Saturday, April 29, 2006
Brazilian Nuggets. "...Esse é um blog dedicado à pouco conhecida psicodelia brasileira. Pretendo postar com freqüência alguns álbuns relevantes e raros dos anos 60 e 70, bem como resenhas, históricos e curiosidades." Thank you, Vida Fuleira. (br)
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Folk Painting from India: Mithila Paintings from Bihar
Folk Painting from India: Mithila Paintings from Bihar. "...Perhaps the best known genre of Indian folk paintings are the Mithila (also called Madhubani) paintings from the Mithila region of Bihar state. For centuries the women of Mithila have decorated the walls of their houses with intricate, linear designs on the occasion of marriages and other ceremonies, Painting is a key part of the education of Mithila women, culminating in the painting of the walls of the kohbar, or nuptial chamber on the occasion of a wedding. The kohbar ghar paintings are based on mythological, folk themes and tantric symbolism, though the central theme is invariably love and fertility."
Transvestite Brides of Christ
Grayson Perry... Transvestite Brides of Christ (2000, Earthenware). "...These highly decorative objects, often covered with layers of lustre, gold leaf and sugary kitsch transfers are, by the artist's own admission, 'perversion to match the curtains.'" From Selected Works by Grayson Perry at the Saatchi Gallery.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Vampyr Programme (Danish, 1933). This is the original Danish programme from 1933 with art by Erik Aaes (art director on Vampyr, Day Of Wrath, and Ordet). "...This is the story about the strange events that happened to the young Allan Gray. His studies into earlier centuries' superstitious ideas on devil-worship and the on the activities of Vampyrs have transformed him into a dreamer and fanatic for whom the border between what is reality and what is fantasy has become blurred." From Carl Theodor Dreyer.
The Burglar Alarms of Dublin
The Burglar Alarms of Dublin - Georgian Doorways and Their Burglar Alarms in and Around Dublin's Fitzwilliam Square. "...Yes, the Georgian doorways are charming, especially given that the Georgian facades are otherwise remarkably spare. These buildings could be 20th Century low-rent apartment blocks if not for the massive chimneys and lovely doors. That makes the prominent addition of burglar alarms even more striking, with the alarm boxes typically placed immediately adjacent to the door. One imagines that these accretions came after 1970, when the poster that made the doors famous was first published."
Monday, April 24, 2006
A Guide to Twin Peaks
"...In a characteristically amber morning fog, two ducks swim away from each other in the small inlet of a lake. Inside a nearby house, gazing at herself in a mirror and humming absently, is Josie Packard, owner, by inheritance from her late husband, of the Packard Mill. In the next room, her sister-in-law, Catherine Martell, barely reacts as her husband Pete declares that he has 'gone fishin.' Outside, Pete notes, a 'lonesome foghorn blows,' insistently and irregularly. Walking away from the house, fishing rod in hand, Pete chances to turn around. Washed up on the pebbly shore of the lake is an odd shape. Wrapped in plastic and tape is what appears to be the body of a woman, naked, her hair spilling from one end of the wrapping like smoke from the end of a cigarette." A Guide to Twin Peaks at Not Coming to a Theater Near You.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Gate of Hell, A Page of Madness
Teinosuke Kinugasa's Gate of Hell (Daiei Pictures, 1953) was on Turner Classic Imports good and late last night. "...In 1928, intrepid 32 year old Teinosuke Kinugasa embarked on the long voyage across Asia with a print of his second self-financed feature, Crossroads (Jujiro) under his arm. After touching base with Eisenstein and Pudovkin in Moscow, he made his way to Berlin where he was able to sell the film to a German distributor. Thus the German Expressionist-influenced period piece Crossroads became the first Japanese film to be seen in Europe by quite a long margin, and went on to play in Paris, London, and New York (under the title The Slums of Yoshiwara." Teinosuke Kinugasa is also responsible for A Page of Madness (1927) - a Japanese expressionist silent film I MUST see. Also... a great Score for A Page of Madness by In The Nursery.
De Stichting Sem Presser Archief
De Stichting Sem Presser Archief. Works by Dutch photographer Sem Presser. "...De Stichting Sem Presser Archief, opgericht in 1990, is verantwoordelijk voor het behoud en beheer van het archief van Sem Presser, beschermt en handhaaft de op het werk van Sem Presser berustende auteursrechten, spant zich er voor in dat Sem Pressers naam en werk voortleven, ondersteunt activiteiten op het gebied van de fotografie." (nl)
Bird Dance Beat
Friday, April 21, 2006
Joan Colom: Gente del Raval
Joan Colom... Raval #559 (1958-1961, vintage black–and-white print). From Joan Colom: Gente del Raval, March 9 - April 29, 2006 at Laurence Miller Gallery in New York, NY. "...Laurence Miller Gallery will present the first United States exhibition of 84 year old Barcelona photographer Joan Colom from March 9 through April 29, 2006. Seventeen of Mr. Colom’s vintage black–and-white prints will be featured. From 1958 -1961, Mr. Colom made clandestine photographs in the red light district of Barcelona, often holding his camera at waist level so as not to attract the attention of the prostitutes and their patrons in the Raval, the poorest neighborhood of the city. Working in a style similar to his contemporary Robert Frank, Colom captured the inhabitants of this neighborhood as they solicited one another, joked among themselves, and expressed a vitality that otherwise could not be captured on film."
Kwaidan DVD Comparison
Kwaidan DVD Comparison, Criterion - Region 1- NTSC vs. Eureka (Masters of Cinema # 29) - Region 2 - NTSC. "...Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, Kwaidan features four nightmarish tales adapted from Lafcadio Hearn's classic Japanese ghost stories. For this lavish, 'scope production, Kobayashi drew extensively on his own training as a student of painting and the fine arts. Indeed, the breadth of the film's poetic expression is unmatched in all of Japanese cinema: breathtakingly photographed on handpainted sets, the film is at once a miniature writ large, and an abstract wash of luminescent colors that seem to hail from another world. On the soundtrack, an electronic score by avant-garde composer Toru Takemitsu plays hauntingly with the natural sounds — crickets, rain, the cracking of wood, the loud silence of snow. This interaction of the film's plastic and aural textures with the simple, aching humanity of Hearn's tales serves to accentuate the power of the storytelling: four episodes about mortals caught up in forces beyond their comprehension — when the supernatural world intervenes in their lives."
The Halifax Explosion
Two Ships Collide and Halifax Reels (CBC Televison Archives, Broadcast May 24, 1967, .wmv Video 04:27). "...On a beautiful December morning (1917), the Mont-Blanc sails towards Halifax Harbour as re-enacted in this CBC Television clip. The French munitions ship is about to join a cross-Atlantic convoy to Europe and the war effort. On the other side of the harbour, the Norwegian ship Imo is on its way out of the harbour, heading to New York to pick up relief supplies for Belgian civilians. At the time of the explosion, the Mont-Blanc was carrying 226,797 kg of TNT, 2,146,830 kg of picric acid, 56,301 kg of guncotton and 223,188 kg of Benzol — all highly explosive and dangerous chemicals." From The Halifax Explosion at the CBC Archives. Also... More about the Halifax Exlosion at The CBC and Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Koroshi no Rakuin
Lost in Guantanamo
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Enrique Martinez Celaya: Splinter. Return
Enrique Martinez Celaya... Boy With Flowers (2004, Oil and tar on canvas). From Enrique Martinez Celaya: Splinter. Return at Greg Kucera Gallery. "...The Atlantic seems different than I remember. It is probably that for eighteen years I had been near the Pacific, my eyes used to hills diving into the grayish waters of the California Coast. There is no soil in Florida. Only sand. No oaks. Only pine trees and palms. At night, the salty smell coming from the sea is not a Northern smell, like the Pacific's, but a complex Southern mixture of death and melancholia that some around here call excitement."
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Penn Jillette Reads From 'Sock'
Penn Jillette Reads From 'Sock' (RealAudio 04:39). "...In this selection from the first chapter, the reader is introduced to the narrator, Dickie, a sock monkey with a bad attitude." Also... Sock Pop References. "...an attempt to cite all of the popular cultural references in Penn Jillette's novel Sock."
Stray Man: Kurosawa's Stray Dog on DVD
Stray Man: Kurosawa's Stray Dog on DVD (Bright Lights Film Journal, August 2004 | Issue 45). "...Stray Dog (1949), Kurosawa’s ninth film, is generally considered his first masterpiece, or at least the first for which the term can be reasonably argued. And no wonder. All the elements that would distinguish his later work are in place. There’s the epic sweep, in which a very personal story focusing on a troubled individual(s) is told against a grand background, in this case the panorama of a defeated and humiliated occupied Japan. Dostoyevskian themes and motifs — humanism, class conflict, masculine pain and guilt, doppelgangers — abound. There are stellar performances throughout, including the first great teaming of Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura (in their fourth appearance together in a Kurosawa film). And of course the film’s elaborate visuals, formal complexities, and dramatic pacing announce a career that would be internationally acclaimed with Rashomon just a year later. If he misjudges or overdoes a few of the effects, as I believe he does, these are minor failures in a generally masterful work."
Monday, April 17, 2006
Branded To Kill
Midnight Eye... Branded To Kill (1967) by Jasper Sharp. "...Born in Tokyo in 1923, Seijun Suzuki directed 42 films for Nikkatsu, averaging on about four a year, and he claims he could edit each in about a day. Despite being lauded by the critics for his unique visual style, as far as the general public and Nikkatsu president Kyusaku Hori were concerned by the mid-60s Suzuki's approach was beginning to spin rapidly out of control." Also... an Interview with Seijun Suzuki from 2001.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
I Didn't Walk The Line
Tommy Cash... I Didn't Walk The Line (Musicor, 1965, .mp3 audio 02:28).
Neko Case and Martha Wainwright in Concert
NPR... Neko Case and Martha Wainwright in Concert (A presentation of NPR Music's 'All Songs Considered' and the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.). "...Though she defies most conventional genre labels, singer Neko Case swings somewhere between the worlds of heavy art rock and bittersweet country. Currently on tour for her latest CD, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, Case visits Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club for a night of music, originally webcast live in its entirety on NPR."
Friday, April 14, 2006
The Surfsiders Sing The Beach Boys Songbook
The Story of an Artist: Daniel Johnston, A Retrospective
The Story of an Artist: Daniel Johnston, A Retrospective at Clementine Gallery. "...For over 30 years, Texas-based artist and musician Johnston has been obsessively recording his thoughts and stories into expressive drawings, super-8 films, and cassette tape compilations. Autobiographical, intensely emotional, and rendered with a raw spontaneity, Johnston's drawings reflect his personal, decades-long struggle with bipolar disorder. The work, primarily notebook-size in scale, features an array of recurring symbols and characters. These characters include well-known comic book icons like Captain America and Casper the Friendly Ghost along side those of his own imagination like 'The Frog of Innocence' and 'Joe the Boxer.' Johnston's heroic figures are often pictured in battles against Satan and a cast of evil demons. As such, they are portraits of his own inner struggles and the precarious balance between brilliance and madness."
Paolo Ventura: War Souvenir
Paolo Ventura: War Souvenir at Hasted Hunt Gallery. "...There is something very Italian, or perhaps more accurately, Latin about the way that tragedy and dark comedy mingle in these images. The fashions of the wounded and the dead - the dressing up of the corpse in an outfits that its owner so proudly wore during his lifetime - evokes the catacombs the Capuchin Fathers in Palermo, where row after row of the dead display the raiments of their worldly existence so that the doctors and lawyers, priests and professors, soldiers and society women still retain their professional and social identities, even if they no longer are in possession of their flesh. It's a terrifying and somehow comical place where the rictus grin of death often seems like a smile, and where in one famous pairing a skeleton man and wife appear to have continued their lifelong conversation, centuries after death."
Darth Vader vs Japanese Police
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Works by Xing Danwen
The Sixth International Photography Month in Moscow: Photobiennale 2006
Xing Danwen... Urban Fiction (Xing Danwen/Scalo, ARTStrelka, Bersenevskaya nab., 14, str.5). From The Sixth International Photography Month in Moscow: Photobiennale 2006, March 23—May 14, 2006.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
I'm 44 years old today. Today is also the birthday of Tiny Tim, David Letterman, David Cassidy, and Henry Darger.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
The Death of J-Horror?
Midnight Eye... The Death of J-Horror? by Nicholas Rucka. "...Japan, 1998: Hideo Nakata's The Ring (Ringu) and Joji Iida's Spiral (Rasen) horror double feature crawled into the cinemas and proceeded to kill the competition. Japanese junior high and high school girls might have been the target audience, but the effect of these films exploded around the world. Little did anyone suspect when this double-bill was created that this was to be ground zero of what is now, seven years later, a highly successful cottage industry."
Harvester World Images Reveal Celebrity Faces
John Wayne poses with International Truck (1967). "...Actor John Wayne standing next to an International 1000B truck. He may be on the set of a production titled "Red Means Go.'". From Harvester World Images Reveal Celebrity Faces at the Wisconsin Historical Society. "...What do John Wayne, Nikita Khrushchev and International Harvester trucks and tractors have in common? They were all featured in Harvester World magazine in the 1950s. Harvester World was an International Harvester Company magazine published from 1909 to 1970. At first the magazine was intended mostly for company employees and dealers, carrying stories about factory picnics, retirements and corporate milestones. By the 1940s, however, it had become a 'human interest' magazine featuring stories about the people who came in contact with International Harvester machines."
Lenke Szilágyi: Completely different yet the same pictures. "...Examining the current exhibition by Lenke Szilágyi we may come to the conclusion: she has taken up something completely different from what she had been doing. She has given up black and white photography for colour, she has not taken images of incidental moments reflecting subjective importance for her. With utter discipline she adheres to a single topic. With her camera she lingers around parties to observe people chilling out. She does not focus on saunterers of the slowly dripping time in the backyards of the world. On the contrary, she is looking for figures revolving, rotating, raving in a fast-paced, throbbing, vibrating, flashing atmosphere, the ones who want to chill out in utmost ecstasy through the most intense visual and auditive stimuli there can be. Something less ordinary, more magical than that."
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Parallel Visions II "Outsider" and "Insider" Art Today
Felipe Jesus Consalvos... Contemporary Ladies/Buildings (Circa 1920-1950, Mixed media collage on cigar box). From the exhibition Parallel Visions II "Outsider" and "Insider" Art Today, April 5, 2006 - May 26, 2006 at Galerie St. Etienne in New York, NY. "...In 1992, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presented a groundbreaking exhibition titled 'Parallel Visions,' which traced the connections between modern artists and their self-taught colleagues. This exhibition played a major role in establishing the field of 'outsider' art as it exists today. However, just as our view of modernism has changed in the intervening years, the boundaries between 'outsider' and 'insider' art have gradually begun to blur. Many elements that once seemed exclusive to 'outsider' art—obsessive repetition of form, a pop-culture frame of reference, the conjuring of fantastic alternative realities, crudeness of execution and the use of debased, non-art materials—have infiltrated the mainstream art world. Of course, the appropriation of 'low' art attributes by practitioners of 'high' art is nothing new and was in fact the subject of the original 'Parallel Visions' show. It is thus worth asking, what, if anything, has really changed?"
Joëlle Delhovren: Vernissage
Joëlle Delhovren... Phil (2004, Huile sur toile). From the exhibition Joëlle Delhovren: Vernissage. "...Joëlle Delhovren représente la personne humaine, exclusivement. Elle dessine depuis la petite enfance. À l'âge adulte, elle poursuivit ce geste naturel, dans les métiers qui lui furent ouverts par des études en communication visuelle, sans y trouver l'épanouissement que lui offrit, voici une décennie, l'immersion dans la peinture, une activité solitaire, un art de l'individuation." More Works by Joëlle Delhovren at her personal site. (be)
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Rock A Shacka | Pirate's Choice #39
Rock A Shacka | Pirate's Choice #39 (.mp3 audio 44:12) - Mighty Vikings Selection by DOCA(Mule Train). Featuring some wicked ska selections from the album The Mighty Vikings: R.J.R. Band Of Year (Wirl 1030). From Drum & Bass Records in Nishishinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan. Not the best record store in Osaka, but damn close. Thank you, DMC.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Home Movie: An American Folk Art
Home Movie: An American Folk Art, a film by Ernst Edward Star and Steven Zeitlin (1975, 19 minutes, Color). "...In 1974, as part of the Family Folklore Program of the Festival of American Folklife, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., put out a call for families to bring in their home movies and have portions of them copied for a documentary film. More than 100 families responded to the call, bringing in 16 mm and 8mm home movies, as well as photo albums. The result was the documentary, Home Movie: An American Folk Art by Ernst Star, then a student in the film department at Temple University, and Steve Zeitlin, a student in the Department of Folklore and Folklife at the University of Pennsylvania."
Nikki S. Lee: In Production
Nikki S. Lee: In Production at Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects in New York, NY. "...a brief but tantalizing preview of scenes from the artist’s forthcoming documentary film, A/K/A NIKKI S. LEE. Presented in the form of sequenced still images displayed in light boxes, between fifteen and twenty works of various sizes will be on view."
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Pierre La Police, The Supremacist
Pierre La Police, The Supremacist à la galerie Galerie Kamel Mennour (72, rue Mazarine. 75006 Paris) - du 6 avril au 15 mai 2006 - Vernissage le 6 avril à partir de 19h. (fr)
Miyoko Ito (1918-1983)
Miyoko Ito... Untitled (c.1965, Oil on canvas). From Miyoko Ito (1918-1983), March 17 - April 30, 2006 at Adam Baumgold Gallery in New York, NY. "...Miyoko Ito was born to Japanese parents in Berkeley, CA in 1918. She studied art at the University of California at Berkeley for a short time until she was imprisoned in a Japanese-American camp after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Ito continued her education in prison and afterwards went to Smith College. After college, she was given a scholarship to attend the Art Institute of Chicago. It was in Chicago that Ito's career as an artist flourished; exploring cubism and latent abstraction in her works. Ito stayed in Chicago until her death in 1983."
Bruce Conner... Mea Culpa (1981, Music by David Byrne and Brian Eno from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, QuickTime Video). "...In the course of recording this album Brian and I crossed paths with artist and filmmaker Bruce Connor, who lives in San Francisco. Bruce's' legendary 'experimental' films are well known for their pioneering use of found footage, so it was natural that we approach him regarding the possibility of working together- which was more like suggesting he use some of the Bush of Ghosts tracks in a film or two, due to the similarities of our working methods. Connor mainly uses old educational films, science films, government footage and film footage that people throw out and then recuts them to new music, creating dark and sometimes hilarious moods and visual commentaries. His work was sampling before that word existed, as was this record. The films gain an additional level of depth due to the fact that you can often guess what the footage was originally used for, and so you see it as an artifact and as something entirely new, both at the same time." From My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. "...My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts came out in 1981. Over the last decades, hundreds of artists in genres ranging from DJs to alternative to electronic have all borrowed from its ideas and claimed its influence. It is now being re-issued in a beautiful new package." Thank you, DMc.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
In the Realms of the Unreal
P.O.V.... In the Realms of the Unreal. "...Reclusive janitor by day, visionary artist by night, outsider artist Henry Darger moved through life virtually unnoticed. But after his death, a treasure trove was discovered in his one-room Chicago apartment: a staggering 15,000-page novel and hundreds of illustrations that continue to inspire artists around the world."
Sunday, April 02, 2006
OB-GYN Instrument Collection
OB-GYN Instrument Collection at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. "...Philadelphia physicians have been pioneers and leaders in the practice and teaching of obstetrics and gynecology since the 18th century, and the OB-GYN instrument collections of the Mütter Museum reflect the richness of that heritage. The approximately 1200 artifacts range in date from the 18th century to the present, and include those used in delivery, diagnosis, and in the treatment of gynecological and obstetrical disorders."
When the President is the Patient
President Johnson is Prepared to Undergo Gall Bladder Surgery at the Bethesda Naval Hospital (Photograph, 1965, Courtesy of Yoichi R. Okamoto, LBJ Library Collection). From the exhibit When the President is the Patient. "...'When the President is the Patient' compares the public image of U.S. presidents with their private medical concerns. Based on the exhibit at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, it raises the political and ethical issue of how much the public should know about the chief executive's health. It asks the question 'Do truths hidden from the public serve a greater good, or should we know everything?' The exhibit demonstrates how politics has frequently dictated presidential policy on revealing medical information, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1955 heart attack, and John F. Kennedy's Addison's disease. It focuses on real events in which the health of a sitting president has influenced, or is suspected of having influenced, the course of history."
Saturday, April 01, 2006
An Objective Comparison of Two Onibaba DVDs (Shindo, 1965)
Masters of Cinema... An Objective Comparison of Two Onibaba DVDs (Shindo, 1965) by Trond S. Trondsen. Criterion (R1) vs. Asmik Ace (R2). "...The overarching goal here is to inspire DVD manufacturers to strive for even higher standards in preparing source materials and authoring DVDs. So, for the purpose of testing a few possible techniques, we conducted a trial comparison between the demultiplexed video streams of Criterion's Onibaba DVD released in 2004 (R1/NTSC), and Asmik Ace's DVD released in Japan in 2003 (R2/NTSC), both of which come in an excellent anamorphic transfer. Since the outcome of our (albeit hopelessly incomplete) review may be of interest to a very specific subset of our audience, we hereby submit it to you. In particular, we touch upon the issue of Criterion's infamous cropping practices, as well the artificially added 7.5 IRE setup often found on R2/Japan DVDs."