Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Scene from "The Warped Ones" by Koreyoshi Kurahara

A Scene from "The Warped Ones" (1960, directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara, Flash Video 02:28). From Eclipse Series 28: The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara by The Criterion Collection. "...Over the course of his varied career, Koreyoshi Kurahara made meticulous noirs, jazzy juvenile-delinquency pictures, and even nature films. His free-form approach to moviemaking was perfectly suited to the radical spirit of the 1960s, when he was one of the biggest hit makers working at the razzle-dazzle, youth-oriented Nikkatsu studios. The five films collected here hail from that era of the Japanese New Wave, and encompass breathless teen escapades, cruel crime stories, a Yukio Mishima adaptation, and even a Hollywood-inspired romantic comedy."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Release It

Hard Nips... Release It (.mp3 audio 04:31).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SPAR: Photographs from Cuba by Paul Meleschnig

SPAR: Photographs from Cuba by Paul Meleschnig at Steven Kasher Gallery. "...In his recurring travels to Cuba between 1997 and 2009, Meleschnig captured boxers and their everyday life of physical training. Gymnasium, ring and street collectively unfold the lives of young men in a sort of visual poem. Through Spar we are offered a viewpoint from which to contemplate contemporary Cuban life. There is an unveiling of restless, frustrated, and resilient youths exercising their voice and fist. One theme is sport as distraction in a suppressive culture."

Three Outlaw Samurai: The Disloyal Bunch

Three Outlaw Samurai: The Disloyal Bunch by Bilge Ebiri. "...For nearly three decades, Hideo Gosha (1929–1992) made some of the most explosive, artful, and original films in Japanese cinema. Along the way, he also became one of his country’s most established and acclaimed filmmakers. But his reputation in the West has never been particularly prominent—surprising, perhaps, since so many of his films fit into those Japanese genres Americans and Europeans know so well, samurai and yakuza pictures." Also... watch the Final Battle (Flash Video 06:15) from Three Outlaw Samurai (Sanbiki no Samurai, 1964, directed by Hideo Gosha).

Works by Adam Bartos

Works by Adam Bartos at Gitterman Gallery. "...Bartos’ interest in the 19th century travel work of Samuel Bourne, Robert MacPherson, and others, led him to Egypt, Kenya, and Mexico with a large format camera and color film. His images are thoroughly modern, yet their energy is inspired by the lucid depiction of form and light that the earlier photographers achieved. His attention to the picture plane creates a tension that resonates between the photograph as both his expression of a place and an object in and of itself. None of the photographs are constructed wholly from incident or narrative. As Geoff Dyer notes in the introduction to Bartos’ book Boulevard: 'his pictures are like self-portraits of the things in them.'"

Friday, March 16, 2012

Exposing the Body, Baring the Soul - Francesca Woodman at The Guggenheim Museum

Exposing the Body, Baring the Soul Exposing the Body, Baring the Soul - Francesca Woodman at The Guggenheim Museum (NY Times). "...Francesca Woodman, the photographer who took her own life at 22 in 1981, is as close to a true saint as the putatively secular world of contemporary art can claim. The dreamy, formally playful and disarmingly erotic pictures Woodman made — mostly of herself partly unclothed or naked — project a self surrendering unreservedly to the spirit of art. When viewing the approximately 120 pieces in 'Francesca Woodman,' a survey of her career at the Guggenheim Museum, it is hard to shake off the admittedly absurd notion that she was too purely an artist for this muddy world." Also... The Woodmans at PBS.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Glimpses of African-American Life, 1865-1934

Glimpses of African-American Life, 1865-1934 at the WHS. "...The photographs in the Caroline Webb Papers document an African-American family living in the Midwest from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. Webb (1883-1975) was the daughter of Missouri slaves who moved their family north after the Civil War. Their photograph albums reveal three generations engaged, as Caroline Webb's son put it, in 'a new struggle, as free people, for an independent existence' in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. This gallery features 39 images (out of approximately 210 originals, including some album pages with multiple images)."

Guy Tillim: Second Nature II

Guy Tillim: Second Nature II at Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town. "...The second half of Tillim's Second Nature was taken in São Paulo in 2011. In many respects, these images of the contested urban terrain of a megalopolis appear to be the antithesis of the Polynesian landscapes of the first half of the series, with their reverence for nature and awareness of the elements of water, wind and light. Yet, on closer looking, it becomes clear that Tillim is seeing and perceiving the landscape of these two strongly contrasting places in the same way. In all these images he does not offer the conventional point of focus or easily identifiable subject that is the standard premise for photography; instead, he gives equal treatment to the many elements that comprise an image. A person walking is not more important than a signpost, or a sculptural tree, or a zebra crossing, or a strange building; the eye roves across the image and is entertained by these identifiable aspects but never halts and concludes that this element is the reason for the image. As a result, one is never sure what is actually being photographed, yet one's eye remains engaged and active within the frame of the image. The paradox that Tillim is photographing nothing yet everything, and that he conflates the notions of subject and object, reminds us that the premise for the Second Nature series is not the qualities of the landscapes of Polynesia or São Paulo, but the way we perceive them." More... Works by Guy Tillim at Agence VU.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

American Suburb X

Japan at American Suburb X. ASX is essential.

Bertolt Brecht's Audio Works

Bertolt Brecht's Audio Works at UbuWeb Sound. "...A sweep of recordings and interpretations of Brecht's plays and speeches, both historical and contemporary. Includes Brecht singing two songs from 'Die Dreigroschenoper' (rec. 1928/29), his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee (1947), plays by the legendary Berliner Ensemble from the mid-50s, as well as archival radio plays of Brecht's work including 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,' 'Mr Puntila & His Man Matti,' 'In The Jungle of Cities,' 'The Life Of Galileo,' 'The Trial of Lucullus,' 'A Respectable Wedding,' 'Schweik in the Second World War,'" and 'The Threepenny Opera.'"

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Nikolay Bakharev, Gerard Petrus Fieret, and Miroslav Tichý - Three Postwar European Photographers

Three Postwar European Photographers Nikolay Bakharev, Gerard Petrus Fieret, and Miroslav Tichý - Three Postwar European Photographers at Julie Saul Gallery. "...the work of three powerful and enigmatic photographers who came of age in postwar Europe. Each of them has created very personal and idiosyncratic bodies of work shaped by a particular political environment."

Saturday, March 03, 2012

The Adventures of "Wee Rob Roy" No. 1

The Adventures of "Wee Rob Roy" No. 1 (1916) at Europa Film Treasures. "...Annoyed by her son's bagpipes, Wee Rob Roy's mother sends him outside. So Rob goes hunting, meets some golfers, and takes a ride in a car… at the sad expense of those who surround him! Accompanied by his dog, he even takes off to explore the air and distant lands."

Tokyo Drifter: Catch My Drift

Tokyo Drifter: Catch My Drift by Howard Hampton. "...Just what is it that makes Seijun Suzuki’s Tokyo Drifter (1966) so different, so appealing? The cherubic hero in the neat powder blue suit, who looks like he was torn out of a yakuza pop-up book? That hauntingly cornball theme song, permeating the movie in ironic nightclub variations like a slinky-dink mélange of Brecht/Weill and Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee? The immaculate dollhouse sets, every room or layout/hideout a miniature gallery of spiky close-up portraiture, quizzical conceptual furniture, MGM paint jobs, and beautifully contorted human sculptures?"

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Bruehl Studio Collection

The Bruehl Studio Collection at UMBC. "...The Bruehl Studio was founded and run by Austrailian-born brothers and photographers Anton and Martin Bruehl. The Bruehl brothers opened their studio in 1927, on Lexington Avenue in New York City. The Bruehls collaborated with technician Fernand Bourges to produce the highest quality color images of the time, using the color carbro technique. Condé Nast hired the studio to create images for their publications, such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and House and Garden. The studio thrived as a commercial success, producing both advertising photographs and editorials. The Bruehl studio was in operation until 1966."

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman at MoMA. "...Bringing together more than 170 photographs, this retrospective survey traces the artist’s career from the mid 1970s to the present. Highlighted in the exhibition are in-depth presentations of her key series, including the groundbreaking series 'Untitled Film Stills' (1977–80), the black-and-white pictures that feature the artist in stereotypical female roles inspired by 1950s and 1960s Hollywood, film noir, and European art-house films; her ornate history portraits (1989–90), in which the artist poses as aristocrats, clergymen, and milkmaids in the manner of old master paintings; and her larger-than-life society portraits (2008) that address the experience and representation of aging in the context of contemporary obsessions with youth and status. The exhibition will explore dominant themes throughout Sherman’s career, including artifice and fiction; cinema and performance; horror and the grotesque; myth, carnival, and fairy tale; and gender and class identity. Also included are Sherman’s recent photographic murals (2010), which will have their American premiere at MoMA."

Reza Abdoh - Videos (1986-93)

Reza Abdoh - Videos (1986-93) at UbuWeb Film & Video. "...Reza Abdoh [1963-1995] was an Iranian-born director and playwright known for his large-scale, experimental theatrical productions that utilized multimedia elements and violent sexual imagery. Abdoh died of AIDS on May 11, 1995 in New York City at the age of 32. Included here are are eight videos: My Face (1986); Sleeping with the Devil (1990); The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice (1990); Bogeyman (1991); Daddy's Girl (1991); The Weeping Song (1991); The Law of Remains (1992); and Tight Right White (1993)."

The Three Graces: Snapshots of 20th-Century Women

Lens Culture... The Three Graces: Snapshots of 20th-Century Women - photographs compiled by Michal Raz-Russo. "...Snapshots preserve more than individual likeness and memory. Photographs of celebrations, vacations, and gatherings of family and friends are collected with the aim of constructing and preserving a personal identity for future generations. What happens, however, when a snapshot becomes an image 'type' - transferred into the hands of a collector and folded into a broader cultural history? This and many other questions are discussed in this fascinating selection of anonymous images depicting three women. Presumably all taken by nonprofessionals, these snapthots were acquired over time by a private collector interested in their eclectic yet familiar details, who named the grouping after the iconic Greco-Roman motif, the Three Graces."