mind was represented in the sets and lighting.

It has also come to represent a style of conveying the information of a scene primarily through a single shot--often accompanied by camera movement. It is to be contrasted with multiple angles pieced together through editing. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mise_en_scene [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 03; 12:32 ::: Postmodern architecture

Piazza d'Italia (1913) - Giorgio de Chirico, image sourced here.

Giorgio de Chirico (July 10, 1888 - November 20, 1978) was an Italian painter born in Greece, and with Carlo Carra founded the scuola metafisica art movement. He studied art in Munich at the Academy of Fine Arts, where he read the writings of the philosophers Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer and studied the works of Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger.

De Chirico is best known for the paintings he produced between 1909 and 1919, his Metaphysical period, which are memorable for the haunted, brooding moods evoked by their images. At the start of this period, his subjects were still cityscapes inspired by the bright daylight of Mediterranean cities, but gradually he turned his attention to studies of cluttered storerooms, sometimes inhabited by mannequins.

He won praise for his work almost immediately from the writer Guillaume Apollinaire, who helped to introduce his work to the later Surrealists. Yves Tanguy wrote how one day in 1922 he saw one of de Chirico's paintings in an art dealer's window, and was so impressed by it he resolved on the spot to become an artist -- although he had never even held a brush! Other artists who acknowledged de Chirico's influence include Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, and René Magritte.

De Chirico also published a novel in 1925: Hebdomeros, the Metaphysician. His later paintings never received the same critical praise as did those from his metaphysical period. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giorgio_de_Chirico [Mar 2005]

Piazza d'Italia by C Moore, New Orleans 1979, image sourced here.

2005, Mar 03; 11:09 ::: Grotesque and arabesque

Grotto in the Bomarzo gardens, Italy

Murals of the kind described by Vitruvius first came to light around 1500 in the course of excavations in Rome. From grotte (Ital. 'caves', thus by extension 'excavations') came the adjective grottesco and the noun le grottesca, denoting the kind of painting discussed above. The word grotesque occurs in French as early as 1532, and is used in English as well before being replaced around I640 by grotesqueEarly usages of the word in English are restricted to the antique paintings and to the imitations of this style which became popular in the sixteenth century, particularly in Italy (cf. the grotesques of Raphael). The extension of the word 'grotesque' to literature and to non-artistic things took place in France as early as the sixteenth-century (Rabelais uses it with reference to parts of the body), but in England and Germany only in the eighteenth century. With this extension 'grotesque' took on a broader meaning. In particular its association with caricature—a topic much discussed by eighteenth-century aestheticians led to what Kayser calls a loss of substance in the word, meaning the suppression of the horrifying or eerie qualities of the grotesque and a corresponding over-emphasis on the ridiculous and bizarre. --The Term and Concept 'Grotesque': A Historical Summary from Philip Thomson, The Grotesque. Methuen Critical Idiom Series, 1972. via http://mtsu32.mtsu.edu:11072/Grotesque/Major_Artists_Theorists/theorists/thomson/thomson2.html [Mar 2005]

see also grotesque

Related: aberrant - absurd - amusement - black comedy - bizarre - body - burlesque - caricature - demon - deviant - disgust - extraordinary - fantastic - fantastique - fantasy - fear - freaks of nature - gargoyle - gothic - harmony - horror - humor - incongruous - ludicrous - macabre - monstrous - outlandish - parody - ridicule - satire - strange - supernatural - terror - travesty - ugly - uncanny - unconventional - weird

2005, Mar 03; 11:09 ::: Arabesque

Image copyright Mitternacht, sourced here.

Arabesque n.

  1. A ballet position in which the dancer bends forward while standing on one straight leg with the arm extended forward and the other arm and leg extended backward.
  2. A complex, ornate design of intertwined floral, foliate, and geometric figures.
  3. Music. An ornate, whimsical composition especially for piano.
  4. An intricate or elaborate pattern or design: “the fluctuating shapes of a cloudscape, the complex arabesque of a camera movement, the blink of a character's eye” (Nigel Andrews).
--http://www.answers.com/arabesque [Mar 2005]

see also: Biomorphism

2005, Mar 02; 14:46 ::: Dan Graham: Catalogue Raisonne (2001) - Dan Graham, et all

Dan Graham: Catalogue Raisonne (2001) - Dan Graham, Eric de Bruyn, Benjamin Buchloh, Markus Muller, Marianne Brouwer, Corinne [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

About the Author
Born in Urbana, Illinois, in 1942, Dan Graham worked as a galleries and art critic before embarking on his artistic career in 1965. Over the years he has received numerous public commissions in Europe as well as the United States, including the "Children's Pavilion" (1989), designed in collaboration with Jeff Wall, and the "Rooftop Urban Park Project" (1991), a permanent sculptural installation on the roof of the DIA Center in New York. He currently lives and works in New York.

Product Description:
Since the 1960s, Dan Graham has carved out a unique space in the field of contemporary art, combing his work as an artist and as a critic of architecture and art in a unique fusion of theory and practice. From the outset, Graham engaged seriously with the aesthetic and political ramifications of Structuralism, taking the artist's critical perceptions of reality to an increasingly conceptual level. His early articles grappled with the question of architecture, arguing that behind the high-rise apartment complexes and housing projects spreading over the Western world lay the phenomenon of economic and social rationalization. Since the beginning of the 1970s Graham has pursued these and other observations with installations, videos, films, and large-scale pavilions that serve as thought-models for his critical insights. This catalogue raisonné provides a comprehensive, chronological documentation of 165 works and writings from 1965 until the present day, and includes articles, written sketches, Graham's reports about his artistic activities, art critical essays, film stills, architectural models, pavilions, and video rooms, as well as an extensive bibliography. With essays by preeminent critic/philosophers Benjamin Buchloh and Thierry de Duve, among others, the result is a complete and edifying look at one of the premier artist-scholars of the past thirty years. "I think my works are partly educational and philosophical and partly aesthetic...[they disclose] the necessary social and visual engagement connected with the apprehension of the work of art." -Dan Graham. Hardcover, 384 pages, 8.25 x 11 inches, 100 color and 238 b&w illustrations.

see also: Dan Graham, contemporary art

Sculpture is any three-dimensional form created as an artistic expression.

The term sculpture also refers to the artistic discipline, act or art of making sculpture, by the manipulation of materials or, in contemporary art, by designating an object or even an act as sculpture. The artist who does this is called a sculptor.

Sculpture is also the collective term for a collection or genre of sculptures. i.e. Greek Classical Sculpture, or Exhibition of Sculpture.

The process of manipulating materials for sculpture is to sculpt.

A sculpted object or material has been worked to resemble sculpture either by human hands or by nature.

A figure or person can be sculpturesque meaning that it shares qualities with classical figurative sculpture or statue. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sculpture [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 02; 14:46 ::: World Clique (1990) - Deee-Lite

World Clique (1990) - Deee-Lite [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Deee-Lite was a dance music group in the 1990s. Their most successful hit was "Groove Is In the Heart" from 1990 featuring Q-Tip (from A Tribe Called Quest) and Bootsy Collins.

Members were:

  • "Super DJ Dmitri" (Dmitri Brill)
  • "Lady Miss Kier" (Kierin Kirby)
  • "Jungle DJ Towa Tei" (Doug Wa-Chung)

In early 2003, Lady Miss Kier initiated a lawsuit against SEGA corporation for allegedly stealing her former persona and using it as the basis of a character in the video game Space Channel 5. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deee-Lite [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 02; 14:15 ::: Underground film

The underground
Underground film refers to low budget, often self-produced works created outside of the studio system and without the involvement of labor unions. Student films such as Dan O'Bannon and John Carpenter's Dark Star should be included in this category, but are also considered Independent film.

Experimental film that used cinema as a vehicle of fine art had been produced since the 1940s, for example the work of Harry Everett Smith and Maya Deren, but social movements of the 1960s produced a larger and more receptive audience for this type of work and more contributors to the field, such as Kenneth Anger. Pornographic movies also avoided union involvement and appealed to an alternative, underground, audience. Melvin Van Peebles's Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song is an example of an independently created, underground movie that used post-classical plot devices -- Van Peebles touted this film as pornography project during its production to avoid complications with the Screen Actor's Guild. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_cinema#The_underground [Mar 2005]

see also: underground film,

2005, Mar 01; 19:20 ::: Art and Fear (19??) - Paul Virilio, Julie Rose (Translator)

Art and Fear (19??) - Paul Virilio, Julie Rose (Translator)[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Art and Fear is compulsory reading for anyone still wondering where art has gone and where science is taking us. Paul Virilio traces the twin development of art and science over the 20th Century, a development that emerges as a nightmare dance of death. In Virilio's scorching vision, art and science vie with each other for the destruction of the human form as we know it. At the start of the 21st Century science has finally left art behind as genetic engineers prepare to turn themselves into the worst of expressionists, the Human Genome Project their godless manifesto, the human being, the raw material for new and monstrous forms of life. A brutal logic rules this shattering of representation: our ways of seeing are now fatally shaped by unprecedented 'scientific' modes of destruction. --Amazon.co.uk

see also: art, fear

2005, Mar 01; 19:13 ::: War and Cinema (1984) - Paul Virilio, P. Camiler

War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception (1984) - P Virilio, P. Camiler [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

a short parallel history of war and cinema, October 11, 1997
War and Cinema, violence and spectacle. Hitler watching "Gone with the Wind" with Leni Reifenstahl and Albert Speer. A brilliant study full of intuition on the development of war technologies in 20th century and the way they were influencing and influenced by vision and perception technologies. --via a reviewer from Tel Aviv on Amazon.com

Paul Virilio, a radical French critic of contemporary culture, explores these conjunctions from a range of perspectives. He gives a detailed technical history of weaponry, photography and cinematography, illuminating it with accounts of films and military campaigns. He examines in parallel the ideas of strategists and directors, along with the views on war and cinema of writers from Apollinaire to William Burroughs. And he finds further fruitful sources of reflection in the history of cinema architecture of the wartime popularity of striptease and the pin-up. --via Amazon.com

Virilio, Paul. 1984 Guerre et Cinema. Logistique de la perception Paris: Cahiers du cinema/ Editions de l‘Etoile

Inspired by Sadie Plant's Writing on drugs

See also: Paul Virilio, war, cinema, vision, perception

2005, Mar 01; 09:24 ::: Harrison Narcotics Tax Act

The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act was an American law that regulated and taxed the production, importation, distribution and use of opiates. The act was approved on December 17, 1914.

"An Act To provide for the registration of, with collectors of internal revenue, and to impose a special tax on all persons who produce, import, manufacture, compound, deal in, dispense, sell, distribute, or give away opium or coca leaves, their salts, derivatives, or preparations, and for other purposes." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Narcotics_Tax_Act [Mar 2005]

see also: prohibition

2005, Mar 01; 09:04 ::: Demon Lovers : Witchcraft, Sex, and the Crisis of Belief (2002?) - Walter Stephens

Demon Lovers : Witchcraft, Sex, and the Crisis of Belief (2002?) - Walter Stephens [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

First sentence
"Modern readers have generally reacted to the representation of women's bodies and sexuality in witchcraft literature without noticing how these topics relate to portrayals of..."

From Publishers Weekly
Throughout the centuries of witch trials in Europe, many Christian thinkers were interested (perhaps a little too interested) in a certain recurring theme of the witches' testimonies: their stories of sex with demons. A Johns Hopkins Italian studies professor, Walter Stephens, looks at this preoccupation in his scholarly but accessible work, Demon Lovers: Witchcraft, Sex, and the Crisis of Belief. Perusing 15th- and 16th-century writings on witchcraft from various European countries, Stephens argues that theories of demon copulation are more than just misogynistic expressions of ambivalence toward female sexuality: they were vital to Christian thought, a way for theologians to resolve perennial questions about the existence of God and the supernatural. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--via Amazon.com

Product Description:
On September 20, 1587, Walpurga Hausmännin of Dillingen in southern Germany was burned at the stake as a witch. Although she had confessed to committing a long list of maleficia (deeds of harmful magic), including killing forty--one infants and two mothers in labor, her evil career allegedly began with just one heinous act--sex with a demon. Fornication with demons was a major theme of her trial record, which detailed an almost continuous orgy of sexual excess with her diabolical paramour Federlin "in many divers places, . . . even in the street by night."

As Walter Stephens demonstrates in Demon Lovers, it was not Hausmännin or other so-called witches who were obsessive about sex with demons--instead, a number of devout Christians, including trained theologians, displayed an uncanny preoccupation with the topic during the centuries of the "witch craze." Why? To find out, Stephens conducts a detailed investigation of the first and most influential treatises on witchcraft (written between 1430 and 1530), including the infamous Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches).

Far from being credulous fools or mindless misogynists, early writers on witchcraft emerge in Stephens's account as rational but reluctant skeptics, trying desperately to resolve contradictions in Christian thought on God, spirits, and sacraments that had bedeviled theologians for centuries. Proof of the physical existence of demons--for instance, through evidence of their intercourse with mortal witches--would provide strong evidence for the reality of the supernatural, the truth of the Bible, and the existence of God. Early modern witchcraft theory reflected a crisis of belief--a crisis that continues to be expressed today in popular debates over angels, Satanic ritual child abuse, and alien abduction. --via Amazon.com

2005, Mar 01; 09:04 ::: Ecstasies : Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath - Carlo Ginzburg

Ecstasies : Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath - Carlo Ginzburg [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Library Journal
Emerging from testimonies during witchcraft trials in Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries are consistent descriptions of the Witches' Sabbath: night flying, ritual cannibalism, etc. Most scholars dismiss these descriptions as torture-induced gibberish. Ginzburg (history, Univ. of California at Los Angeles) proves that these descriptions are bastardized accounts of ecstatic experiences practiced by a shamanic culture. In addition, he links the persecution of the witches with that of other social outcasts (lepers, Jews, and Muslims). Europeans thought that these groups conspired against society, which led to their wholesale slaughter. Very interesting and very convincing. For collections serving upper-level undergraduates and graduate students. - Gail Wood, Montgomery Coll. Lib., Germantown, Md. Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. via Amazon.com

Product Description:
Weaving early accounts of witchcraft--trial records, ecclesiastical tracts, folklore, and popular iconography--into new and startling patterns, Carlo Ginzburg presents in Ecstasies compelling evidence of a hidden shamanistic culture that flourished across Europe and in England for thousands of years. --via Amazon.com

Previous blogs [...]

Blogs I Frequent

  • http://www.sauer-thompson.com/conversations/ Philosophical conversations between two Australians Trevor and Gary, covering a wide range of philosophical topics.
  • http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~aabb/plus9.html A daily, art-related, weblog from Osaka, Japan.
  • http://www.mixoftheweek.com Pre-recorded, weekly mixes of soul, house, techno, dub and other groovy sounds. Consistent high quality.
  • http://www.novaplanet.com/radiolive/novalive.asp radio-station, broadcasting from Paris

    your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products