Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Sunday Six: Part Two (Relatively Eclectic)

Fig. 1. Ivan Moudov - Fragments, 2003 - 2004

Fig. 2. Raymond Pettibon - No title (I've often lamented), 2004

Fig. 3. Bill Viola - Without A Shore (still), 2007

Fig. 4. Johanna Calle - Tejido Foliar (detail), 2008

Fig. 5. Phillip Adams (choreographer) - Axeman's Lullaby, 2008 (photo by Jeff Busby)

Fig. 6. Peter Fischli & David Weiss - Parts of a Film with Rat and a Bear, 2008.

'Think like a man of action and act like a man of thought.'

Henri Bergson

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Book Is A Portable Treasury Of Paper Tongues

Fig. 1. Exhibition Preview Card, 2008 (Arnolfini)

'Abuse is often of service. There is nothing so dangerous to an author as silence.'

Samuel Johnson

Your Ears Will Orgasm #13: These Pleasant Machines (MixPod Player)

1. Little Richard - Rip It Up
2. Nina Simone - Feeling Good
3. Blondie - Rapture
4. David Byrne & Brian Eno - I Feel My Stuff
5. Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
6. Goldfrapp - Happiness

Friday, November 28, 2008

Love Wisely, And Not Too Well

Fig. 1. Alexandre-Marie Colin - Othello and Desdemona, 1829

'Think'st thou I'd make a life of jealousy,
To follow still the changes of the moon
With fresh suspicions? No; to be once in doubt,
Is once to be resolved.'

William Shakespeare - Othello (Act III, Scene iii)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Abu-Chanab (Father Of The Moustache)

Fig. 1. Henri-Julien-Félix Rousseau (le Douanier) - The Repast of the Lion, ca. 1907

'As for the idea of a native country, that is to say, of a certain bit of ground traced out on a map and separated from others by a red or blue line: no. My native country is for me the country that I love, that is, the one that makes me dream, that makes me feel well.'

Gustave Flaubert

Addendum: Mel Kadel (for JP)

Fig. 2. Bubble Gum Stick, 2006

Fig 3. A Little Time Alone, 2006

Fig. 4. He Loved To Weave, 2006

Fig. 5. Planting A Fudge Seed, 2006

Fig. 6. Scary Water, 2006

Fig. 7. What You See From A Tree, 2006

Fig. 8. Little Stumps, 2007

Fig. 9. Daily Exercise, 2008

Fig. 10. Escort, 2008

Fig. 11. Grounding, 2008

Fig. 12. Holding Down The Fort, 2008

Fig. 13. Secret Geyser, 2008

Fig. 14. The Wall, 2008

Fig. 15. Unearthing, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Venus Heard Me Sigh This Song*

Fig. 1. Erika Kohut (Isabelle Huppert) - La Pianiste, 2001 (d. Michael Haneke)

Witchcraft By A Picture

I fix mine eye on thine, and there
Pity my picture burning in thine eye;
My picture drown'd in a transparent tear,
When I look lower I espy;
Hadst thou the wicked skill
By pictures made and marr'd, to kill,
How many ways mightst thou perform thy will?

But now I've drunk thy sweet salt tears,
And though thou pour more, I'll depart;
My picture vanished, vanish all fears
That I can be endamaged by that art;
Though thou retain of me
One picture more, yet that will be,
Being in thine own heart, from all malice free.

John Donne

* From The Indifferent by John Donne.

Your Ears Will Orgasm #12: Black Venus (MixPod Player)

1. Amy Winehouse - Love Is A Losing Game
2. Betty Davis - Anti Love Song
3. Fiona Apple - Not About Love
4. Nouvelle Vague - This Is Not A Love Song
5. Jacques Brel - Ne Me Quitte Pas
6. Patti Smith - Everybody Hurts

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Between Chaos And The Perfect Compendium

Fig. 1. Giovanni Paolo Panini - Ancient Rome, 1757

'Thus the life of a collector maintains a dialectical tension between the poles of disorder and order.'

Walter Benjamin

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Endless Night Of Paper Shadows

Fig. 1. Frank Miller - Sin City, 1990s

‘Monsters cannot be announced. One cannot say: “here are our monsters”, without immediately turning the monsters into pets.’

Jacques Derrida

Addendum: I Shadow Boxers

Fig. 2. Mischa Merz at Doherty's Gym, November 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Sad Aristocracy Of Mild-Mannered Ascetics

Fig. 1. Monsieur Hulot (Jacques Tati) - Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot, 1953

'Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind.'

Giacomo Leopardi

Addendum: The Sunday Six: Part One (Relatively Recent)

Fig. 2. Eduardo Costa - Lygia Sleeping and Dreaming (Portrait of Lygia Pape), 1997-8

Fig. 3. Erwin Redl - Matrix II, 2000-3

Fig. 4. Philippe Parreno - The Writer, 2007

Fig. 5. Tadashi Kawamata - Catedral de Cadeiras, Ville de Reims, 2007

Fig. 6. Lottie Davies - Quints, 2008

Fig. 7. Marco Perego - The Only Good Rock Star Is A Dead Rock Star, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

If I Only Had A Heart

Fig. 1. Paris Bordon - Venus, Mars, and Cupid Crowned by Victory, c. 1550


circonscrire/to circumscribe

To reduce his wretchedness, the subject pins his hope on a method of control which permits him to circumscribe the pleasures afforded by the amorous relation: on the one hand, to keep these pleasures, to take full advantage of them, and on the other hand, to place within a parenthesis of the unthinkable those broad depressive zones which separate such pleasures: "to forget" the loved being outside of the pleasures that being bestows.'

Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse)

Your Ears Will Orgasm #11: LOVE (MixPod Player)

1. Cat Power - I Found A Reason
2. The Brunettes - Mars Loves Venus
3. Ladytron - The Way That I Found You
4. Virginie Leydoyen - Mon Amour, Mon Ami
5. Catatonia - Mulder and Scully
6. Sinéad O'Connor - The Singing Bird
7. Feist - Feel It All
8. Beth Orton - I Love How You Love Me
9. Björk - All Is Full Of Love
10. Ute Lemper - Tango Ballad
11. Color Filter - Satellite Of Love
12. Leonard Cohen - A Thousand Kisses Deep

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shuffle, Shuffle, Shuffle

Fig. 1. Philip Guston - Painting, Smoking, Eating, 1972-3

'Where do you put a form? It will move all around, bellow out and shrink, and sometimes it winds up where it was in the first place. But at the end, it feels different, and it had to make the voyage. I am a moralist and cannot accept what has not been paid for, or a form that has not been lived through.'

Philip Guston

Your Ears Will Orgasm #10: Relatively New (MixPod Player)

1. Goldfrapp - A&E
2. The Ting Tings - Be The One
3. Vampire Weekend - Everywhere
4. Feist - Sea Lion Woman
5. Deerhoof - The Tears And Music Of Love
6. Hot Chip - Ready For The Floor

Thursday, November 20, 2008

All Of The Magic, None Of The Tricks

Fig. 1. Caspar David Friedrich - Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon, 1824

'Longing is the umbilical cord of the higher life.'

Søren Kierkegaard

Your Ears Will Orgasm #9: Olivier Messiaen - Oraison (MixPod Player)


The following poem was sent to me by Katie, a regular reader and commenter, as a response to Caspar David Friedrich's image. I am posting it here for the benefit of those who do not normally peek into the comments box - and, needless to say, as a way of expressing my thanks for her spontaneous contribution.

Mist in the Valley

These hills, to hurt me more,
Than I am hurt already enough,--
Having left the sea behind,
Having turned suddenly and left the shore
That I loved beyond all words, even a song’s words, to convey,

And built me a house on upland acres,
Sweet with the pinxter, bright and rough
With the rusty blackbird long before the winter’s done,
But smelling never of bayberry hot in the sun,
Nor ever loud with the pounding of the long white breakers,--

These hills, beneath the October moon,
Sit in the valley white with mist
Like islands in a quiet bay,

Jut out from shore into the mist,
Wooded with poplar dark as pine,
Like points of land into a quiet bay,
(Just in that way
The harbour met the bay)

Stricken too sore for tears,
I stand, remembering the islands and the sea’s lost sound...
Life at its best no longer than the sand-peep’s cry,
And I two years, two years,
Tilling an upland ground!

E.S.V. Millay

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mr. Stravinsky Rode A Horse Called Serendipity

Fig. 1. Igor Stravinsky

'I was made a revolutionary in spite of myself. . . . All creation presupposes as its origin a sort of appetite that is brought on by the foretaste of discovery. This foretaste of the creative art accompanies the intuitive grasp of an unknown entity that will not take definite shape except by the action of a constantly vigilant technique. This appetite that is aroused in me at the mere thought of putting in order musical elements that have attracted my attention is not at all a fortuitous thing like inspiration, but is habitual and periodic, if not constant - a natural need. The very act of putting my work on paper, of, as we say, kneading the dough, is for me inseparable from the pleasure of creation. So far as I am concerned, I cannot separate the spiritual effort from the psychological and physical effort; they confront me on the same level and do not present a hierarchy. What concerns us here is not imagination itself, but rather creative imagination: the faculty that helps us to pass from the level of conception to the level of realisation. In the course of my labours I suddenly stumble upon something unexpected. This unexpected element strikes me. I make note of it. At the proper time I put it to profitable use. The faculty of creating is never given to us all by itself. It always goes hand in hand with the gift of observation. And the true creator may be recognised by his ability always to find about him, in the commonest and humblest thing, items worthy of note. The least accident holds his interest and guides his operations. If his finger slips, he will notice it. On occasion, he may draw profit from something unforeseen that a momentary lapse reveals. One does not contrive an accident: one observes, draws inspiration from it.'

Igor Stravinsky

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mr. Stravinsky's Marvellous, Metronomical Ontology

Fig. 1. Igor Stravinsky

'Music is given to us with the sole purpose of establishing an order in things, including, and particularly, the coordination between man and time.'

Igor Stravinsky

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Incredible Rightness Of Doing

Fig. 1. Sabine Weiss - Porte de Vanves, Paris, 1952

'I can, therefore I am.'

Simone Weil

Last week I discovered something (boxing) through a wonderful old friend (Mischa), then rediscovered something (dance) through a wonderful new friend (Jana). Yes, there has definitely been a sublime symmetry to the asymmetry of my recent experiences - about which I will write more at a later date.

Fig. 2. Flip Schulke - Ali Shadowboxing Underwater, 1960

Fig. 3. Pina Bausch's Wuppertal Tanztheater - Le Sacre Du Printemps (m. Igor Stravinsky), 2008

Your Ears Will Orgasm #8: Igor Stravinsky - Le Sacre Du Printemps (MixPod Player)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How To Shock Friends And Influence Patrons

Fig. 1. Tracey Emin - Exorcism of the Last Painting I Ever Made (detail), 1996

'One thing that success has taught me is censorship.'

Tracey Emin

Your Ears Will Orgasm #7: Gentlemen Prefer Bondage (MixPod Player)

1. Nina Simone - Do I Move You?
2. The Velvet Underground - Venus In Furs
3. The Twilight Singers - I'm Ready
4. Machine Gun Fellatio - Throw Me On The Bed
5. Hot One - Fuckin'
6. Space - The Female Of The Species